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Sunday River’s Top Ten Summer Experiences
Newry, Maine (Summer 2013)—Voted by Yankee Magazine as “Best Mountain Park” in 2012, Sunday River Resort and the surrounding Bethel area offer numerous adventures for families and individuals alike. Lodging deals at the resort start at $49 per person for our Bike and Bed Package starting in June or $99 for a condominium. Tack on an Adventure Pass for unlimited access to twin ziplines, scenic lift rides, the bungee trampoline and disc golf course for just $25 and you’ve crossed off four of the experiences listed below.
1) The Sunday River Bike Park is packed with over 20 miles of terrain perfect for honing your downhill skills or learning new ones. Riders can take advantage of a full fleet of Kona rental bikes and will appreciate the resort’s uphill bike transport sysystem. New this summer, bike clinics for riders of all abilities will help take skills to the next level, which is handy given the addition of three Eastern States Cup Maine State Championship events scheduled to take place here August 4 and September 21-22.
2) Fly through the air with the greatest of ease via a Sunday River Zipline Tour with six lines ranging from 100 feet to 300 feet in length. All thrills, no skills, the resort’s Zipline Tour is perfect for the beginner or intermediate adventurist. Guides set the pace and scene by helping you into your harness and assist you when loading and unloading at each line. The Tour’s grand finale is a zip down one of the resort’s two parallel Twin Zips, which span 750 feet in length. Of course no tour is complete without a heartfelt round of “Zip ah dee doo dah!” Tours take about two hours, but for those with limited time Twin Zips can be done separately from the tour and are a perfect quick fix.
3) After working with gravity while on one of Sunday River’s ziplines, take to the air and try and defy it using the resort’s Bungee Trampoline or test your stregth against it on the resort's new climbing wall. Oversized trampolines will help propel you to space while the bungee’s harness system keeps you from orbiting. The harness system also conveniently allows you to flip forwards and backward safely as you bounce up to 20 feet into the air. The climbing wall, too, comes with a harness system. Its design, however, is to keep from gravity working against you.
4) Voted “Best Public Golf Course in Maine” by Golfweek magazine, the Sunday River Golf Club, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., features an 18-hole championship course that winds through one of Maine’s most picturesque alpine settings. Advanced golfers will love the challenge of a truly award-winning course, while beginners will love the clinics and wide-open fairways. New this summer, Sunday River Resort will host the New England Golf Camp—an overnight golf camp created for boys and girls ages 12 – 17 looking to take their skills to the next level. More information at www.newenglandgolfcamp.com.
5) On par with the fun to be had at the Sunday River Golf Club is the enjoyment to be found back at the resort on its Nine-Hole Disc Golf Course. Like traditional golf, disc golf offers the same entertaining perks of trying to get from point A to point B in the least amount of tries, but done in a cross-country setting using discs (Frisbee-like devices) rather than golf clubs and balls. Each hole is finished by landing your shot in a specially-designed basket.
6) On a hot sunny day, there is no better escape than the local swimming spot—Letter S. Located five miles past the picture-perfect Sunday River covered bridge, Letter S provides people (and oftentimes their four-legged friends) some much-needed salvation after extended sun time, mountain biking, or golfing. Located down a dirt road, Letter S is part of the actual Sunday River, which runs through glacial rock formations before widening out to what looks like a twisting letter “S.” Pack a lunch and some towels and don’t forget your sunscreen, Letter S boasts a small rocky beach with highly coveted real estate for tanning, as well as shallow water to refresh the tootsies with deep spots perfect for a full-on plunge.
7) It’s where nature meets technology when you partake in Sunday River’s Geocache Adventure. Located throughout the resort, geocaching involves handheld GPS devices to locate hidden treasure chests. Choose from a dozen cache locations throughout Sunday River, some close to the South Ridge base area and others accessible by a decent hike or lift ride. GPS rentals, lift tickets, and information are available out of Sunday River Sports in the South Ridge Lodge open Fridays through Sundays from 10am-4pm.
8) While you’re here, you have a plethora of off-site adventures that will entertain you and your entire family. Explore the Sunday River Valley on a guide four-wheeler tour with Sun Valley Sports or take a Wildlife Tour out of either the Jordan Grand or Grand Summit Resort Hotels for a tour that boasts a 98 percent success rate for seeing moose! And, don’t forget: the Bethel area is known for its mineralogy and mining. There are plenty of mining tours, including a tour of a working gem mine!
9) Whether you choose to ride it during summer, or take in the brilliant colors of fall from one of its gondola cabins, Sunday River’s Chondola is a must-do experience for all guests to Sunday River. Yankee Magazine ranked the Bethel area as the #1 New England leaf-peeping location and noted Sunday River’s Chondola as one of the best ways to take in all of the views. Summer and fall, the Chondola whisks guests to the mid-mountain Peak Lodge where views of the Mahoosuc and Presidential Range extend for miles and miles. Combine your Chondola tour with a ride on the Twin Zips and you save money!
10) There are foot races, triathlons, even adventure races, and then there are races like Sunday River’s Tough Mountain Challenge. This bucket list-worthy obstacle race takes some of Sunday River’s most well-known features and pins them against racers in a 5k obstacle course. Scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 20, registration for this year’s event is full and will feature 3,000 racers. Participants and spectators can expect a similar snowgun salute kickoff as well as some other race favorites including Slip, Slide, and Die. Kiddos can get involved too with the Mini Mountain Challenge scheduled for later that day. Missed this year's registration. Come check out the event anyway and prepare for next year's race. Registration information for the 2014 Tough Mountain Challenge will be announced online shortly after this year's race.
11) Why stop at ten when you can turn it up to 11? Taking some liberties with the definition of summer, we urge you to extend your list into fall for Sunday River’s annual Fall Festival Weekend, October 12-13. Whether you’re looking for a fun challenge of a foot race or you want to spend some quality one-on-one time with your significant other at our annual North American Wife Carrying Championship, the weekend is always full of fun with live music, a local crafts fair, beer tent, and slopeside barbeque as seen on such national programs as Live with Keely and Michael, CNN's the Situation Room, Travel Channel's Bert the Conqueror and Extreme Races, and ESPN.
Looking for #12? Check out this link for inspiration.