Eric Martin, one of the owners of Wilderness Voyageurs, took part in the Trail Town Sustainability Summit. Read what they had to say “After a warm welcome from Cathy McCollom, director of the Trail Town Program (and fair-trade coffee from Reilly’s Best in Ohiopyle) Eric Martin of Wilderness Voyageurs in Ohiopyle started things off with a compelling and candid presentation about the challenges and successes his operations have experienced. Being in the business of “eco-travel,” over the past nine years he has been incorporating sustainable practices at his rafting company, retail store, Falls City Pub, and the Trillium Lodge as much as possible. As he sees it, sustainability is “not just for hippies anymore.” While encouraging, Eric was also realistic about the hurdles he and his employees have faced (ineffective local recycling options, an abundance of rafting equipment made from petroleum products, etc.). He stressed that sustainability does not mean a lower level of service, in fact, it’s about making smart business decisions that don’t cost a lot and often even save money.
Specifically, sourcing materials locally for building, lighting a bath house with passive solar methods (not a single lightbulb was used!), reusing scrap materials, recycling and making bio-diesel saves resources and money. For other initiatives like using “Greenware” biodegradable cups, the extra investment is worth it for the customer engagement, interest and appreciation.
By getting a little creative, “rethinking the process” and engaging his employees and customers in the process he continues to expand his sustainable practices and create a unique brand identity for his businesses and experience for his customers.
We’ve had some warmer weather and Upper Yough releases this past weekend with more warm weather coming this week. However winter isn’t over yet and your in luck if you need some winter gear!
Chuck might round house you if you don't take advantage
If your looking for creeking gear we just got in gloves and mambas. With creeking season coming up it might be time to consider a new rescue vest. Check back here for the coming review on the Stohlquist and Astral pfd’s.
Remember – Wilderness Voyageurs Outfitter Store is open year round! So if you come into Ohiopyle to enjoy the winter views, cross country skiing, snowshoeing or winter kayaking & you can come warm your fingers and toes in the store. Falls City Restaurant & Pub is open Thursday – Monday with great beers on tap and nightly specials.
IS OPEN!!! We are here for you and the extra play days suddenly in your schedule.
Ohiopyle is one snowy delight. Thanks to Ohiopyle State Park for keeping the bike trail tracked for cross country skiing. I’ve heard a lot of people complaining for the last 2 winters that they haven’t been able to use their snowshoes. If that rings true for you – don’t miss this opportunity! Some trails are too deep for skiing right now, but are ideal for snowshoes. Just be prepared for a good workout.
If you do want to ski, our advice is either stick to the bike trail or go steep! The snow is so deep right now that making normal tracks is difficult. There are plenty of fun runs around the park that often aren’t skiable. But they are now! The pipeline off Firetower is a blast, but isn’t for the faint of heart and does require quite a trudge out on the bike trail.
When you’re done playing in the snow, come warm up at Falls City Pub. The pub is open Thursday through Monday with a Wii bowling championship ongoing. There is great micro-brew selection including Hop Devil IPA, Dog Fish, Burning River and plenty more. The Black Bean Burrito and Chicken Wrap are 2 of the favorite eats.
Here is a shot of Garrett St looking from the store down the street towards the pub. And what’s that forecast I just saw? Another 10 days of powder coming to 15470!
Favorite Gear of the Week: Aside from a Subaru with snow tires, Mountain Hardwear’s Nitrous Jacket is closely trailing The Synchro ski jacket and pants!