‘A Thrill At 3 Miles An Hour’
Try Northeast Off-Road Adventures
The Shawangunk Mountains are beautiful from just about any angle, but now you can experience them from behind the wheel of a Jeep at Northeast Off-Road Adventures (NORA).
Adventure-seekers from all over the country are making the trek to Ellenville for the experience of low-speed, offroad driving instruction. Owners Scott and Susan Trager and the NORA team of trail guides lead drivers through miles of pristine driving trails and obstacles at a 68-acre mountaintop facility.
Drivers can use their own 4-wheel drive vehicle or rent one of NORA’s Jeeps for the day.
“You’re off the road, you’re off the pavement, you’re in the woods and you’re in the beautiful Shawangunk Mountains,” explained Susan Trager. “You’re getting a thrill at 3 miles an hour.
“All of a sudden your left wheel is up, your right wheel is down, and you’re looking at your dashboard at a 45-degree angle. That can be a pretty scary thing, but your vehicle is certainly capable of doing that without missing a beat.”
NORA, which opened two years ago, offers classes by appointment only for students who want to learn how to drive off-road.
“Whether you are a novice or you have off-road driving experience, NORA offers a fun-filled adrenaline rush for all,” said Scott Trager, an off-road enthusiast.
Public and private classes are available, including beginner and advanced skills training, corporate adventure team building and multi-day driving events. Classes are usually held on weekends and by appointment.
Susan Trager said a typical session gets started with a 90-minute introduction in NORA’s open-air pavilion, followed by a trip to the parking lot, obstacle course and then the trails.
“The trails are groomed and pristine,” she said. “We haven’t had any sort of accidents or scrapes. The trails are maintained by our employees.”
Lunch is served on the trail and everyone talks about the experience before the afternoon session, Susan Trager said.
“It’s a little less hands-on from the guides,” she said. “We kind of let the students feel their way while they’re driving on the trails. Everyone is always together. They’re never off on their own. It’s a group-learning event.”
People come from all over the United States and even Puerto Rico, Canada, United Kingdom, Austria and Italy to hit the trails.
“We’re getting calls all the time from all over,” Susan Trager said. “We had somebody come up from Florida
“Whether you are a novice or you have off-road driving experience, NORA offers a fun-filled adrenaline rush for all.” – Scott Trager
Scott Trager said NORA has 25 5-star ratings on Facebook and several more 5-star ratings on TripAdvisor.
NORA’s website (www. nyoffroaddriving.com) is full of testimonials, such as this one from a driver in New Jersey: “I can’t say enough good stuff about the company. After doing the entry-level class and trail ride today, I am hooked and want more hands on knowledge. To sum it up in just a couple of words … super professional, super caring, super knowledgeable.”
Another driver writes: “I couldn’t be happier with my findings and choice to attend one of their beginner classes. The folks at NORA are professional, well educated, and love what they are doing. That is evident from the minute you drive onto their grounds and start meeting people.”
The Tragers bought the property six years ago and were hopeful about a possible casino opening in Ellenville, but that plan fell through. They are equally thrilled about developer Michael Treanor’s plans to bring Nevele ProSport, a $150-milion complex for youth sports to the former Nevele Hotel property in Ellenville.
“We just fell in love with the property and fell in love with Ellenville,” Susan Trager said. “There is just a lot of potential for this little town to sort of put it back on the map in a very positive way.
“The hiking is beautiful. The restaurants are great … the people are wonderful. Ellenville is going through a renaissance right now and we’re proud to be a part of it.”
The Chamber hooked NORA up with the children at the Center for Spectrum Services in Ellenville, allowing them to see the Jeeps and honk horns recently.
“Going to the Mixers is great,” Susan Trager said. “When we can do it, we’re more than happy to resource and work with people at the Chamber.”
NORA also gives back to local pantries and other community groups.
“We’re looking to expand and build a conference center and be more of a presence in the Ulster County area,” Susan Trager said. “We want to continue to network with people and bring people into the area so they can see what it has to offer.”
Northeast Off-Road Adventures, located in Ellenville, can be reached at (845) 514-9895 and www. nyoffroaddriving.com.