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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Hit the Links, Trails, and Rapids in Jersey's Skylands


3. What to Do

The Diablo Freeride Park offers lessons, not a bad idea before you try this.  

Crystal Springs Resort boasts seven world-class golf courses convenient to the city. Beginners, tee off at the Classic and Villages nines, while experts should start at Ballyowen, a nearly treeless, Scottish-links-style layout that welcomes walkers. Take a caddie and book a late-afternoon tee time, as the club’s bagpipers play on the course at sunset. Wild Turkey has the best views of Delaware Water Gap, but the resort’s sleeper course is 27-hole Great Gorge Country Club, a serene, unembellished layout with three distinct nines (Quarry, Lake, and Rail). Take the kids to Minerals Golf Club, a sporty nine-holer with a second, larger hole for little ones.

Ride the rapids on the Delaware River with Phillipsuburg’s Lazy River Outpost, giving tours through the fall until November. Owner Hank Snyder tailors kayaking, rafting, or canoeing trips to client’s interests, from history and ecology to wildlife and botany. Afterward, Snyder recommends pointing your vessel to Riverside Barr and Grill (5801 North Delaware Dr.; Easton, Penn., 610-258-1008), on the Pennsylvania side of river a mile south of Martins Creek.

Bike rentals are available at Diablo Freeride Park in Vernon, home of the U.S. Open of Mountain Biking. Choose from almost 50 trails, accessed by a high-speed gondola—one is a 1,040-foot vertical, others hug the hills at right angles. Novices, play it safe and take a private lesson before hitting the trails ($49 for a two-hour session).

Observe packs of tundra, timber, and arctic wolves in a natural environment at Lakota Wolf Preserve. On weekends in the fall and winter, observation tours are at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Photographers can reserve a private, guided session for $300.

Valley Shepherd Creamery, Long Valley’s Euro-style sheep dairy farm that services farmers' markets in the city, is now booking for its 2009 cheese-making classes. Priced at $150, classes also include a private tour of the creamery, cheese tastings, and a luncheon on farm’s porch.

Published on Sep 24, 2008 as a web exclusive.

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