Hang gliding; Ellenville, NY
Travel time: Two hours from NYC by car
Mountain Wings Hang Gliding has been teaching people to catch air since 1981. The full-day intro course will explain basic safety and glider operations; you'll spend about an hour on groundwork and then fly for the rest of the day. (mtnwings.com). Half-day lessons start at $140; full days (available weekends only) start at $180.
Zip-lining; Hunter, NY
Travel time: Three hours from NYC by car or bus
Normally a haven for skiers, this hunk of the Appalachians is also home to aerial downhillers. Zipline Adventure Tours' Skyrider Tour features the highest, longest, fastest zip-line apparatus in North America, but the company's Mid Mountain Tour and Adventure Tower are available for the less brave. (ziplinenewyork.com). Tours start at $89.
Shark fishing; Montauk, L.I.
Travel time: Three and a half hours from NYC by train
Captain John Krol is a professional fisherman in Montauk who takes out group charters on two different boats—the Movin On and the Let's Go Fishin. Think you have what it takes to bring down a shark? Let's see how you handle that chum stick. (movin-on-charters.com). Prices start at $950.
Rafting; Narrowsburg, NY
Travel time: Two and a half hours from NYC by car
Battle the white water of the mighty Delaware with Lander's River Trips, a family-run operation that has been leading outdoor activities in the Poconos since the 1950s. Test your will for an afternoon or stay overnight; Lander's has four riverfront campgrounds. (landersrivertrips.com). $39--$43 per person.