Alternative Fitness Options Abound

Find out where to rock climb, row, zip and kayak in the First State.


If the elements of fun include air, earth and water, you’re in the right place. With creeks and rivers, a rock face and climbing gym, and a zip line course, you can row, climb and zing your way to adventure. The time is now.


It’s as easy as sliding into the cockpit of the boat, then paddling. With 117 miles of coastline, plus acre after acre of marshlands, ponds and rivers, Delaware is ripe for adventure. Six state parks offer easy to advanced routes. Go Quest Kayak in Lewes offers guides and themed treks, including Pints & Paddles (kayak the Broadkill, then tour Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton); sunrise, sunset and full moon paddles on the Delaware Bay; and maritime history tours of lighthouses, shipwrecks, tall ships and more. ( Coastal Kayak in Fenwick Island offers rentals; eco tours near Assateague Island in Maryland (famous for its wild horses); beginner, advanced and private instruction; and rentals for the independent spirits. ( Wilderness Canoe Trips in Wilmington offers more than 40 years of experience in kayaking, canoeing and tubing action on Brandywine Creek. (

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Delaware is not a major destination for rock climbing, but enthusiasts aren’t starved for action. Indoors or out, you can find vertical adventure. Go The Delaware Rock Gym in Bear, open since 2007, offers instruction in technical climbing (with ropes and harnesses) and belay. ( Alapocas Run State Park in Wilmington offers introduction to outdoor climbing via top ropes on blue rock cliffs, as well as rappel and climb-camp sessions. (


When you’re cruising down I-95 and happen to look at the Christina River, do you ever wonder, who are those rowing people? And how did they get here from Philadelphia? Wonder no more. Turns out Wilmington is a rowing hotbed all on its own. Go Wilmington Youth Rowing Association uses rowing as a building block for life skills like self-discipline, teamwork, leadership and more. ( Newport Rowing Club also offers programs and camps for youth. ( Wilmington Rowing Center has something for nearly everyone, offering summer classes for beginners, sessions for corporations and competitions to satisfy the advanced. Your dues buy you use of a boat and access to the boathouse in the Riverfront Shops in Wilmington. ( Go The Head of the Christina is an annual regatta on the Christina each October. It’s a test of strength for competitors and a blast for spectators. ( The nationally renowned Diamond State Masters, sponsored by the Wilmington Rowing Center, happens July 26-27 on Noxontown Pond in Middletown that is only open to rowers 21-over. (


Get all James Bond at Go Ape. Strap into a harness suspended from a pulley on an overhead cable, then scream 650 feet across Lums Pond. You’ll love the view. Go Lums Pond State Park, Bear (  

(left) A kayaker paddles near Fenwick Island. Photo by Ron Dubick (right) Photo Courtesy of Go Ape

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