Four Outdoor Hobbies to Try This Summer

What, were you really planning to jog all season?

Photo via Altrendo Images/Stockbye/Thinkstock.

People who flourish in New England tend to love the great outdoors, and we’re on the verge of the best time of the year for outside sports of every kind. (OK, yes, this was a very anomalous winter that let us enjoy way more than we usually would, but things were still a little chilly.) Now, with unlimited opportunities to enjoy the fresh air, why not consider breaking away from the norm and trying a few outdoor activities you may have overlooked in the past. Who knows? Maybe this could be the year you become a freewheeling sailor on the Charles.

  • Rock Climbing. If you weren’t deterred by James Franco in 127 hours, here’s your opportunity to test your inner mountain climber. On April 28, Boston Ski and Sports Club is teaming up with Vertical World Adventures for a daylong adventure in Westminster, where you can learn the basics of rock climbing from experts with years of experience. For $90 (or $80 if you are a BSSC member), you will be given all appropriate gear and instruction, and everyone, no matter their level, is welcome. If you can’t make it on April 28, check out Metro Rock or Vertical World Adventures for multiple indoor and outdoor sessions to whet your appetite for heights.
  • Biking. If you have friends visiting in town who want to do something beyond the usual, check out Urban Adventours for an alternative way to spend a sunny afternoon: bikes and beers. In the first part, you and your guests will be provided with a bike and tour guide. Choose from a day riding around the the city, the Charles, or the Seaport district, followed by some afternoon brews at the Harpoon Brewery. Once the beer part starts, your bikes will be picked up at the Brewery so you can enjoy the rest of your afternoon safely. Plus, once a month, the company also offers a ride that mimics Paul Revere’s Ride to Freedom: from the North End to Concord, this 25-mile tour follows the famed Minuteman Bike path and is perfect for fit history buffs. Tours range from $50-100.
  • Sailing. Envious of the sailors along the Charles River? Pick up a new hobby this year with lessons at the Community Boating Center. With 64 years of teaching and over 150 sailing craft and kayak, this is the place to learn. What’s more, after a few (long) lessons, you’ll be given a solo rating and be able to take out a small boat on your own, though only on calm-wind days. Take a few more classes and you’ll be able to show off in front of your friends by taking them out with you. Lessons are included in your membership; stop by an information session on April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to learn more. If a kayak or canoe is all you want to take out (or you don’t have the time to learn how to sail), you can also check out Paddle Boston.
  • Hiking. Before it gets too hot out, enjoy the fresh smells of blooming flowers with a hike at Blue Hills, a 7,000-acre reservation just outside of Milton, with over 125 miles of trails. Great Blue Hill reaches a total height of 635 feet, so it provides a heck of a workout for climbers, no matter your fitness level going in.