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Guys Weekend Done Right: ATVing, Fishing, or Rafting



Hey men! It’s time to plan a fishing, ATVing or rafting “mancation”

Are you looking to get away with your friends, leave your womenfolk behind, and have some good ol’ male-bonding fun? If so, you’re part of a growing trend of “mancationers.”

And if you need inspiration for your next mancation destination, you’ve come to the right place – we have plenty of suggestions. Just pick one, pack up, and push off.

Manly Activity #1: Gone Fishin’

What good is fishing if you don’t have anyone to brag to when you catch the big one? So grab your friends and throw in a line from a charter boat, a pier or the middle of a river. You can catch up while you’re waiting for the fish to bite or, if you prefer, just stand there and say nothing at all.

Where to Go Option 1: Freshwater Fishing in Michigan:

Michigan is home to some of the best freshwater fishing anywhere. It has the world’s longest freshwater coastline, lakes so huge you can’t see across them, and hundreds of rivers and streams that make it a fisherman’s paradise.

Where to Stay: Matson’s Big Manistee River Campground, Manistee, Mich.

Located on the Big Manistee River and Borski Bayou near the Manistee National Forest. Walleye, pike, and bass fishing are excellent in the summer. Salmon runs begin in mid-August and last until the end of September. Steelhead runs begin in October and go through April.

Approximate Cost of Manly Activity:

Boat rentals: $85 per day for a 14-foot boat with a motors Guide Service is available on the Big Manistee River for salmon and steelhead. Guide service for a full day is $325. Half days are also available.

Where to Go Option 2: Fly Fishing in Montana:

The Bighorn River is well known throughout the world for being a great place to go fly fishing. The first 13 miles have more trout per mile and a bigger average trout size than any other river in Montana. Peak fishing times are from April through September.

Where to Stay: Cottonwood Camp, Fort Smith, Mont.

Cottonwood Camp is nestled under towering cottonwood trees on 22 acres of well-kept lawns, surrounded by uninhabited fields and marshes, within sight and walking distance of the Bighorn River.

Approximate Cost of Manly Activity:

Boat rentals: $145 a day for a new Hyde drift boat. Shuttling your vehicle is included in the boat rental fee. Rental rates are based on three anglers per boat. An additional angler is charged at $20 extra per day.

Guide service is available: Two anglers are $495. Guide fees include time on the river with an experienced guide who provides fishing services tailored to the individual. The fee also includes boat lunch, non-alcoholic beverages, and all tackle, including flies. The fee does not include fishing licenses or guide gratuities.

Manly Activity #2: Riding All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)

ATVing has all the ingredients for the perfect manly activity: Dirt plus wilderness plus speed. Grab your buddies and go baha-ing across trails, screeching through mud, and jumping over monster sand dunes. Here are two parks we recommend for your ATV adventure:

Where to Go Option 1: Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Located on the Oregon Coast in Coos Bay, the Oregon Dunes is 40 miles of windswept sand that’s just waiting for you and your friends to explore. You can ride just about any OHV (Off-Highway Vehicle) such as ATVs, dirt bikes, jeeps and motorcycles or go on a group dune buggy tour.

Where to Stay: Woahink Lake RV Resort, Florence, Ore.

You can literally walk out of the back of this RV park and into the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Plus, for the ultimate in male bonding, the resort has a game room with video games and a pool table!

Approximate Cost of Manly Activity:

  • Rent your own quad: $60 per hour
  • Two-person buggy rental: $130 per hour
  • Four-person buggy rental: $175 per hour
  • Dune Buggy Tour: $30 per person (half hour), $55 per person (hour)
  • Giant Dune Buggy Tour: $15 per person

Where to Go Option 2: Hatfield McCoy Trails, W.Va.

They say West Virginia is “almost heaven” and you’ll feel like you and your friends are in it as you ride through the beautiful mountains on one of the largest off-highway vehicle trail systems in the world (approximately 300 miles of award-winning trails). The trails are open to ATVs, UTVs, dirt bikes, mountain bikes, horseback riders and hikers.

Where to Stay: Ashland Resort, Northfolk, W.Va.

Ashland Resort is the largest campground in the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System and the only Guest Rated™ “A” camping facility in West Virginia.

Accommodations include plush lodges, rustic cottages, and basic camping cabins plus an array of RV and tent camping facilities. The resort rents ATVs and provides direct access to the Hatfield-McCoy trails from its campsites and cabins onto Indian Ridge Trail.

Approximate Cost of Manly Activity:

  • Arctic Cat ATV rental, one-seater: $99 for a half-day, $149 for full day
  • Arctic Cat ATV rental, two-seater: $149 for a half-day, $199 for full day

Manly Activity #3: White-Water Rafting in Colorado

There’s no better way to bond with your buddies than working together to keep from spilling into the drink. Grab your group and enjoy the adrenaline rush of riding the rapids under the Colorado sun, then relive the thrills while you enjoy some local microbrews around the campfire.

Where to Go: Buena Vista, Colo. There are a lot of great places to go rafting in Colorado and Buena Vista is one of the best. It is home to the Arkansas River, which is surrounded by stunning scenery and has some of the most premier white-water rafting runs in the world.

Where to Stay: The below three campsites offer a variety of accommodations from tent and RV sites to cabin and trailer rentals.

Approximate Cost of Manly Activity:

  • Half day of rafting: $55-$60
  • Whole day of rafting: $85-$95

Of course, these are just a few suggestions of things to do and places to stay on your mancation. If you prefer to do the planning, just pick an activity and go to gocampingamerica.com to find a place to camp nearby. Meanwhile, direct your wives and girlfriends to Girls’ Weekend Getaway ideas so they can have a mini-vacation of their own. It’s a win-win situation.

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