There’s no better way to beat the heat than by hitting the water, and there’s no better way to hit the water than with the expert guides of Storm King Adventure Tours.

The Cornwall-on-Hudson based kayaking tour group, often referred to as “SKAT” by locals and regulars, is the premier exploration guide for the Hudson Valley’s star attraction: the Hudson River.

Owner and operator Kris Seiz has perfected the on-the-water experience for locals and tourists alike over the last 11 years. Recently awarded “Best Kayaking Experience in the Hudson Valley” by Hudson Valley Magazine and named the 2010 Business Idol of the Year by the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, Seiz’s accolades continue to grow.

The key to SKAT’s success is the “personal touch,” she explains.

“We don’t do online booking. I like to speak to my customers directly, that way I can get a sense of their kayaking experience and let them know how to prepare for their tour,” Seiz says. “Everybody has questions—I like to build a rapport with them before they even walk in the door.”

SKAT offers a broad variety of public and private tours featuring the flora, fauna and historic landmarks of the mid-Hudson Valley from May through October. From Moodna Marsh to Fishkill Creek, the kayaking company offers three- to four-hour tours of the iconic Hudson Highlands. Sunset, full moon, and mid-morning tours provide the perfect backdrop for the Hudson River.

One of the most popular tours offers access to Bannerman’s Castle, one of the stalwarts in Hudson Valley history.

“We have the Bannerman’s Island Kayak and Walking Tour. We circle the island first on kayak, then dock the boats and head up to the top viewing area where clients meet with a Bannerman Castle Trust historian,” Seiz says. Forty percent of the proceeds of the tour then go back to Bannerman Castle Trust.

The long-running business acts as a pillar member of the Cornwall community. Beyond their philanthropic pursuits through Bannerman’s Trust, Wounded Warriors, and a growing number of local organizations, SKAT brings together like-minded locals and visitors set on combining fitness with an appreciation for the Hudson River.

“Everybody becomes friends on the water,” she laughs. “They share a unique experience that brings everyone together from all walks of life.”

SKAT’s quality of service is unparalleled, with expertly trained guides certified in First Aid and CPR/AED through the American Heart Association, Seiz explains. The guides are also trained on the water in sophisticated water safety techniques. SKAT caters to clients of every skill-level—beginners and experts alike.

“We have ‘newbies’ on every tour,” she says. “Everyone is given a lesson before embarking on the water. The guides go over paddling technique, how to enter and exit the kayak safely, and how to adjust their foot rests and seats.”

For a full schedule of tours, visit stormkingadventuretours.com or call the office directly at (845) 534-7800.

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