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WEB EXCLUSIVE! Three more eco-adventures

Photo courtesy Sled Dog Ice Fishing

Sled Dog Ice Fishing Trips
Schroeder, Minn.
Twelve energetic Alaskan huskies pull visitors to the best ice fishing location on the frozen-over lakes of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The combination of ice fishing and dog sledding makes this trip a way to truly connect with the Minnesota wilderness.

Since no motorized vehicles are allowed in Boundary Waters, dog sledding is one way to reach places people cannot find except by food. Guides leading Sled Dog Ice Fishing Trips will allow guests to marvel at the remote snow wonderland where sightings of moose are common, before reaching a promising fishing spot on the ice. Whether travelers jig, bobber fish or peer into the freezing waters waiting to spot their big catch, the guides will help in teaching ice fishing techniques and cooking caught fish with lunch.

If your group would rather not brave the ice fishing portion of this adventure, many resorts and outfitters in nearby Gunflint also run dog mushing trips into Boundary Waters, such as Gunflint Lodge’s 30 sled dogs’ tours.

Dog sledding tours used to be the only way to travel in much of Northern America and Canada during the winter, as many tours will teach groups before they climb onto their sleds.
At least this outdoor expedition guarantees no bugs.

Wild Cave Tour in Blanchard Springs Cavern
Fifty-Six, Arkansas
Crawl and climb through narrow passageways and vast caverns on Blanchard Springs Cavern’s Wild Cave Tour at Ozark-St. Francis National Forest. Although limited to groups of 12, this caving adventure allows its participants an introduction into the world of spelunking in a guided tour.

The more rigorous Wild Cave Tour takes visitors into the underdeveloped middle level sections of Blanchard Springs Cave. Requirements for the trip include good physical condition, sturdy boots and other equipment provided by the tour. The guide leads participants by headlamp up steep slopes, down on their hands and knees under low ceilings and across red clay.

The end of the tour is worth the work at the Titans, a room with tall gorgeous columns.

For larger groups, the Discovery National Recreation Trail and Dripstone National Recreation Trail can take up to 30 people into the caverns. The longer and more demanding Discovery National Recreation Trail runs into the lower portion of the caverns past routes of early explorers and subterranean streams.

The path also passes by the Giant Flowstone, which is one of the largest flowstones in the world. Other features to wow cavers come from the cave’s natural features, such as the cavern creatures, dripstone and the colors of the Ghost Room.

White Water Rafting the Colorado River
Grand Canyon, Ariz.
Looking above, massive cliffs stretch skyward. Looking straight ahead, spraying rapids challenge rafters to the trip of a lifetime.

One of the most popular eco-adventures in America, white water rafting the Grand Canyon’s Colorado River can be both thrilling and peaceful at the same time. Since most visitors to the famous canyon only see the view from the top, a rafting trip is one of the only ways to enjoy being between the ancient peaks from below.

Hidden waterfalls, oases of plant life, ancient Native American ruins and the thunder of the water currents become common sights and sounds on a white water rafting trip through the area. Wildlife also frequent the area, such as blue heron, eagles and big horn sheep.

Each trip combines rafting skills with camping skills, since these guided trips last at least three days to seven days long.

Going with Western River Expeditions gives groups options to focus on the rafting, or to combine their Colorado River trip with one day and night at a working cattle ranch perched on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Horseback riding, Western entertainment and a helicopter ride ensure these guests enjoy every angle of the Grand Canyon.

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Eco-adventure calls