62 Days of Summer
I’m pretty sure summer days last longer when you’re floating down a gentle river on an inner tube.
The sun’s on your face, one hand trails in the water and you bob along to the river’s song, propelled only by the current.
On days like that, you notice things you wouldn’t if you were motoring along in high gear — turtles sunning on logs, riverside wildflowers, the way the sunlight glitters on the water.
Since I was a kid, I’ve been tubing on the Battenkill River in Cambridge, where there’s a happy mix of lazy flat sections and small rapids. My family used to bring two cars — so we could leave one at the beginning and end of our route — and stuffed our own big, black tubes in the back. In more recent years, we’ve rented equipment and hitched a ride upstream from Battenkill Riversports.
If you go, I suggest renting a tube with a bottom, instead of one with a hole going straight
through the middle. It makes for a warmer ride and provides some protection if you scrape over rocks in shallow spots.
There are a bunch of places in the area that offer tubing trips. Here’s a list of some:
• Battenkill Riversports and Campground, 935 Route 313, Cambridge, 677-8868, www.battenkillriversports.com
Open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily
Rates: 11⁄2 hour rental, $20; 21⁄2 hours, $22; 41⁄2 hours, $24
Prices include tubes and transportation. All trips end at Battenkill Riversports. Call the office in advance for river conditions.
• Beaverbrook Outfitters, 888-454-8433, www.beaverbrook.net
There are two locations: Route 418 in Thurman, for lazy river tubing on the Hudson; and 595 Lake Ave. in Lake Luzerne, for whitewater tubing on the Sacandaga River. The company also offers rafting trips to the Hudson Gorge and Moose River.
In Lake Luzerne, Beaverbrook offers three whitewater rafting trips a day for those ages 5 and up, and tubing for those ages 12 and up.
In Thurman, tubing trips on flat water run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily though Labor Day.
Rates vary depending on trip.
• Sacandaga Outdoor Center, 4162 Rockwell St., Hadley, 696-7238, www.4soc.com
For the adventurous, there are daily tubing trips on the Sacandaga River’s class II and III whitewater. Participants must be over age 12 and at least 5-foot-4 in height. The guided 4-mile ride takes about an hour-and-a-half.
There are also rafting trips for ages 5 through adult, and flatwater tubing areas for kids as young as 2.
Rates vary depending on what you float on — tube, raft, inflatable kayak — and whether you have a guide.
• Town Tinker Tube Rental, 10 Bridge St., Phoenicia, 845-688-5553, www.towntinker.com
Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Labor Day.
Tubing trips on the Esopus Creek for those ages 12 and up. Shoes are required for everyone, and helmets are required for kids ages 14 and under.
Rates: Tubes with seats are $15; life jackets, $5; helmets, $3; tube taxi transportation, $5 per trip
• Tubby Tubes, 1289 Lake Ave., Lake Luzerne, 696-7222, www.tubbytubestubing.com
Guided two-hour Lazy River Tubing trips on the lower Hudson River take place daily through Sept. 2 at 10:30 a.m. and 1 and 3:30 p.m.
Rates: adults, $22.95; ages 12 and under, $19.95
Have a favorite summer activity? Let us know about it. Share your ideas for Summer Days at www.dailygazette.com/summerdays or [email protected]