Switzerland Trips

Public and Private Trips to Switzterland!!

  • Public Trips – Click on the “Adventures” tab for upcoming trips.

    Take It Outdoors Adventures Switzerland
    Take It Outdoors Adventures Switzerland
  • Private Trips – Let us help you plan the vacation of a lifetime. Whatever your heart desires ( skiing/snowboardin, backpacking, sight seeing, mountain biking, cheese, chocolate & wine tours, road cycling, guided or unguided, etc.) Switzerland has what you are looking for.  Contact us to discuss what kind of trip you are looking for and we can customize every aspect of the trip (budget, locations, lodging arrangements, size of group, season, activities, length of stay, etc.) to accommodate you and your group.  I will be more than happy to create the trip of your dreams. Contact us at doug@takeitoutdoorsadventures.com
Mountain Bike Switzerland with Take It Outdoors Adventures
Mountain Bike Switzerland with Take It Outdoors Adventures

 

ABOUT YOUR GUIDE – Doug Chapman is the owner of Take It Outdoors Adventures, a recreational company operating in North America and Europe.  Doug grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and now resides in Switzerland.  All of his life, Doug has had a love of exploring new places and a deep passion for the great outdoors.  He founded TIOA in 2010 and started running local kayaking trips in the United States, eventually adding multi-day adventures to the Canadian Outback, Pictured Rocks National Park, Adirondacks and more.  In 2013, Doug met his wife (from Switzerland) on one of TIOA’s ski trips.  When she moved back to Switzerland, Doug followed.

Doug has had the fortune of touring and finding the best parts of Switzerland and her neighbors.  He also offers guided tours for people, families and groups looking to explore Switzerland in their own way.  Whether it is sight-seeing, mountain biking, road cycling, backpacking, skiing, etc., TIOA can cater a trip to anyone’s desires.

“When I organize a vacation I always have a plan…but part of that plan is being flexible.  Every group has its own personality, strengths, desires and dynamics.  You also never know when Mother Nature’s plans won’t cooperate.  I pride myself on my ability to understand the personality of the group and my ability to adjust the trip to fit that personality.  I always do extensive research on the area, talk to locals and local outfitters.  With this information, we have the option to change the itinerary in the best interest of the group.  Often times, we discover hidden gems that are less crowded then the hot spots listed in the brochures.  I have done the ground work in advance of my trips in order to give everyone a good mix of the ‘must see’ tourist spots and those hidden gems that the locals prefer, with the flexibility to adjust when it is most advantageous.”

Take It Outdoors in Switzerland
Take It Outdoors in Switzerland

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Schuylkill Shuttle – Riverfront Park, Pottstown

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Thanks, Danielle, for the picture!

We are excited to announce our new shuttle and rental service at Riverfront Park in Pottstown. Come out and enjoy the Schuylkill River Trail. All experience levels can participate and beginners are more than welcome.

Option 1: Ganshahawny Park in Douglassville to Riverfront Park in Pottstown (about 4.5 miles)

Option 2: Union Township Recreation Area to Riverfront Park (about 8 Miles).

Option 3: Riverfront Park to Linfield County Preserve (about 8 miles)

Bring your own boat or rent ours for a day of fun. We shuttle you and your boat or our rental boat to the starting point and meet you at the take-out.

Pedal and Paddle:  for those who want more exercise, meet us on the trail by bicycle at the start OR the end and we will have your bike there for you when you get out of the water to ride back to your starting point.  If you don’t have your own bike there are usually some bikes available through the Pottstown Bike Share program.

 

Rates for Rentals & Shuttles:

The cost of a shuttle, kayak rental, PFD & paddle is
Ganshahawny w/ shuttle, kayak rental, PFD & paddle – $40 (usually takes 1 1/2 – 2 hours depending on how fast you paddle)
Union Township Recreation Area w/ shuttle, kayak rental, PFD & paddle) – $50 (usually takes 3 – 4 hours depending on how fast you paddle).
If you are a beginner and want a 20 minute intro lesson we offer that for an extra $10 (full lessons are available upon request)
If you want to get a little more of a workout in you can bring your bikes and ride the Schuylkill River Trail to the put in location.  We will meet you with the kayaks and bring your bikes back and they will be waiting for you when you are done your paddle.  That price is $55pp & $70pp.
If you own your own kayak we will shuttle you and your boat – $20/$25
Call for group discounts or if you want a custom trip.
To make a reservation:

Times and dates are flexible.  To set-up your Schuylkill Shuttle, call Take it Outdoors Adventures at 610-656-3969, or email takeitoutdoorsag@gmail.com

For guided trips, camping trips, and other events check out our Meet Up page: http://www.meetup.com/Take-It-Outdoors-Adventure-Group/

Google Map Directions (click on the park name):

River Front Park – 

What are people saying?

“Met Take It Outdoors today at Riverfront Park in Pottstown. Sounds like a great service for kayakers and cyclists, as they provide shuttle services, kayak rentals, and best yet, they are a local business to support!” ~Danielle D’Aries

 Really great people. ” — Ernie

This is a great outfitter to work with, and I highly recommend him and his team! – Suzanne Muench

Check out the recent press about this new service:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/business/20160614/kayak-rentals-offered-by-pottstown-firm

http://www.trentonian.com/article/TT/20160610/NEWS/160619997

 

 

Wednesday Paddle (Lock 60)

CLICK HERE TO JOIN

Every Wednesday evening we pick a local paddle and meet around 6:00pm. If you have your own kayak these paddles are free (if there is a shuttle involved it is $10), however a donation is always appreciated in order to help me keep this tradition going. Afterwards we usually meet up for a bite to eat and some quality craft beer. If you don’t have a kayak, rentals are available for only $25. Just let me know and I can bring one for you. This is a great way to learn some basic kayaking and also meet some great, friendly, fun loving people. Everybody is welcome!!

This Wednesday we will meet at Lock 60 in Phoenixville. We will meet at 6:00pm and shove off around 6:15pm. We will paddle down the river for about 2.5miles and then paddle back to our cars via the canal. Click on the link below for a map of the put in.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/40°08’36.3%22N+75°30’30.0%22W/@40.14342,-75.50834,15z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0?hl=en

Kayak Rentals available -Cost – $25 – Let me know if you need a kayak by noon on Wednesday.  If you let me know later than that I may or may not be able to help you out.

Sojourn Kayak Rentals

Welcome to the 17th Schuylkill Sojourn.  My name is Doug Chapman and I own/Operate Take It Outdoors Adventures.  Dan and I will be with the big Penske truck with your kayak rentals at the start of every day.  After signing in with the SRHA please make your way over to us so we can get you outfitted with a kayak, paddle and a PFD.  Please don’t wait to the very last minute to come see us in order to avoid a mad rush during the morning safety talk.

Awesome end to Wed. night paddles!

Weds 1For those of us that gambled on the rain passing before we went paddling…we won!!  As we started driving the rain stopped and the sky started to clear.  The setting sun painted the clouds a beautiful orange and illuminated the wet autumn leaves.  Once on the water the mist started to rise from the lake as the air temperature dropped below the temperature of the water.  We paddle in a mist that continued to thicken so at times we couldn’t see the shore line, but the moon and stars were always visible above us.  It was the perfect end to the Wednesday Paddles and a perfect setting to paddle a few days before Halloween.  A trip to be remembered.

Thanks to Christian D. and Lana for sharing your photos with us!

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Yakers the Cat

Oyakers 5n Saturday, 10/25/2014 we were paddling on the Schuylkill below Hamburg. We were coming up on some light rapids and I chose to go river right. Just before I went down I saw Kris D river left and she appeared to be wrestling with a white plastic bag stuck in a tree. It’s common for us to pick up trash while we paddle, but I thought to myself “wow, she is a go getter, wrestling with a bag stuck in the tree limbs”. The rest of us gathered at the bottom of the rapids to wait for Kris. After a few minutes she came floating down with a white cat riding on the bow of her kayak. Kris said that he jumped onto her kayak and she couldn’t get rid of her. When Yakers 1I paddle up the cat smoothly walked onto my canoe. I have never seen a kayak act like this. She was obviously a lost cat, and she had been lost for a long time…she was skin and bones.
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We decided to stop for lunch so we could feed Yakers (her new name since she liked kayaks and wouldn’t shut up :- ). We put down some tortillas and peanut butter and she attacked it. After lunch we wrestled with whether we should take her with us or not. If we took her with us she would live, but would most likely never find her way home; if we left her she would most likely die. It was obvious she had been lost for a while and I had no reason to believe she would find her way home in the next two days, and I’m pretty sure she would not have lasted much longer with the cold nights on the horizon. This was obviously a desperate cat so we packed up and we took her with us.

She meowed and meowed, and purred and purred, but it seemed unsettled and wanted to get back on the bank. So we let her have her wish….only to have her running after us on theyakers 3 bank, putting herself in peril by running on a tree limb 20 feet off the ground and hanging out over the water. So once ayakers 4gain we changed our minds and decided she was now part of the group.

Kris D made calls to the SPCA and friends trying to find someone that could take this cat. In the meantime Yakers and I became paddle buddies. She liked to find high ground so she kept climbing onto my head. Eventually I took the hat off and we battled for a while because she still wanted the high ground. We finally compromised and I let her nestle down on my should for the duration of our ride. After about 1 ½ hours Kris’s friend intersected us on the river and took Yakers. Yakers was fed and slept in a warm house that night. I’m not sure where her new permanent residence will be, but I’m sure it will be better than what the outcome would have been.

Pine Barrens Paddle September 2014

The adventure started as we pulled off the paved roads and onto unpaved sand roads (more like trails and less like roads). Winding slowly into the depths of the Wharton State Forest, where the legendary Jersey Devil Resides. After a few miles we crossed over a bridge the length of the van and crossed a stream half that width. According to all of my research this little stream beneath me was our put in. After we crossed the bridge we had to navigate around cratespiders4rs that could swallow a Volkswagon Bug.

Once we pulled to a Pine 4stop we got out to check our put in spot. A Younger version of me could have almost jumped over the “river” we were about to paddle. Once we were all on the “river” we had no choice but to paddle single file as we maneuvered around and through low trees. While paddling around the hairpin turns, ducking and weaving, we all had a smile plastered on our faces realizing this was truly a special and unique paddle experience. At one point Chris decided to take on a passenger as he slid underneath a low hanging tree. He didn’t realize it, but I sure did. As he was maneuvering around and under the tree I was on the bank assisting him. I watched in silent horror as his hand kept grasping the tree several times grazing a huge, harry spider. I didn’t want to startle him and risk him tipping and going into the drink so I calmly asked him to paddle up a little before going under the tree…but the current had other ideas and wouldn’t allow it. As he ducked to go under the tree I saw the spider drop. I quickly scanned the water trying to catch site of him floating away, but he never surfaced. I calmly guided Chris over to the bank of the river to quickly examine his kayak, and that was when we found him cowering in the bow of the kayak down by Chris’s feet. We calmly got Chris out of the boat and removed the passenger. As the infamous saying goes “Ass, gas or grass….nobody rides for free”. Next I went back to help guide the remaining paddlers under and around the tree.

Miri was next. I assured her the spider was gone but as she approached the overhanging tree I saw another on in the exact same spot!pine 5! This time I was prepared with a kayak paddle and knocked him into the river. With that little excitement behind us we paddled on. I later discovered that the spider was a Fishing Spider and derives its name because it catches fish and eats them, and relatively harmless to humans. We found a spot to stop for lunch, but we had to watch our step…advice that Andrew did not heed and
sunk half way up to his knee. It was nice to sit in the middle of a forest with no signs or sounds of society. Signs and sounds we wouldn’t hear until the last 5 minutes of the trip.

While we were on the river experiencing our own autumn adventure through a wilderness in the middle of nowhere, our shuttle driver Matt was having his own experience. We had a couPine 3ple options to choose from to get to the take out. With a 15 passenger van and a trailer it wasn’t hard to pick the wrong option. Matt started driving down the trail and, much like our river it narrowed, twisted and turned. A couple of times he had to unhook the trailer to maneuver it around sharp bends in the road. A couple of times he got stuck and had to dig out with a stick. After maneuvering a 100 point turn, and hooking the trailer back up he headed back to where he started from and chose another route. This route proved to be the correct one…and the one we will take on future trips. I will forever be appreciative of Matt’s determination to get a job done, thinking outside the box, never giving up and arriving at the take out as planned. Thanks!!!

During our paddle we saw zero litter and heard zero carsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA, people, machinery, etc. It felt as if we were thousands of miles from civilization. Since we were paddling single file for most of the trip we often paddled in silence. It was different from a lot of our trips with people talking and laughing and sharing stories. This trip was a time to enjoy the beauty surrounding you, sharing an awesome experience with a group yet having the peace and quiet to enjoy the simplicity and complexity of the nature around us. That’s one of the things I like best about kayaks is you can be alone yet in a group sharing an awesome experience. It’s a great combination. If you missed this trip you will want to join us next year when we run it again. Next year we may add an overnight stay in the woods to add to the experience. This tip is a must!!!

Season Kickoff 2014

We kicked off the 2014 Paddling season in style this year with 28 kayaks on the water. It was a beautiful, sunny, spring day. A vast array of experience, ages and personalities were represented, and it was great to see everyone working, and laughing, together. Once on the water we had a nice leisurely paddle. We had two swimmers; one going in while making a noble attempt to pluck some litter out of the river. After the paddle we went to the Railroad Bar & Grill where many laughs were shared. Thanks to everyone that came out.

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