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10 Outdoor Team-Building Activities at Garnet Hill Lodge

Posted in General, Things to Do

In a post-pandemic world team building is perhaps more important than ever – especially if you have remote workers who typically only see each other over a Zoom meeting, or possibly have never even met in person before. It’s critical for teams to come together and have a renewed sense of purpose and strategy. If you’d like to ensure your employees connect with each other while having fun in a relaxed environment, consider outdoor activities.

group mountain biking

Here at Garnet Hill Lodge, we not only offer on-site trails, guided hikes, yoga classes, and more outdoor fun conducive to groups, but we’re the perfect property to host such a gathering. We have a four-season Outdoor Center with access to any equipment you may need, a restaurant and bar, various meeting spaces, and the experience hosting work retreats and team-building get togethers to tailer the event to you and your company. Keep reading to find 10 ideas for outdoor team-building activities to jump start your thinking on what might be right for your particular group. Plus, check out our available meeting spaces!

10 Outdoor Team-Building Activities to Consider

outdoor yoga session

  • Hiking: There’s a seemingly endless array of well-marked hiking trails in these dense woods. You can use as many parables and metaphors as you like, but sometimes climbing mountains, exploring abandoned mines, and learning about the region’s flora and fauna is ideal for the team’s collective soul.
  • Campfire Stories: Nothing elicits more in-depth conversation among co-workers than a crackling campfire under Upstate New York’s twinkling skyline.
  • Yoga: Carrie Kaufman’s methodology helps each individual envision their future both inside and outside of the company.
  • Canoeing: Paddle together toward a post, and learn about each other along the way.
  • Geocaching: The “world’s largest treasure hunt” is an easy way for groups to split up into smaller teams in search of a unique, heartfelt reward.
  • Mountain Biking: As noted in this extensive trail map, there are miles upon miles of well-marked routes for mountain biking on or near our hillside property. Team members can either race toward a “finish line” or simply embrace Mother Nature’s beauty on a sturdy bike.
  • Whitewater Rafting: We collaborate with six local whitewater rafting companies, all of which are just a short drive from the lodge. It’s tough to top the teamwork obtained on a rugged whitewater excursion.
  • Snowshoeing: No, we didn’t forget about winter. Guided snowshoeing, much like hiking, is a great way to get employees talking about things outside of work. Co-workers often become friends during such outdoor team-building activities.
  • Nordic Skiing: Nordic, or cross-country skiing, is an unparalleled experience on our 55km of freshly groomed trails (maintained daily!) in our snowy paradise situated at 2,000 feet elevation. We can cater to all levels of skiers.
  • A Scavenger Hunt: Yes, this one takes quite a bit of preparation and planning, but scavenger hunts can be completely customized to match your company’s brand and core values.

Not sure which of the above would most appeal to your group? Ask them! Use a tool like Doodle to conduct a survey asking your employees to vote – anonymously, or not – for which team-building activity most speaks to them.

Recent Renovations That Elevate the Work Retreat

collage of conference room photos


While Garnet Hill Lodge has always been a center for group outings and corporate retreats, over the past several years we’ve made major improvements that lend us to be an even more favorable choice in the Adirondacks. In August of 2022, we announced our new conference room and meeting space, and not long before that it was a new wedding pavilion.

Our newest conference room isn’t the only potential meeting venue on the property, though. The pavilion can be used for group outings besides weddings! This unique, outdoor meeting space option is 60 x 20 feet and is positioned so that guests can best take in the stunning mountain scenery.

The Importance of Team-Building

split image with people playing a shuffleboard type game on the left and marshmallows roasting over a fire on the right

We recommend browsing through our meeting venues page to learn more about specialty packages, rooms, and accommodations. Garnet Hill Lodge’s indoor and outdoor spaces can be utilized and ultimately customized in countless ways. The importance of team-building cannot be understated—we take these quarterly or bi-annual events with a great deal of care.

For even more potential outdoor team-building activities, please contact our retreat team at 518-251-2444 (or fill out this form). North River, NY, is less than four hours from Manhattan and just a short drive from Albany, Syracuse, and Utica, so we’re closer than you think!

Read about how we’re a great spot for hiking groups >>

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Garnet Hill Lodge

Garnet Hill Lodge