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Explore New England, REI Co-op Announce 2020-21 Sponsorship

By Tom Richardson
ENE host Tom Richardson, left, and REI Experiences guide Mike Sopyla mountain bike in North Conway, NH, for an locoing episode of ENE TV.

Explore New England’s new season of television programming on the New England Sports Network (NESN) is underway! And this year ENE is excited to announce a partnership with REI Co-op, the nation’s leading outdoor retailer.

The all-new 2021 episodes focus on a wide range of outdoor activities available to the New England traveler, including camping, ATV-riding, snowmobiling, camping, backcountry skiing, paddling, snowshoeing, mountain biking, boating, fishing, sailing, and even rock climbing!

“Filming our second season of ENE took us to so many awesome places in New England, and we met some fascinating people along the way who were willing to share their knowledge of the outdoors, be it fishing for smelt on a frozen lake or searching for moose,” said Host and Producer Tom Richardson.

Destinations featured in the 2021 series include Stonington, ME; East Haddam, CT; Boston, MA; North Conway, NH; Okemo Valley, VT; Baxter State Park, ME; Quincy, MA; Moosehead Lake, ME; Berkshires County, MA; and Rhode Island.

With 10 retail locations throughout New England, several episodes were filmed with REI Co-op Local Experiences team members, who contributed expert advice and knowledge to activities such as backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and rock climbing.  

“Part of the New England community for over 30 years, REI is a resource for those looking to recreate throughout a region that provides a wealth of opportunities to spend time outside, year-round.” said Becky Smith, REI’s Northeast regional director. “In partnering with Explore New England, our hope is to inspire viewers to spend time outdoors, exploring places close to home. Your local REI Co-op is here to provide expertise, gear, rentals, and guided local experiences.”

Episode 2 (North Conway Hike & Bike) in the new series features North Conway REI Experiences leader Mike Sopyla, who walks the viewer through the gear and riding techniques needed enjoy basic riding on some of the single-track trails in and around North Conway, New Hampshire. Catch this episode on June 27 at 9:00 AM. Click watch a short video trailer.

Also featured in the North Conway episode are members of the White Mountain Trail Collective, who reveal some of the behind-the-scenes trail maintenance work they do to keep access open to wide variety of outdoors enthusiasts in the White Mountains. Viewers familiar with Cathedral Ledge and Glen Ellis Falls will no doubt recognize some of the venues in this segment!

New episodes of Explore New England air each Sunday at 9:00AM on NESN, with rebroadcast on Mondays evenings (exact times are subject to live sports broadcasting). The episodes will also be available on the ENE YouTube channel one week after network broadcast. To view the entire lineup of 2021 episodes, along with their air dates and times, click here.