ARE THERE FAMILY-ORIENTED BIKING TRIPS ON THE LEWIS AND CLARK TRAIL FOR A COUPLE WITH A 12-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER?
Illustration by Brian Cronin
St. Louis, Missouri
The explorer's bane is the mountain biker's bliss. Go with Western Spirit Cycling (800-845-2453; www.westernspirit.com) to the Bitterroot Mountains along the Montana-Idaho border for five days on the 90-mile Lewis and Clark Lolo Trail, built in the 1930s on an original Nez Perce Indian path that the explorers followed. Powering up and down a forested ridgeline at 5,000 feet, you'll get a serious taste of L&C country. Plus, you'll camp near the sites where they stopped. Cost is $895 per person. Though active teens will do fine, your 12-year-old may need another year. Warm up with Western Spirit's Yellowstone itinerary ($875 per person), five easy days across lupine-choked meadows.
WE'RE LOOKING FOR FAMILY RAFT TRIPS IN MICHIGAN IN JULY. ANY IDEAS?
If it must be Michigan, your best bet is the Class I-II Pine River in the northwest part of the state, about 460 miles from Cincinnati. The calm run requires no guide; Pine River Paddlesports Center in Wellston (231-862-3471; www.thepineriver.com) will outfit you. Michigan rafting, however, is like horseback riding on a carousel. For the Midwest's best rapids, try the Class II-IV Wolf River in northeast Wisconsin. Shotgun Eddy (920-494-3782; www.shotguneddy.com) in White Lake sends clients without guides on four sections of the densely wooded Wolf.
I WANT TO TAKE MY 13-YEAR-OLD NEPHEW SEA KAYAKING IN CANADA, BUT MANY TRIPS SEEM TO BE RESTRICTED TO AGES 15 AND OLDER. SUGGESTIONS?
Younger teens are welcome with Outside Expeditions (800-207-3899; www.getoutside.com). In fact, a three-day sea kayaking itinerary on Prince Edward Island north of Nova Scotia is a designated "family" departure. The launch point is North Rustico Harbour, where novices spend the morning getting comfortable with kayaking techniques. Since paddling usually takes up less than four hours of each day, thereÕs lots of time to splash around in the Gulf Stream-warmed water and look for harbor seals and the endangered piping plover. The cost is $325 per person.
WE HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS, AGES 13 AND 15. WILL A CRUISE BORE THEM?
Walnut Creek, California
Six words certain to make a teenager roll her eyes: "Shuffleboard tournament on the upper deck!" But National Geographic Expeditions (888-966-8687; www.nationalgeographic.org/ngexpeditions) had teens in mind when assembling an eight-day cruise on the 64-passenger Wilderness Adventurer. Each day brings a new antidote to antsinessfrom paddling along Chichagof Island to hiking through Glacier Bay National Park. The trip starts and ends in June, and the cost is $3,990-$5,290 per person, with an $800 discount for kids eight to 17. Dates: August 12-19, 2002.