News From The Great Outdoors!

More Time With Friends in the Forest!

Andrew our Backcountry Intern is gearing up to launch an exciting series of trips that will showcase some of the Catskills hidden gems. Andrew is a Catskills Native, and has spent his life exploring the streams, lakes, and backcountry in the Catskills. His passion for angling is has driven him to explore places that, are often passed up by others.

His first trip, on June 21st,  will feature a nice walk, and some fishing instruction, at a highly underrated little spot known locally as "Spooky Lake." Tucked away in center of  the Bluestone Wild Forest, Spooky Lake provides a great opportunity to enjoy the peace, and quite of nature, without traveling too far. 

With its easy access and proximity to the Hudson River, and Rondout, this site was once home to the largest bluestone quarry in the Catskills. On our walk along the old quarry roads, and  footpaths we will see evidence, of how industry changed the landscape in the region. 

Spooky Lake is also home to one of Andrew's favorite fishing spots. The lake is home to Chain Pickerel, Yellow Perch, and Catfish. Be prepared to for a good fight if you hook one of these fish!

Keep an eye on our calendar for more adventures from Andrew, and the team!

*A NYS Fishing License is required for any aspiring anglers, 16 years of age, or older. 

Some of the Special Places Our Friends Have Shared With us

With a growing popularity of this program, we asked our friends to share their special places with us. We have been delighted with some of the stunningly beautiful locations we have gained access to. From Spillian, a Grand Cottage, and its enchanted forest, that once served as a Summer retreat to the Fleischmann family.  To the rolling open meadows, and trout streams, of Field & Stone. which sits on the site of the earliest settlement in Bovina.  We are excited to connect our friends to these special places, and to the special friends that have graciously shared them with us. There is something very special that happens when we slow down, and get to know the people and story of the beautiful places we enjoy. We hope you can join us on one of the great adventures in this series. 

Do You Have a Special Place You Would Like to Share?

Our friends From the Forest series has grown in popularity. We have even had two selections, that came complete with a full slate of participants ready to enjoy some time with us in the great outdoors! We are excited about this, but we would like to grow our ability to include more people. On our end we are looking into the availability of staff, so we could offer multiple outings to accommodate more time with friends in the forest. Another approach, (and this is where you can help) is to find private, or public parcels of land the would be suitable for a slightly larger groups. We encourage everyone to think of their favorite outdoor spaces, and consider submitting a selection to this program. 

From the rolling hills of a dairy farm, to the woods behind a house, we look forward to sharing time with you all, and we hope to share your favorite place in the outdoors with all of us!

To make a submission, email a location, along with a brief description to: WillSoter@upstateadventureguides. com 

Ahoy!!! Paddling Season is Here!!

Join us on the Water

We are so excited that warmer weather is finally here to stay! This year we are expanding our selection or paddling adventures  to include: canoe, and Kayak instruction for beginners, slow river, and lake paddles, and white water paddling. We look forward to sharing time on the water with you!

Weekend Adventures on the Waters of the Western Catskills

Join us for the Weekend!

We are very excited to announce that we will be teaming up with our dear friends at Susan’s Pleasant Pheasant Farm to offer family friendly adventure weekends. We will offer these weekend adventures  starting in the end of June, and  they will run to the end of October. Space is limited, so don’t wait to sign up!

We have created a well rounded itinerary to introduce adventurers of all ages, to the world of outdoor excitement, that can be discovered right here, in the Great Western Catskills. The grounds of Susan’s Pleasant Pheasant Farm feature trails, streams, forests, meadows, and of course the beautiful, Lake Wawaka. We are thrilled to be able to share this truly wonderful place with you. 

We will offer night paddling, hikes, fishing and paddling instruction, and time to relax in the swimming hole.  We have filled the weekend with activities, and lessons that will make you feel right at home in the great outdoors. Our team of guides, will teach you the skills you need to confidently enjoy a lifetime of adventures in the great outdoors. We look forward to sharing our passion, and knowledge for the outdoors with you, and we cant wait to spend time enjoying a meal around the campfire with you, and your friends and family.

For details, and rates visit:, or give us a call at 845-399-9948 

Summer Open House

Meet Local NYSOGA Guides

Come out to the Catskill Interpretive Center to learn more about the great opportunities to get outside in the Catskills this summer with members of the NY State Outdoor Guides Association. Enjoy expert demos and take part in hands-on activities celebrating summer recreation in the Catskills.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors, and Make Memories with Friends From the Forest!

Unlike any of the others series that I guide for Upstate Adventure Guides, The Friends From the Forest series has no specific destination,  or dedicated activity that defines how we will spend our time in the great outdoors. Instead, the focus will be the time spent with the people who participate. These trips will have no cost, although we strongly encourage participants to consider donating to the NYSOGA Kids to Camp program. 

 Other than the essentials for safety, I will focus very little on being the  "guide." Instead, I will let the people, the activity, and the destination speak for themselves. These trips will be limited to a total of 11 participants, so that we may adhere to the wilderness group limits, and best practices for ethical outdoor recreation. The first person who contacts me each week will get  to select the activity, and location. Keep in mind these adventures will take place on Wednesday each week, so we will have some practical limits on what we can squeeze into an adventure.  This series pays tribute to the experiences that inspired me to share my passion for spending time in nature with friends, and family.

I look forward to spending more time with those of you who I haven’t seen on the trail in awhile, as well as all the new faces we will get to know. I can’t wait to create many new experiences like the early ones, that inspired me to pursue adventure as a career. 

How it works!

To submit a location, and activity for an upcoming date, contact me at 

I will post the selected submissions to the Upstate Adventure Guides website, and social media,  with registration information. As well as, links to any relevant information, such as start time, driving directions, and what to bring to be properly prepared. The locations, and activities will be posted at the start of each week, for the following week. Adventures will generally take place on Wednesday, and Thursday.   Suggestions will be taken in the order they arrive.  I look forward to creating memorable experiences with all of you.

Happy trails,



Do you love the outdoors? Would you like to gain hands on experience with a successful leader in the adventure tourism industry.  We are looking for "front country & backcountry" interns to help us grow.  If this sounds like the adventure you are looking for,  send a resume and cover letter to

Here is a little of what we are looking for from our applicants. We look forward to hearing from you, and hope you can join us on this journey.

“Backcountry”--assist in planning, preparation and execution of our outdoor adventures and classes 

  • pre-trip logistics (menus, gear, etc) & client communication
  • managing group dynamic, creating excitement & encouraging group bonding. Developing the ability to lead a group of people with different motivations, abilities & experience levels to a common goal while ensuring all enjoy the experience 
  • build “hard” outdoor skills on instructional trips (e.g. Survival School, Navigation classes)
  • post trip communication & logistics

“Frontcountry”--assist with operations, business development, client communication & more. 

  • designing adventures & creating calendars for adventures and classes in NY, vacations, and international adventures
  • pre-trip & seasonal logistics of scheduling
  • effective marketing & engagement including content creation
  • client communication 
  • budgeting & operations 

Welcome to the Team!

2018 | Backcountry Intern

Andrew Surak was born, and raised in the foothills of the 

Catskill Mountains, in Boiceville NY. From a young age, he enjoyed fishing and exploring the great outdoors. Andrew is an avid trout fisherman having spent his lifetime fishing the fabled creeks of the Catskills. Andrew has hiked the trails within the region, and has a passion for finding the next hidden location off the beaten path. Besides spending his time in the Catskills, Andrew has traveled to throughout the US, and exploring 

the natural wonders he discovered along the way. Andrew hopes to help you connect with a simpler way of spending your time, by reconnecting you to the natural world. 

Andrew will be joining us on the trail, for our Friends From the Forest series, and around camp for some of our overnight adventures. Andrew will also be working to develop his own series of adventures that we will feature here soon.