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Family Summer Adventures Close To Home

By Blair Winans

Charlemont, MA – Now that school is out, parents are planning their summer vacations. The cost of vacations and safety are on their minds more this summer than in the past. According to Travel Industries of America (TIA), Americans will be taking shorter trips that are closer to home this summer and are interested in getting the best deal for their money. Family travelers are avoiding long plane rides to destinations that are not considered very safe. Zoar Outdoor offers just such a value with a variety of easy family trips that are only hours from most southern New England metropolitan areas.

Zoar Outdoor started its family-style float trips on the lower Deerfield River on June 15th. These raft trips are a late afternoon float down the river for kids 5 years and older and their families with lots of time for swimming, splashing and a picnic supper. Other afternoon trips offered on the same section of the river, are single sit-on-top kayaks for kids 12 years and older and double kayaks for kids 7 years and older accompanied by an parent.

The Zoar Gap raft trip is a day of class 2-3 whitewater and offers a bit more thrill for families with kids 7 years and older who can swim. Kids swim through the current, eat a riverside picnic lunch, and do lots of water splashing in the river. It’s a great way for the family to spend time together outside and beat the heat of summer vacation.

For families with kids 14 years and older, the Dryway raft trip provides a full class 3-4 whitewater experience. This trip is a day of adrenaline rush, with plenty of paddling through holes and major wave trains ending with a big barbecue at Zoar’s base.

Zoar’s western Massachusetts location can be reached within 2-3 hours from Boston, Albany, Hartford and Providence. Reservations are recommended and can be arranged by calling 800-532-7483 or on the web at


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