Take a Hike! Active Travel Vacations

Fit women and their families are flocking to exciting, active vacations in record numbers, and the North Shore is no exception.


Whether you heli-hike the Canadian Rockies (that’s hiking with the help of a helicopter to get you to remote mountain terrain), walk on glaciers in South America or bike through Europe, adventure travel is the fastest growing segment of the market and our local ladies can give you lots of good reasons why.

Leslie Cogan of Highland Park has biked and hiked her way through much of the world and even went horseback riding through Italy. She says that these trips form and deepen friendships. She found that her group was totally supportive and that “you just can’t duplicate that kind of bonding.”

If you are not as experienced as Leslie, you might try “princess camping,” like Libertyville’s Sandy Burkett did years ago when she began adventure travel. All the equipment was provided, carried and set up for her. She now chooses trips with long bike rides and luxury beds at the end of the day. Sandy and her husband, Jim, travel with friends who range from occasional riders to serious cyclists.

Amy Thalmann of Glenview found that her multisport trip through Costa Rica allowed her to experience adrenaline thrills in areas where she wouldn’t have gone on her own. Rappelling down waterfalls and white-water rafting offered heart-stopping, memory-making moments. The opportunity to experience—rather than merely visit—a destination is the reason for adventure travel.

While heart-stopping action may not be for everyone, active trips offer sweetheart moments, too. Joan Huening of Libertyville celebrated her 20th anniversary with her husband in the wine country. Having never considered herself an athlete, she was surprised at how “exhilarated and energized” she felt biking through the rolling hills and valleys.

The beauty of an adventure vacation is that you get to decide how much activity you want to do that day. You can learn to salmon fish or kayak, or just saunter through the woods and appreciate your surroundings. And, “at the end of the day, you’ve really accomplished something,” Cogan says.

Have a hankering for some adventure? Check out these travel companies:

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