Specialized Outdoor Adaptive Recreation @ NORA
“Finally—ADAPTIVE outdoor recreation opportunities close to NYC!
Since my dad’s accident in 2017 in which he suffered a spinal cord injury, he’s relied on a wheelchair and I’ve been on the lookout for ways to improve his quality of life. An avid outdoorsman who was enjoying the early days of his retirement, he finds his sudden disability frustrating, to say the least. It was through a newsletter for GRIT (a rough-terrain wheelchair) that I learned of the new partnership GRIT and Northeast Off-Road Adventures. I reached out to NORA to learn more, and Scott, the owner, was more than happy to elaborate on their mission in starting the Specialized Outdoor Adaptive Recreation (SOAR) program. Not only that, he invited my Dad and me up for a visit to check out what the fledgling program has to offer. A date was set, and my old man and I made the 2-hour drive up Scott’s place—not a bad drive considering the next nearest such adventure outfitter is over 6 hours away.
When we arrived at NORA’s 75-acre property perched in the beautiful Catskills, Scott greeted us with enthusiasm and warmth that never waned. He and my Dad hit it off, and I felt really comfortable, knowing that my Dad was in good hands. I also felt good about the true ADA-accessibility of the gorgeous Training Center—from wide doors and railings to bench seating by the fireplace a sleek stairlift. Scott is a passionate dude, and I’m grateful he’s turned his energy toward the noble cause of adaptive adventures.
Over the next few hours, my dad used one of the off-road wheelchairs; first learning to maneuver it in the parking lot with the help of Scott’s sons. He weaved around orange cones, then worked his way over to a hill. Then he took a few spins around the woodland trails, newly constructed just for Adaptive Adventures. All the while Scott offered pointers & encouragement. My dad tried out the chair on various other sections of terrain, and before he got too tuckered out, we were off on a Jeep tour of some gnarly trails! Honestly, I’m a hiker chick and not into motorized vehicles, but this was interesting.
I know I’ll be back to check out some of the wilderness first aid and survival skills classes, and based on how much fun my dad had at NORA, we’re also sure to return when the SOAR program fully launches. THANK YOU, Northeast Off-Road Adventures!” – Jessie K. Trip Advisor – Aug 2019
NORA is excited to announce our new Adaptive Adventures program: SOAR!
This program is recommended for participants with disabilities requiring use of a wheelchair. Some activities (not all) require participants have sufficient upper body strength and trunk control to navigate/use a manual wheelchair.
These adventures offer our guests opportunities to recreate at NORA’s private 75-acre mountain top accessible facility. We are working in cooperation with Helen Hayes Rehabilitation Hospital, GRIT Freedom Chair and the Disability Opportunity Fund, and Action Trackchair to bring you innovative and exciting programs for you to enjoy and be challenged. We have several options to choose from:
- Individuals and groups may build a custom event based on the activities listed below. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to review options and book your private day.
- Register on-line and attend one of our program samplers offering guests to try different activities.
- From the creators of BFGoodrich 36 Hours of Uwharrie: Ready for a challenge? SOAR Team Competition: Teams (1 chair guest and 1 able-bodied aide) earn points in this set of unique skills challenges. Our competition includes 3 stations: GRIT Freedom Chair, air-gun marksmanship and an off-road ride-a-long scavenger hunt. Come to NORA to challenge yourselves and have fun! 2020 dates to be announced.
Here are a sample of activities that NORA’s SOAR program offers. Contact us to plan your day with one or more activities for you and your group.
- GRIT Freedom Chair Woodland Coach & Ride
Learn about the manually powered GRIT Freedom Chair and how it operates. Includes training and workshops navigating obstacle courses and woodland trails.
- Action Trackchair Woodland Coach & Ride
Learn about the Action Trackchair and how it operates. Includes training and workshops navigating various types of rugged terrain.
- Introduction to Off-Road Driving (with adaptive controls).
Learn off-road driving principles and drive our obstacle course & woodland trails using one of our NORA 4×4 Jeeps equipped with adaptive controls. (Guests need to be certified to drive on-road with adaptive controls).
- Off-Road Ride-a-Long
Enjoy an off-road ride-a-long as your NORA guide drives you through our natural terrain trail network including steep uphills, downhills, rocks and ledges. Consider an optional lunch-in-the-woods at one of our serene woodland areas.
- Air Gun Marksmanship
Practice your marksmanship skills at NORA’s air gun range under the supervision of NORA staff. Includes safety class and operations review for different types of air guns.
Check out Richard Corbett’s video from NORA’s August 2019 SOAR Sampler Event