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Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor Adventure Coordinator
Martin Torresquintero
MTorresq@newhavenct.gov
(203) 946-6768

Kayak Instruction
Ranger
Joe Milone
JMilone@newhavenct.gov
(203) 946-6559

 

The staff of the City of New Haven’s Outdoor Adventure Program, and the New Haven Park Rangers, invite you to experience a unique, new, challenging, safe and fun learning experience for children, youth and adults. Our park rangers utilize environmental activities designed to enhance nature appreciation through exposure to the New Haven Parks system. The goal is to foster an appreciation of local resources by providing truly amazing exposure to bio-diversity and outdoor adventure activities. These activities, specially tailored to the needs and abilities of the participants, will help raise the eco-consciousness as well as the self-confidence levels of the participants.

Our staff-to-participant ratio allows for plenty of personal instruction, as well as careful supervision of all activities with individual attention. By taking on progressively more challenging experiences, participants will learn team building, cooperation, and conflict resolution. Success in many of the Outdoor Adventure activities calls for an understanding of how to operate effectively in teams. Staff will help the teams establish goals that call for planning, group decision-making, task designation, and group action. Furthermore, meetings before and after the activities help to create clear communication channels and cooperation. As the keepers of New Haven Parks, we exemplify a low-impact lifestyle in our city parks. This provides residents with a first-hand understanding of the effects that human activities impose on nature, while we provide instruction in natural history and environmentally responsible choices, in an effort to engender a sense of care for our natural resources.

Following are some of activities that are run by the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator and the Park Rangers, in conjunction with camp counselors, naturalists, interns from local universities, as well as some of the best rafting guides in the country.

Outdoor Adventure Programs
Archery
Canoeing
Kayaking
White Water Rafting
Stand Up paddle boarding (S.U.P.)
Snorkeling
Introduction to Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving P.A.D.I. Certification
Hiking and Nature Interpretation
Orienteering
Ropes Course
Portable Climbing Wall
Rock Climbing
Snowshoeing
Ice Climbing Excursions
Mountain Biking

Archery

The Beginner Archery series of classes concentrates on range rules, safety rules and fundamentals of archery, and is taught using recurve equipment. The beginner session is appropriate for those who have never shot a bow, or those with some previous experience that are seeking a refresher session. 

All safety gear and equipment will be provided. (Bow, arrows, finger tab, arm guard, quiver). Class is limited to 10 students (more if a special group/camp, etc, with advance notice). Classes open to all ages (10 and above) Parents & children may shoot together.

For dates and more information please contact:

Ranger Wray Williams
(203)946-6086
email: wwilliam@newhavenct.gov

Ranger Joe Milone
(203)946-6559
email: jmilone@newhavenct.gov


Canoeing

This is a classic team-oriented activity, which requires minimum or no prior knowledge of paddling skills. Our team of certified instructors and canoe leaders will provide you with ample opportunity for learning basic paddling techniques, and for wildlife observation.
 

 

For more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768.

 

Canoeing Clinic
In our canoe clinic, we teach everything you need to know to become a confident, safe and informed paddler. Topics covered include strokes, safety equipment, rescue, re-entry and portage. We spend all day paddling. We require that you pre-register for any class.

 

Resources

pdf iconMill River Canoe Guide
pdf iconMorris Creek Canoe Guide
pdf iconQuinnipiac River Canoe Guide
pdf iconWest River Canoe Guide

 

 


Kayaking

Our new programs are designed for beginners and for those who have mastered a certain level of maneuvering and paddling skills. In our sit-on-top sea kayaks and sit-in touring kayaks, we travel along the Greater New Haven coastal zones, teaching about equipment, paddling techniques, tidal currents and navigation while allowing for a closer observation of seashore life. Safe paddling is our priority. This includes teaching rescue techniques, the effects of hypothermia, and the wet exit while wearing a spray skirt. Classes, pool clinics and tours are available. Look for Kayaking  dates in our calendar.

 

For more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, or email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov


White Water Rafting

The ultimate adventure includes navigating a river full of unexpected obstacles. Run in conjunction with some of the best professional white water guides in the country, we offer beginner and intermediate trips in Massachusetts (White Water Class III and IV rapids). Look for canoeing dates in our calendar. For more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, or email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov


Stand-up Paddle Boarding (S.U.P.)

Learn from certified instructors the basics of Stand Up Paddleboarding. Our SUP courses offers a great body workout, and it is performed on lakes, rivers and the ocean. In this class you'll learn the proper stance for balance and control, essential paddle strokes and turning techniques, falling & recovery skills, as well as how to choose the right board and paddle. Courses will be held on protected calm water, and no experience is necessary.

For more information about Level 1 SUP courses and SUP Yoga/Core training please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, or email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov


Snorkeling

A great way to introduce kids to the sport, in a supervised and controlled environment. This course includes basic instruction in safety, fitting and use of mask fins and snorkel. Participants are allowed to keep snorkel. Available during the summer camps, and upon request (when pool available). Minimum age is 10 years old.

For more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, or email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov


Introduction to Scuba Diving

An exhilarating and safe opportunity for kids who are too young to become fully certified scuba divers or for adults not willing to commit to a full scuba certification class. Participants will experience scuba diving in a controlled environment, in less than 6 feet of water. All necessary equipment will be provided. Available during the summer camps, and upon request (when pool available) We encourage participants to use their own mask and snorkels upon approval by our instructors.

For more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, or email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov


Scuba Diving P.A.D.I. and/or S.D.I. Certification, or S.D.I

This entry-level scuba course consists of three, three-hour classroom sessions and three, three-hour pool sessions. The amount of time needed to complete all skills and material is dependent on individual class size, and the specific certification: P.A.D.I. or S.D.I. The course fee will include all textbooks, plastic dive tables and all scuba equipment (tanks, regulators, wet suits, weight belts, dive computers, weights and buoyancy compensators) for the pool. Not included in the course fee are the student’s personal dive gear (mask, snorkel, fins and booties), dive log-book and open water-training dives. We recommend that this equipment not be purchased until after the first class meeting. In order to complete certification, four open water-training dives must be completed. These dives are typically done on two half days, either here in Long Island Sound or the student can complete the dives on their own (i.e. while on vacation in Florida, Mexico, etc.). Upon completion of these dives and passing the written and practical skills tests, an internationally recognized P.A.D.I. or S.D.I. certification card will be issued at no extra fee. All participants must be in sufficient health and fitness for this scuba diving instruction. Prior to the end of the class, students must be able to swim non-stop eight pool lengths, and tread water for 10 minutes. Minimum age is 12 years old. 

For more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, or email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov


Hiking & Nature Interpretation

Nature walks provide a unique opportunity to see the city from different angles, to observe the birds that roam around in New Haven parks, and to appreciate and respect the local wildlife and natural ecosystems. Lead by park rangers, the outdoor adventure coordinator, as well as naturalists, these walks teach low-impact, leave-no-trace ethics and skill, our way of educating residents about preserving our fragile habitats. This program is offered during all seasons, and at different locations. For more information, please contact the specific Ranger as follows:

 

East Rock Park:         
Ranger Dan Barvir
(203)946-6086
dbarvir@newhavenct.gov

 Ranger Wray Williams
(203)946-6086
wwilliam@newhavenct.gov
   

 

Barnard Nature Center/West River Memorial Park:
 
Ranger Harry Coyle
(475)220-3539
hcoyle@newhavenct.gov

 

West Rock Nature Center:
 
Ranger Joe Milone
(203)946-6559
jmilone@newhavenct.gov

Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov


Orienteering

A newly designed course at the West Rock Nature Center will allow participants to learn about map reading, use of compasses and GPS, trail nomenclature, as well as topographical maps.

For more information, please contact Ranger Joe Milone: (203)946-6559 or email: jmilone@newhavenct.gov


Ropes Course

By taking on progressively more challenging experiences, participants will learn team building, cooperation, trust, and conflict resolution. Customized challenging hi-low ropes course programs will be offered at the West Rock Nature Center. Available for groups upon request.

For more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov; or Ranger Joe Milone: (203)946-6559 or email: jmilone@newhavenct.gov


Portable Climbing Wall

Our customized 25’ tall wall is equipped with four climbing stations and a newly redesigned system of climbing holds. New Haven’s own wall (“The Rock”) enables a challenging activity that is customized to fit individual needs and physical limitations. It allows participants to become more familiar with climbing skills before moving into “real rock,” or to simply challenge themselves to reach for the top. Free to the public during scheduled dates. Wall and staff are also available for rental on a limited basis.

Prices range from $800 to $1,600 depending on the type of event and the number of participants per hour.

For more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov


 Rock Climbing

As a Professional Mountain Guide, the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator is qualified to provide our participants with an enjoyable and safe learning experience that not only will provide exhilarating pleasure, but also will contribute to the development of their self-confidence. This can lead to a new willingness to accept personal responsibility and a deeper appreciation for having to trust their life to someone else, while allowing themselves to reach unimaginable new heights. With the latest techniques and equipment, we pay particular attention to safety, judgment and the environment.

Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768

email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov

 


Snowshoeing

The Outdoor Adventure Program offers introductory snowshoeing tours for participants with no previous experience. Tours are held at East Rock and Edgewood Park when snow conditions permit. Normally, we run tours weather permitting when there are at least 7 inches of snow in the ground. Cost: $10 per residents / $15 for non-residents. Price includes use of snowshoes and hiking poles.Ages: 10+ (ages 10-17 must be accompanied by a paid adult guardian).Maximum # of Participants per trip: 17-20 depending on snowshoes availabilityParticipants will be fitted with the correct size snowshoes and hiking poles.Pre-registration is required.

For more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov; or Ranger Joe Milone: (203)946-6559 or email: jmilone@newhavenct.gov


Ice Climbing Excursions

Depending on ice conditions  we will host a local clinic, or take a winter mountaineering trip to the White Mountains and learn how to climb frozen waterfalls. These courses are designed for those with little or no previous climbing experience. Participants will learn about use of crampons, French, International and Front Point techniques. Self arrest, anchors, belaying, snow and steep ice techniques will also be covered. This course includes climbing a steep snow and ice slab, as well as top-roping vertical ice. Program fee includes food, lodging and transportation. Minimum age is 15 years old.

For more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov


Mountain Biking

The staff of the Outdoor Adventure Program focus on the safety aspects of cycling in order to ensure that participants will learn skills to enhance their ability to ride responsibly on their own and enjoy some of the most splendid natural contexts in and around New Haven. Teaches technical skills necessary to safely operate a mountain bicycle, while leaving minimum impact on the trails.

For more information Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov; or Ranger Joe Milone: (203)946-6559 or email: jmilone@newhavenct.gov


Bike Safety Assessment Program

Have you purchased a new bike from a big box store? If so, the New Haven Parks Outdoor Adventure Program is offering a bike inspection clinic just for you! Bring the new bike to the Parks Office on one of the dates above and a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) will go through the bike and highlight any issues that need to be fixed before having you or your child go for their first ride. We will also have information about bike safety and how to properly fit a helmet. Qualifying participants will receive a FREE bike helmet. This program is usually offer right in January after the holidays  (when most people buy bikes), and in May.

For dates or more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov


Bike Self Repair Clinic

Sooner or later cyclist will have to deal with a flat tire, derailed chains, brakes issues, etc. Be prepared for this and other such problems by learning some basic bicycle repair and maintenance techniques.  The Outdoor Adventure Coordinator offers clinics on flat repair, basic maintenance, and on-the-road skills at different locations throughout New Haven. Cost of this workshop is $5 dollars for New Haven Residents and $10 for non New Haven residents. Participants are welcome to bring their bikes, or choose one of the bikes that will be available. Please pre-register and bring clothes that may get stain with grease. Tools will be provided.

For dates or more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov


Bike Excursions

The Outdoor Adventure Coordinator leads a series of bike excursions during Spring Summer and fall to accommodate participant’s interests and skill levels. Bikes and helmets are available for rent, including electric-assisted bikes.


Autumn Airline State Park Trail Bike Ride 

The Outdoor Adventure Coordinator will lead a round trip  on this spectacular  bike trail, including transportation between New Haven and the eastern  trail head in East Hampton, CT. The completed section of the Airline Rail Trail is a 22.4  mile section in Eastern Connecticut on the former tracks of the New Haven, Middletown & Willimantic Railroad. The trail is composed of ballast, stone dust, and packed dirt, thus, most suitable for mountain bikes.   Hybrids, and Cyclo-cross bikes may also perform well, but we do not recommend using a road bike here. Participants will have 4 hours to ride as far as they wish during this time. For instance, fast riders maybe able to go all the way to the end (22.4miles) and back (total of 44.8 miles), but most casual riders may choose between 40 to 25 miles round trip, as there are many spectacular places to stop by and enjoy the scenery, including some well places picnic tables and benches.

 Cost: New Haven residents: registration $10 per person includes transportation, copy of map, beverages and snacks Non New Haven residents:  registration fee $15 dollars per person includes copy of map, beverages and snacks. Optional charges: Bicycle and helmet rental:  $10 per person. 

For pre-registration or more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov  Dates will be in Mid-Late October, depending on the foliage.

Ride the New Haven section of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail  

In Late spring and summer, the  Outdoor Adventure Coordinator will lead a round trip of approximate 30 miles (round trip), riding from New Haven to the end of this section of the bike trail, Cornwall Avenue in Cheshire. This ride will be on asphalt, suitable for road and mountain bikes, and will include street crossings. Ride starts the Ella B. Scantlebury Playground in New Haven (end of Bristol Street past Ashmun Street) Behind Yale Health Center. The tour will depart at 5:30 PM and return around 8:30 PM.

Cost:  New Haven residents: registration $5 per person includes copy of map, access to water and snacks.

Non New Haven residents:  registration fee $10 dollars per person includes copy of map, access to water and snacks.

Optional Charges: Bicycle and helmet rental:  $10 per person; Adult tricycle and helmet rental: $10 per participant;  E-Bike Rental and helmet $30 per person.

For pre-registration or more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov


Block Island Bike Trip

The Outdoor Adventure Coordinator will lead a round trip to this wonderful gem of an island. The ride takes the Shoreline East train the New London, and  the Ferry to Block Island. Participants will have from 9:45AM and 4:45PM (approximately) to explore the island by bike, go for swim in the Atlantic, check out lighthouses or eat at one of the restaurants on the island, most of which are centered around the harbor. Block Island is relatively small thus, seven hours is more than plenty of time to cover all corners by bike, including those areas where motor vehicles and mopeds are not allowed. 

This ride will be on asphalt and unpaved streets, crushed stone, dirt, and sand.  Thus, it will best for mountain bikes. However it is also possible to do it on a Hybrid, or  Cyclo-cross bike if riding carefully. Participants must obey all traffic rules and be comfortable riding on streets with vehicular traffic.

Cost: at the moment the anticipated cost of the trip is $95 for residents/ $100 non residents, and it includes train and ferry fees. This trip is held usually in late August or September depending on availability or weather conditions.   

For pre-registration or more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov 


East Bay Trail from Bristol to Providence Rhode Island

The East Bay is the  most famous bike trail in the North East. The ride is about 30.5 miles long, but participants can choose to ride less, or a bit more in the time allowed. The designated bike/[pedestrian only  trail goes for 14.5 miles (one way) on fully paved and  flat terrain following the coast line with spectacular views of mansions, estuaries, the bay, and awesome wildlife. Our route  also includes a side excursion to Colt State Park which is also a superb place to ride. Bikes will travel on a truck fitted with bike racks, and participants will travel in a comfortable air-conditioned van. Upon arrival in Bristol we will ride our bikes for approx. 3.5 hours, allowing time for   time for snacks, lemonade and ice cream along the way.   We depart around 8:30AM and usually return to  New Haven around 5:00PM.

Cost: $20 for Residents, $30 for non-residents.  Includes RT transportation, copy of the map, light snacks,  and guided tour. Optional Charges: Bicycle and helmet rental:  $10 per person;  E-Bike Rental and helmet $30 per person.

For pre-registration or more information please contact the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at (203) 946-6768, email: mtorresq@newhavenct.gov


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