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About

Welcome to Discover Outdoors

Since 1982, Discover Outdoors has been the premiere provider of outdoor adventure for city dwellers, from beginner to mountaineer. Our mission is to bring balance to the urban lifestyle and give you a dynamic encounter with nature, designed to challenge, invigorate, and inspire. Leading thousands of explorers each year, we give you unmatched opportunities to develop new skills, test your limits, and attain a higher level of health and awareness.

Our Mission

Our mission is to improve quality of life through meaningful outdoor experiences. We strive to create a more connected community through the pursuit of outdoor exploration and education.

Our Team

Our satisfied guests tell us that our guides define the Discover Outdoors experience. Boundlessly passionate and caring, our outstanding team of men and women strive to exceed expectations and transform great days into unforgettable adventures. Our highly-qualified leaders hold only the highest certifications, setting the standard as industry leaders. In addition to backgrounds filled with travel, outdoor education, and sports expertise, our guides hold the following credentials: New York State Licensed Trail Guide, Wilderness First Responders or Wilderness EMT’s.

JOIN THE DISCOVER OUTDOORS TEAM

We are accepting applications for talented new interns and guides for 2014. Learn more >.


Kirk Reynolds

CEO, Guide, Wilderness FIrst Responder, Leave No Trace Trainer, AMGA CWI
Kirk Reynolds

Kirk aims to turn New Yorkers into hikers—- one office worker at a time. Hailing from a small Missouri town, Kirk moved to New York City pursuing big dreams and even bigger ideas. Kirk blends passion with excellence to ensure Discover Outdoors is second to none. A competitive sports enthusiast and nine-time marathoner, Kirk is committed to sharing his excitement for the outdoors. His worldwide adventures have informed many of his plans for unforgettable, inspiring trips. Under his leadership, Discover Outdoors offers the ability for urbanites to take part in exploration and adventure.


Lucas Warton

General Manager, Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Lucas Warton

Lucas grew up spending summers working on and hiking near his grandparents’ Andean farm in Peru. From the northern outskirts of Boston, he spent many weekends memorizing the trails of the White Mountains and routinely beating the cog railway up Mount Washington. His first official guiding experience began at Bowdoin College, in Maine, where he led wilderness trips for the outing club. Formerly on Wall Street, he left his job to cycle across country. Lucas recently completed a pre-med program while guiding and working as an EMT. He firmly believes that the best cure for the malaise of city living is a good romp in the woods.


Marc Cassone

Philadelphia Regional Director, Guide, Wilderness EMT
Marc Cassone

Marc spent much of his youth hiking and backpacking throughout the Adirondacks. Marc graduated from Colgate University with a degree in International Relations and an impressive record as a varsity crew team member. He has backpacked throughout the Northeast, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, California, Europe, and Africa. He’s guided on Mount Kilimanjaro and in the Spanish Pyrenees, and has successfully toured Mont Blanc. When Marc isn’t finding new routes to explore, he enjoys skiing, wakeboarding, competing in triathlons, and scuba diving. Most importantly, Marc loves sharing the outdoors with hikers of all levels.


Evan Oppenheimer

Guide, Wilderness First Responder, L1 Avalanche Certified
Evan Oppenheimer

As a senior guide for Discover Outdoors, Evan is fully in his element when exploring the world outdoors. He is a local New Yorker and an avid mountain biker, hiker, snowboarder, trailrunner and yogi. He has climbed into the world of mountaineering, completing his first big-mountain ascent in August of 2009 on Mt. Shuksan, while raising funds the youth of the Summit for Someone program. Evan holds a Masters in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness from New York University. When not guiding for Discover Outdoors, he works at the JCCA Compass Project helping young adults with special needs find career and educational direction.


Pete Relyea

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Pete Relyea

Pete may say he grew up in Brooklyn but no one seems to believe him. Teen weekends splitting wood in Pennsylvania and trips with the Boy Scouts provided a solid base for his outdoor life. After college at the Virginia Military Institute, Pete packed up and hiked the Appalachian Trail. Military school gave him ample experience orienteering and mentoring groups. He has spent time hiking and rafting in Ecuador, surfing in Costa Rica and adventuring throughout Europe. Pete has guided three successful summit treks on Kilimanjaro, climbed Mt. Meru as well as a number of volcanoes in Mexico and a trek to Machu Picchu.


Arielle Caruso

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Arielle Caruso

Arielle grew up traveling and developed a passion for exploring new cultures at an early age. Although she spends the work week at an art gallery, she spends all of her free time planning her next adventure seeking out new mountains, beaches, and jungles. Growing up on the grounds of her family’s day camp, she developed a boundless sense of adventure and a love for the outdoors. She filled her days with swimming, horseback riding, and exploring the woods. These days Arielle practices yoga daily, hikes, and snowboards. She lives for adventure and feels there is nothing more thrilling than exploring the beauty of our natural world.


Dane Bjorklund

Guide, Lifeguard, Wilderness First Responder
Dane Bjorklund

Dane is thrilled to live in the energy of New York but looks forward to weekends in the wilderness with Discover Outdoors. Dane was raised hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, fishing in Wisconsin. When he’s not hiking on trails, he builds them. He has worked with conservation organizations in Tennessee and Idaho. Dane seeks adventure everyday and appreciates the natural beauty found in the wild.


Mike Wenger

Guide, Wilderness First Responder, L1 Avalanche Certified
Mike Wenger

Mike got hooked on the outdoors growing up as a boy scout in New Jersey. He caught the travel bug in college while visiting 16 national parks during a three-week road trip, climbing Mount Kenya, rafting at Victoria Falls in Zambia, hatching turtles in the Virgin Islands, and hiking volcanoes in the Canary Islands. Now that he is based in New York, he is always on the lookout for a means to escape the concrete jungle to hike, mountain bike, backpack, ski, snowboard, rock climb, wakeboard, and kayak. He is excited for the adventures to come and the amazing people he will meet along the way.


Marcus Brooks

Guide, Wilderness EMT, AMGA-CWI
Marcus Brooks

Born in Harlem, Marcus has never let the city keep him from enjoying the great outdoors. His passion for adventure sports include hiking, climbing, skiing and spelunking.  He developed his love of the outdoors at a young age and had he pleasure of hiking the Grand Canyon while studying at Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona.


Ben Keene

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Ben Keene

Ben grew up hiking, camping, swimming, and canoeing along the east coast before ending up in New York where for years, most of his ascents involved climbing flight after flight of stairs. International travel helped him reconnect with the outdoors though, and he has since explored Europe, Asia, and Central America by foot, bike, and boat. The author of Best Hikes Near New York City, he now contributes to publications such as DRAFT, the Village Voice, Wend, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, Rails to Trails, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Ben is always ready to share his deep appreciation for nature and conservation.


Kevin Cafaro

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Kevin Cafaro

Kevin grew up in Ohio and New Jersey in the scouts, spending his days in the woods and climbing things he wasn’t supposed to. Nowadays you can find him hiking and climbing in the Shawangunks and the Adirondacks. He also enjoys snowboarding, scuba diving and sailing in the tri-state area. He is always ready to share his experience as a high ropes instructor, and loves hitting the trail with fellow New Yorkers.


Nathan Duclos

Guide, Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, L1 Avalanche Certified
Nathan Duclos

Nathan Duclos is a Wilderness EMT and is currently finishing his Paramedic training. As a licensed EMS instructor, he teaches wilderness medicine classes domestically and around the world. Nathan has climbed Aconcagua, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Whitney, many peaks in Alaska. He has expertise in wilderness and search and rescue and has travelled to Haiti to provide emergency medical services to victims of the 2010 earthquakes and Tanzania to provide healthcare in rural village clinics. Outside of work Nathan teaches theater at a high school and spends his free time biking, kayaking, hiking, skiing, and playing soccer.


Marc Leone

Guide, Wilderness First Responder, AMGA CWI
Marc Leone

Native to the northeast, Marc was born and raised in Southern Connecticut. As he kid he loved getting lost in the woods on missions to clean up the litter left behind by others. Now he spends his time kayaking on the rivers and lakes in Connecticut, hiking, camping, and climbing whatever he can get his hands and feet on – still carrying his trash bag for litter and determined to complete his childhood mission. He has recently hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park, camped on the gulf shore in Alabama, and backpacked through western Turkey. Marc loves meeting new people and discovering new places with others.


Dan Cooper

DO Foundation Manager, Guide, Wilderness First Responder, L1 Avalanche
Dan Cooper

Getting outside has always been a part of Dan’s life, from his early days in Utah skiing, rock-climbing, and backpacking, to his later years in Alaska ski-mountaineering. Most recently, he combined his love for being in the mountains with a love he has for education by serving as a US Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan; in his free time as a volunteer teacher he skied and hiked in places around the country. Graduate school in International Educational Development at Teachers College brought Dan to New York City, but the energy and culture keep him here.  He loves that he hears so many languages spoken and sees such diversity.  Nowadays, Dan combines his love for education, the outdoors, and New York City by getting its residence off the pavement and into the mountains as a guide with Discover Outdoors.


Nancy Henning

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Nancy Henning

Growing up in the remote suburbs of New York City, Nancy has always had an appreciation for the city’s proximity to beautiful, remote, natural escapes. After college her vacation trips quickly took on an adventurous overtone seeking beautiful, remote places which presented physical challenges and yielded outstanding scenery among its rewards. Her international summit and adventure list spans five continents and will someday reach all seven. Nancy’s love for adventure has taken her to the summit of Mt Elbrus and up Kilimanjaro twice. Here on the home front, she is excited to introduce New Yorkers to the natural beauty of her home state.


Myles O’Connell

Guide, Wilderness EMT, Swift Water Rescue
Myles O’Connell

Myles moved around quite a bit growing up, from the beautiful Northeast, to the wide open Southwest, before finally arriving in Southeast as a teenager.  His love of the outdoors developed there in the vast Blue Ridge Mountains, and grew exponetially while living and hiking in the Sierra Nevadas after college.  Now living in New York, he spends most weekends exploring the region where he made his earliest memories, leading hikes and meeting adventurous New Yorkers. 


Elise Johnson

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Elise Johnson

Elise grew up in Chicago and graduated from Colgate University, where she was a staff member of the Outdoor Education program for three years as well as an avid astronomer, geologist and travel junkie. It was working with Outdoor Ed that her love of the outdoors found an outlet, and she spent the next few years learning and teaching how to “leave no trace,” rock climb, ice climb, tele-ski, spelunk, and cook a delicious couscous dinner in the backcountry. Elise loves getting her fellow New Yorkers as excited about the outdoors as she is, but when she’s not hiking you can find her examining rocks in Central Park, pointing out the two constellations visible from Manhattan or prepping for her next big adventure.


Beth Harrison

DO Foundation Managing Director, Yoga Instructor, Wilderness FIrst Responder
Beth Harrison

Beth’s passion for travel and adventure has taken her most recently to Glacier, Big Bend, and the U.S. Virgin Islands National Parks, as well as Iceland, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Closer to home, Beth enjoys hiking, backpacking, and snowshoeing throughout the Catskills, Shawangunk, and Adirondack regions, as well as kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding on the Hudson River. A former outdoor education instructor in her native Ohio, Beth is currently a certified yoga teacher and the Managing Director of the Discover Outdoors Foundation, which provides outdoor experiences to underserved teens in New York City.


Neale Batra

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Neale Batra

Originally from Michigan, Neale began his outdoor excursions with the scouts, learning to appreciate the woodsy charms of the Midwest. Quickly expanding his outdoor horizons, he has since guided climbing, whitewater, and backpacking trips in locales ranging from West Virginia to British Columbia to southern California. His personal expeditions include mountaineering in Wyoming, backpacking in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, and completing first descents of remote slots in the Grand Canyon. Neale loves introducing people to outdoor activities and seeing them bring those experiences back to their daily lives. When not planning his next trip, Neale can be found preparing the Philadelphia for public health disasters or playing his violin.


Marie Siwicki

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Marie Siwicki

Marie grew up exploring the wooded landscapes of southeastern Pennsylvania. She resolutely took to the mountains during her college years in New England spending her summers and weekends exploring the White Mountains and the Green Mountains. At Brown University, she had the opportunity to lead backpacking trips for the school’s outdoors program. Her pursuit of adventure has taken her from the Himalayas to the deserts of West Africa. Her most recent endeavors involved leading trips in the Cascades of Washington and the Rockies in Montana. She is happy to be back on the East coast, and is thrilled to share experiences of new and wild places with her fellow east coasters.


Geno Carragee

Guide, Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Trainer
Geno Carragee

From childhood family camping trips throughout the East Coast to summers working and guiding in Alaska, spending time outside has always been one of Geno’s life passions. Sharing this love of the outdoors and the skills required to enjoy and preserve wilderness comfortably and safely provide him with great life balance as he resumes his studies here in New York City. Over the last decade Geno’s interests in mountaineering, sailing, and backpacking have taken him professionally and personally from Alaska to Argentina and many places in between. Geno looks forward to meeting new people and bringing this excitement to the wild just outside the city. He is particularly excited about the potential of bringing New York City students into the outdoors with the Discover Outdoors Foundation.


Dan Brooks

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Dan Brooks

Growing up in the South Jersey Pine Barrens inculcated Dan with a love of the outdoors that has followed him as he’s traversed the globe through the Americas and Europe . An avid backpacker and hiker, Dan also enjoys paddling, cycling, and has recently taken up skiing.  He has led trips from New York State to Costa Rica. He returned to the Delwarare Valley in the Fall of 2012 after spending several years reveling in the alpine joys of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Dan loves to explore and experience remote and ignored places in both the front- and backcountry, and is an ardent Philly sports fan.


Ben Rausch

Guide, Wilderness First Responder, L1 Avalanche
Ben Rausch

Although Ben is a native of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, he considers himself a local to the backcountry slopes of the Colorado Rockies. After spending multiple ski seasons out west, and growing up with long summer days full of hiking, camping, and boating throughout the mountain ranges of the Northeast, Ben never stops dreaming of epic powder turns and calm mornings on glassy lakes. Deep down, Ben believes more than anything in the power our natural environment has to instill the values of self-awareness and self-reliance. He believes escaping to a wilderness setting is not only an important educational experience, but essential to finding purpose and balance in ones daily life.


Andrew Nave

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Andrew Nave

Andrew grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where he learned at a very young age that he grew a strong connection with the outdoors and wildlife. This passion for the outdoors has lead him to become an professional guide in hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking over the years. He is thrilled to pass along his knowledge to all walks of life interested in getting outside and connecting with nature. Andrew loves to learn the best recipes for the back counry as well as learning new trails to share with others. He sees that the knowledge you can gain from nature are endless; embracing them as much as possible. Whether he’s hitting a local trail or out on another adventurous trip, you’ll always see a smile on his face!


LeAnn Holland

Guide, Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Trainer
LeAnn Holland

Born to the unique prairie ecosystem of western Minnesota (where the grasses grow seven feet tall and the trees grow miles apart), LeAnn embraced the simplicity and remoteness of primitive living. For diversity and adventure, she traveled to every U.S. state but Hawaii and 17 foreign countries, seeking out opportunities for mountaineering, expedition kayaking and Tae Kwon Do. On summer breaks from teaching middle school on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, she put over 1500 miles on her legs hiking the Badlands, High Sierras of California and the Appalachian Trail. Now in NYC working on her PhD. in Philosophy and Education, LeAnn lives to connect people to nature.


Sam Combs

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Sam Combs

Sam hails from the North shore of Long Island where, believe it or not, it’s still possible to wander in the woods. Love for running, swimming and hiking were instilled early on by his parents who, being from Oklahoma, also enthusiastically encouraged exploring the wide open spaces of the South West. Sam loves to share stories from the road and hopes to keep adding to his adventures which include a tour of Central America, a sixth month 20,000 mile road trip from New York to Alaska and a recent summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Sam enjoys nothing more than to get out with fellow New Yorkers into some of the deep spaces that, luckily enough, are well within reach of our great city.


Shannon MacDowell

Adventure Fit Guide
Shannon MacDowell

Born and raised in the rugged terrain of south central Alaska, Shannon’s love of outdoor adventure stems from a childhood spent skiing, hiking, sea kayaking, and trail running. Her passion for reconnecting her clients to nature is combined with a focus on alignment, functional movement and performance training. Shannon is an established fitness and outdoor sports trainer, instructor, and a dedicated stand up paddle board guide and instructor for the Manhattan Kayak Company. Inspired by the incredible growth of the sport world-wide, Shannon co-founded Suplogix LLC, a research group dedicated to studying the biomechanics of stand up paddle boarding. Shannon holds certifications from ACE, the Kane School for Pilates, and a BFA from Rutgers University.


Mike Gwozdek

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Mike Gwozdek

Mike was born and raised in Michigan where he learned to enjoy the outdoors through family camping and fishing trips. He spent the majority of his summers in the woods and winters in the snow having Calvin and Hobbes inspired adventures. When software brought him to NYC, he started “commute hacking” by running to and from work to avoid the busy subway. To reconnect with the outdoors he began doing backpacking trips using only the tri-state commuter trains. He has traveled extensively and his hobbies include skiing, triathlon, and obstacle course racing. Mike believes that a lifestyle including outdoor activity is the path to happiness and gets a tremendous amount of enjoyment seeing New Yorkers have that realization as well. Constantly in search of the next adventure, Mike is pursuing an Appalachian Trail thru-hike from Georgia to Maine.


Chris Varley

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Chris Varley

Chris grew up circling the globe as his father’s work moved his family to a new country every few years. He was riding elephants before he’d even seen a horse and his introduction to bicycles was through rickshaws in Bangladesh. Chris remembers being silenced by the tremendous natural beauty of the Himalayas and has found peace and calm in the outdoors ever since. He found his way to New York City after serving in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic and is working as a musician in Brooklyn. He loves the energy of the city and as long as he keeps getting outside and meeting new people, he couldn’t be happier.


Josh Floyd

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Josh Floyd

Josh is happy anywhere he finds himself outdoors, from paddling in the Adirondacks or climbing volcanoes in the Cascades to biking the congested streets of NYC or relaxing on his rooftop in Brooklyn. A southern gent from North Carolina, his wife is an Oregon gal; these two states form pretty plump and rather shapely playgrounds. Residing in New York City over the last six years though, he thankfully admits that he has supremely enjoyed (and desperately loves) the hundreds of miles of ski and hiking trails only a short distance away. An ‘outdoorsman’ who tries to squeeze everything he can out of that noun, Josh’s experiences in the field feed his always on-going education and his desire to help fellow city-dwellers renew their innate connection to wildness.


Zach Fisher

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Zach Fisher

Zach grew up in Northern California sandwiched between the coast, the redwood forests and the city of San Francisco. As a kid, his parents helped to foster a life of unbridled curiosity, an interest in art and music, and an acute connection to open spaces. As he grew older, he turned a romantic eye to New York and the culture of creativity that thrived there. He attends the Tom Brown Jr Tracker school in New Jersey where he studies primitive survival skills. Zach has travelled through Chile, India, Canada, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom, Bolivia, and more. He plays the drums, rides bikes, studies martial arts, writes, paints, and loves burritos. 


Fernando Molina Moyano

Mountain Guide
Fernando Molina Moyano

Fernando is from Mendoza, Argentina and recently moved to New York. He holds a three-year mountain guide degree and has guided mountaineering expeditions, trekking, and rock climbing in Argentina and Chile for ten years. Fernando has guided more than twenty expeditions to Aconcagua, which at 6,962 meters is the highest peak in the Americas, and has summited it numerous times. He has climbed mountains and rock faces throughout Patagonia and the Andes in Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia, and has also climbed in Venezuela, Brazil, Vietnam, and throughout the U.S. His summit credits include Half Dome, Rainier, Grand Teton, Pão de Açúcar and numerous 6000-plus meter ascensions, including several solo climbs and ski descents. He has also aided in multiple high altitude rescues. Fernando is SPRAT and IRATA certified, which has opened him up to the new world of industrial climbing.


Peter Moravetz

Guide, Wilderness First Aid, Swift Water Rescue
Peter Moravetz

Pete wholeheartedly believes in the power and sanctuary of the outdoors, and has had the opportunity to experience it in many forms.  His earliest outdoor adventures involved canoeing and fishing the lakes of northern Minnesota, and have ranged as far as backpacking in Patagonia, trekking the Inca Trail, and raft guiding the American River near Lake Tahoe. In past lives, he has been a middle school Spanish teacher, baseball and basketball coach, and avid surfer. When not thinking up a new form of backcountry cuisine to whip together, Pete is searching for a great adventure to provide his dog and plotting his next excursion.


Garrett Arnold

Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Garrett Arnold

Garrett grew up in North Idaho and developed his love for the outdoors early on while hiking and camping in the mountains of the Northwest. He completed his B.S. in biology at the University of Florida and his M.A. in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Missouri. Garrett is an environmental instructor at the Henry Street Settlement in the Lower East Side and has worked as the Government and Forest Policy Intern at the Wilderness Society in Washington D.C as well as a field ecologist in places like the North Slope of Alaska and Kruger National Park, South Africa. In his free time he enjoys rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, snowboarding, surfing, spelunking, and an occasional triathlon. He loves working in environmental advocacy and education and is excited to expose more people to the great outdoors.


Alex Wildman

Guide, Wilderness First Responder, Registered Nurse, BSN
Alex Wildman

Growing up with a last name of Wildman leaves few career options. Alex’s passion for the outdoors developed as a child while on frequent camping trips to the Adirondacks with his father. Once old enough to drive, the Northeast became Alex’s new playground. Between backpacking, climbing, mountaineering, kayaking, and cycling, the quest to see what lies beyond the next corner lead Alex on numerous journeys. From living in the backcountry of Alaska for three months, to riding his bicycle across the country, Alex has become a true believer that there are no ordinary moments. While not exploring, Alex spends his time working as a nurse and teaching the secrets of the world to his daughter.


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Maura

“The Elephant Volunteer trip was absolutely amazing and fantastic! I'm home one day and wish I was back at base camp. The group was awesome and patrol week was something I'll never ever forget! Thanks for your help and support! ”