Excursion FAQs & Policies

AllldfasdfFor an overview of what excursions are see the Excursions Overview page. Parking & direction information, as well as registration waiver are contained on separate pages under the Excursions menu. Policies are at the bottom of this page. If your questions aren't answered please call our office at 781.206.4750. These trips are a lot of fun. We hope you join us!


What’s included with the trip?

Included with your trip is a guide or guides with first aid certifications for every portion of the day, transportation throughout the day, trail snacks, water, and some trips include lunch and/or appetizers. We also have relationships with some trip destinations that allow us unique access.

What should I bring?

You should bring appropriate clothing including sturdy foot wear (see ‘What should I wear?’ below), any medications you may need during the day, a signed waiver if you haven’t emailed one in already, a small backpack or equivalent, a water bottle, sun glasses, sun tan lotion, bug spray, binoculars, a camera, and a walking stick or pole if preferred.

How challenging is it?

All of our excursions are easy to moderate in difficulty. No special skills, experience, or gear is needed, though some particular gear is helpful (see ‘What should I bring’ and ‘What should I wear’ for more info). Most trips are made up of 2-4 hikes ranging from .4 miles to 4 miles, with most hikes having part-way options for individuals within parties who might prefer sitting and enjoying a vista, or bird watching, while the rest of the party reaches the farthest point before returning. There is also the option to stay with or near the van during 1 or all of the hiking portions of the excursion. The ‘moderate’ rated trips may include a longer individual hike, a hike with a steep or extended uneven sections, or other similar circumstances. Guides are there to help any and all through the more challenging sections. All hikes are on established and publicly accessible trails.

Will there be photos of my trip?

Yes! One of your guides will snap a few photos during the excursion and will be happy to share them with you before we part at the end of the day. You’re also welcome and encouraged to bring your own phone and/or camera. We’ll make sure there’s time in the itinerary for photography. If you’re a group of 8 or more we can customize a trip to be my photo-centric, if that’s what you’re looking for.

What should I wear?

The clothing you wear and bring can have a significant impact on your enjoyment of the excursion. We recommend bringing a pack or bag that can easily be carried over a distance and that contains spare clothing and gear:

  • a hat keeps the sun off your head, face, neck, and shoulders
  • sturdy footwear that can get wet, provide confident traction on wet rocks, and is already broken in
  • spare pair of shoes in case you’d like to change out of your hiking shoes at any time
  • non-cotton light long-sleeved shirt and long-pants to keep the sun and bugs off your arms and legs
  • a second non-cotton layer for your torso in-case you get cold, like a fleece
  • rain coat with hood
  • spare shirt & socks in case of rain, or a desire to change shirts before heading into an establishment near the end of the trip
  • gloves for trips before June 15 and after Sept 15
  • handkerchief or other cloth for your brow
  • sunglasses

How will the trip go?

Follow the parking information provided and we’ll meet you to begin our trip. We’ll talk with you to answer any initial questions you might have, to ensure all waivers and reservations are finalized, and to make sure everyone has a full water bottle, appropriate clothing, and any needed medications.

From there we’ll load into the van and travel to our first destination. Along the way we’ll get acquainted, talk about the day, have a snack & water if you like, and take note of any interesting points we may pass.

Each trip has its own itinerary, with some including lunch on the trail and others with lunch and/or apps & drinks in an establishment. All itineraries include hiking, site seeing, shopping, eating, and photography. Depending on the day guides may choose to re-arrange the itinerary to maximize group enjoyment.

All excursions include either a drink and apps or shopping, sometimes both, before loading back into the van to return home. We’re often on the lookout for ice cream shops as well. On the way home we can compare and share pictures, talk about things we didn’t get to do on the trip that you may want to do if you return, and enjoy each other’s company.

Can I book a trip last minute?

We do our best to accommodate last-minute reservations, but most of our trips are fully booked ahead of time. If the trip is available for booking online with the number of slots available that you need, the trip is still available. If there are no slots available, but you would still like to try and go on the trip, call our office at 781.206.4750 and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

Is it safe? 

While we have an excellent record, excursions and being out in nature have inherent risks. It should be recognized that accidents can and do occur. For this reason, we cannot assume responsibility for injury or loss of property. Participants in all activities will be required to sign a waiver stating they are aware of the risks involved and are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Those with health problems limiting their normal activities may be prohibited from participation at South Shore Outdoors’ discretion.  

What if I have food allergies?

All of our meals & snacks are either prepared by local restaurants or purchased at grocery stores. We do not purchase food with nuts, but cannot guarantee that the ingredients do not contain nuts or other food allergens. If you have food allergies or other special dietary needs, we strongly suggest you bring your own snack in non-glass containers and we will pack it with the trip, or it can go in your bag. If lunch is provided with the trip, please let us know ahead of time and we’ll be sure to have something appropriate for you. Please call our office at 781.206.4750 with any questions.

Do you have group rates?

Our rates are listed with each trip, including the number of slots available for any given trip. If you book 8 or more guests on one trip you’ll have the option of a private trip just for your group. If you have a group larger than the number of slots available, please call our office at 781.206.4750 and we’ll do our best to accommodate your group.

What do I do with my car keys?

Give your car keys to the guide before you leave the van in the morning and we’ll keep them locked away while we all enjoy the excursion, then return them to you on the way home. This will ensure no keys are lost on the trail.

Should I tip my guide? 

This is at your discretion. If you feel the service you receive from your guide is exceptional, and you want to say "thank you" with a tip, although it is not expected, it is always appreciated.

Can I request a guide?

If there is a guide you would prefer we will do our best to match their schedule to yours. Simply request your guide when you make your reservation. Please be aware that we are not always able to match requests, but we will do our best!

Weather policy

We run our trips rain or shine, so you should come prepared for the weather. If we do have to cancel the trip, that decision would be made the evening before the trip. However, it’s rare that weather forces us to cancel our excursions. If you are concerned about the forecast for your trip, you’re welcome to give our office a call at 781.206.4750.

Alcohol and Drug Policy

The use of recreational drugs or alcohol is prohibited on all programs unless patronizing an establishment that sells liquor, which many excursions do. If you arrive under the influence, you will be prohibited from participating in the day's activity and you will not receive a refund. 

Cancellation policy

Cancellations made more than 48 hrs before the trip time will receive a full refund. Cancellations made 48 hrs or less before the trip time will receive a 50% refund. If the trip is cancelled for weather you will receive a full refund.

Phones, Drones, Electronic Devices Policy

Drones are prohibited on all of our trips. Though we definitely recommend leaving your phone or other electronic devices in your car or the van, you may bring them on the trip at your own risk. Music is prohibited on the trail portions of excursions as it interrupts the quiet enjoyment of others on the trail, and several public trails have sanctuary rules banning music. Music on group outings is allowed at the guide's discretion.

All guests are required to sign a waiver. If it's not provided to you before you arrive, we'll have one for you at the start of the day.