State Of Play USA: Falling for New England, Doug’s Story

We sent Doug Armstrong (London-based vlogger, challenge accepter and cheesecake lover) on a two week action packed adventure into the wilds of New England. Once we’d made him raft down every river, rappel every cliff face and swing through just about every tree in all six states, we gave him a quick break to send us his story.

Falling for New England, Doug’s Story

If you’d asked me a month ago what there was to do in New England, I wouldn’t have had a clue beyond perhaps finding a Six Flags Amusement Park or a Cheesecake Factory for that “all American experience”.

However thanks to STA Travel, I’ve just spent two weeks travelling through all six states of New England. So many places I visited left me wanting more, and each could happily have been the centre of a whole holiday. Allow me to tempt you with some of the highlights.

City Bike Tour in Boston

When you think of a city tour, you think bus, right? It never would have crossed my mind to be exploring a city via a guided group bicycle tour. Try it in London and you’ll be shouted and tooted at within two minutes, but cycling through Boston was perfect. There’s a mix of urban, suburban and green areas to explore, and even in the densest areas the traffic seemed to welcome cyclists. Definitely the best way to see the city and a far more memorable experience than sitting on a packed bus.

Sunrise climbing at Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor

When we had to change the time of our climbing session at the last minute, we were given two options: do it at sunrise or miss dinner. As a foodie, there was no choice and so the alarm was set for 3am the next morning. It was walking up to the cliff edge just as the sun was beginning to peak over the horizon that it became obvious that it was completely worth getting up for. The warm golden sun bouncing off the jagged peach cliffs, the sound of the loud waves crashing against the rocks below as I climbed up; definitely an experience I will never forget.

Insane ziplining in New Hampshire

I’ve been on a few ziplines before, all as thrilling and fun as the previous, but when we started off our day at Gunstock Mountain Resort by ascending 1,700ft in a chair lift, I had a feeling it was about to make all previous ziplines I’d traversed pale in comparison. They start you out on a ‘short’ line (still probably far longer than I had done before), designed to get you accustomed to the speed of the lines.

I got so carried away with the thrill I forgot to brake (you control the brake) and smashed into the long safety spring at the end (which of course is designed for people just like me and brought me disappointingly to a smooth stop). Then on to the big guns; you shoot down a lengthy line at speeds of up to 70mph with incredible, picturesque views surrounding you. Surely one of the best ziplines in the world.

Falling for New England yourself? Watch all 5 of Doug’s videos here!