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Announcing American Forest Adventures.

Imagine yourself fishing in Yellowstone Meadows. The golden grasses spread out from the river, curving gently up to forested mountains on either side. Your line cuts a graceful arc through the crisp mountain air as you drop your fly into just that perfect spot. Imagine the flurry of activity as a cutthroat trout rises to your tease, doubles your rod, and makes your line hiss through the water

Or picture yourself cross-country skiing in the Adirondacks, or even llama trekking through the Rockies.

These trips and others are available this year through American Forest Adventures-AFA's new recreation program that includes outfitted trail rides, hiking, canoeing, rafting, fishing, and llama treks. The new program incorporates AFA's venerable Trail Riders of the Wilderness program with the best of what's new in recreation today.

"We've received a lot of feedback and suggestions over the past two years, " said Ali Phillips, director of American Forest Adventures. Trail Riders was very popular, but our members wanted more diversity to choose from. We found a growing demand for more water sports and winter activities, " he said. "And, of course, lower prices. So we've broadened our offerings and added more adventures in the East to reduce travel expenses. "

This year members can select a week of canoeing and hiking in Georgia's remote Okefenokee Swamp, Suwannee River, and Cumberland Island National Seashore. Guides lead participants through undisturbed surroundings, point out wildlife, and explain wetland ecology. Other water trips include white-water rafting in the Grand Canyon, and sea kayaking along Alaska's Hubbard Glacier.

To meet the increasing demand for off-season adventures, AFA kicks off its first season of Winter Adventures this year, allowing people to see different landscapes and the wildlife that lives there.

Members can enjoy six days of skiing and snow camping in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park, and they will be among the first visitors allowed into the Park after last summer's fires. Although most of the trip will cover unburned areas, participants will have a unique opportunity to survey the extent of the fire damage.

Winter also provides an opportunity to explore desert areas that are often inhospitable during the heat of summer. Offerings include a week of hiking in California's joshua Tree National Monument, including professional instruction in rock climbing and outdoor photography.

Bill Tikkala, organizer of the Natural History Safaris (part of American Forest Adventures), stresses the educational aspect of his offerings. During AFA's Mississippi Riverboat tour last year, members visited a river island where the Army Corps of Engineers was stabilizing shorelines.

For 1989, Natural History Safaris are scheduled for the British Isles and Alaska. "This year we're going to Alaska on a smaller cruise ship, " said Tikkala. "It comes in much closer to the shoreline, allowing the passengers to see up close the glaciers and wildlife. "

The Trail Riders program has come a long way since its inception in 1933. Outfitted trail riding still holds an important place in America's outdoor heritage, but as forest recreation continues to change and grow, American Forest Adventures will change with it to provide quality outdoor experiences and memories to last a lifetime.

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Copyright 1989, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:American Forestry Association's trips program
Publication:American Forests
Date:Jan 1, 1989
Words:521
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