Explore the Cumberland Valley with Adventure Explorations.
The boutique outfitter offers hiking, biking, cycling, fishing, climbing, and more — with all the gear and food you need — so you can just show up and enjoy central Pennsylvania’s great outdoors.
There are values to all of Pennsylvania’s four seasons, but fall is a great time to view changing leaves and enjoy perfect temperatures, among other things.
Make a date with the great outdoors
Andy and I don’t get out much. It’s a sad fact, but true (we’ve been on exactly one date since the pandemic, and no, we don’t do cutesy date nights at home; we’re too tired).
However, we both love the outdoors, so I jumped at the chance to make him take a day off and join me for Adventure Explorations.
I’m also thinking of heading back with a friend — or even solo — to enjoy more of these great trails.
We had grand designs for a morning kayaking trip followed by an afternoon hike. However, life has a way of shifting things, and our guide was able to accommodate us without issue.
There are some serious perks to booking with Adventure Explorations.
1 | You won’t get lost
Your experienced guide will plot the route ahead of time. This means you don’t need to learn how to read a trail map or identify trail markers.
2 | You don’t need to pack anything
A few days before your excursion, Adventure Explorations sends you a confirmation email with helpful tips on how to dress and what to expect. Then, when you show up, they hand you a pack, and you’re on your way. Packs have first-aid kits, boxed waters, and some snacks.
3 | A local lunch is included
About 3/4 of the way through our hike, we happened upon some big rocks and sat down for lunch. Adventure Explorations brought along a blanket for us to sit on, cut a hunk of Talking Breads Pugliese and Apple Valley Creamery Butter, and offered Three Springs Farm apple cider and coffee. We noshed on these goodies, along with meat and cheese snack packs (also from Talking Breads), apples, and almonds.
Adventure Explorations aims to provide local goods and use sustainable packaging whenever possible. Bring along your own reusable water bottle if you can.
4 | It’s completely customizable
Booking with Adventure Explorations takes the work out of your hands, but you can tailor your trip however you like. Morning hike, afternoon fishing, multi-day excursions, you name it. They’ve even partnered with a local resort for day room access (say you’re bringing your kiddos, and you need a place for them to nap/take a break). Adventure Explorations also offers Team Building experiences for corporate or business groups.
Our hike along the Mason-Dixon Trail with a boutique outfitter
We met up with Cody Meassick, Adventure Explorations Co-Founder and Lead Guide, in downtown Boiling Springs.
After brief introductions, we followed Cody to drop his vehicle at our destination point, then all piled in our truck to head over to the start.
Cody chose a point-to-point hike for us given our time restraints. He chose the Mason-Dixon Trail for a myriad of reasons, and we didn’t see another soul on our hike.
The Mason-Dixon Trail is a 193-mile hiking trail connecting the Appalachian Trail with the Brandywine Trail. We hiked a mere <5 miles of the western terminus, traversing nearly 1,000 feet in elevation.
We moved at a decent clip — or a completely average one — about 30 min per mile. We’d pause occasionally for Cody or us to snap photos of native birds and other striking scenes.
About 3/4 of the way through our trip, we came to some flat rocks perfect for a lunch break. I’ve detailed that above, but Adventure Explorations provides lunch, water, and snacks in their packs. Cody even laid out a blanket and offered us coffee and hot cider!
A word about hiking for mental health
Like many of you, I’ve been struggling with anxiety this past year.
I was anxious arriving that morning, feeling a mix of guilt and fear that something could happen to Bo while we’re out there.
However, within five miles on the trail, those anxious feelings melted away.
The trail wasn’t too challenging but enough to watch my footing and get my heart pounding.
Enjoying Pennsylvania’s great outdoors — and doing something together with my husband — was a welcome and pleasurable experience, one I hope to repeat again soon.
Book Your Adventure
Learn more about Adventure Explorations’ options and availability on their website.