Family hiking, fishing vacations


Week of May 1-7, 1997
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Family hiking, fishing vacations
Question: I have two children ages 5 and 8. We are interested in a week-long vacation anywhere in the contiguous United States. Ideally, we would like to base at a lodge and be able to go hiking and fishing in the month of August.

David Rosenstein
Lexington, Massachusetts

Adventure Adviser: August is the perfect month for hiking and fishing — you’re free of snow in the mountain states and almost free of mosquitoes in the northern states. There are literally dozens of locations I’d recommend, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll try to limit my suggestions and give you a geographical mixed bag of options.

In the east, there’s always the family classic — the Adirondacks. The Saranac and St. Regis Lakes area is loaded with family activities such as swimming, hiking, fishing, and roasting marshmallows around a campfire. From Saranac Lake, a not-too-steep family hike is the 2,452-foot Mount Baker. For other hiking options, pick up trail maps from the Chamber of Commerce
(518-891-1990). Fishing for lake trout, brook trout, and land-locked salmon can be arranged through McDonnell’s Adirondack Challenges (518-891-1176) or Middle Earth Expeditions (518-523-9572), or you can always just throw out a line on the end of the dock. Private cabin costs range from $700 to $1,500 per week (call Century 21 Wilkins Agency, 518-891-0001).

Farther north, try Maine’s Northern Outdoors Lodge. Though the focus is on rafting the Class II-IV Kennebec River, you’ll find plenty to do on the 100-plus acre resort, including fishing for smallmouth bass, taking a rock-climbing course, or renting an inflatable kayak. The lodge has six rooms that sleep up to six people, and 10 mini lodges that sleep eight and have their
own kitchens. Prices range from $30-$45 per person. Call 800-765-7238.

In the Midwest, you have the whole coastline of the Great Lakes to choose from, but a particularly spectacular section is the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. A five-hour drive from Minneapolis, the North Shore offers one massive body of fresh water as well as hundreds of inland lakes to play, fish, and hike along. The Gunflint Trail, a 52-mile paved road that
starts in Grand Marais and skirts the edges of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, boasts dozens of first-rate lodges where you can canoe, fish, swim, hike, and enjoy the great northern solitude. The Gunflint Lodge offers a nature program and a family vacation package. Call 888-486-3546; costs range from $300-$600 per night depending on the meal plan.

About 13 miles east of Durango, Colorado, on the shores of Vallecito Reservoir, lies The Wit’s End guest ranch and resort. A spectacularly situated log lodge, the Wit’s End is the jumping-off point for horseback rides and hikes into the San Juan Mountains, as well as fishing excursions on nearby Vallecito. Nearby attractions include Mesa Verde National Park and the
Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Train. The all-inclusive price for meals, activities, and horseback rides is $7,793 for four. Call 970-884-4113.

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