EAST CANAAN – Here, in the moment, there’s no choice but to feel engaged. This drive boosts the adrenaline and heightens the senses.
“Ever since Covid hit, our business has increased quite a bit,” says Len Allyn, owner of Backyard Adventure UTV Tours. “We have something that’s pretty unique especially in Connecticut.”
But, let’s rewind.
A few years ago, Allyn decided to put 1000 acres of private property – mostly family land – to use. And folks don’t have to drive way up north to meet a Utility Task Vehicle.
“The controls on a UTV are just like a car,” explains Allyn. “You’re totally enclosed, you’re protected, you have a roll cage…once you put it in gear, it’s gas, brake, steer.”
Driving them is intuitive. Don’t worry if you’ve never operated one before.
“So once you’re behind the wheel and basically in the first 5, 10 minutes, you’re accustomed to it and you’re pretty much able to go over anything I take you on,” says Allyn.
We follow the leader (that’s Allyn) around tight turns and bumpy stretches.
“We have terrain that varies from pretty mild to stuff that can get your blood pumping so to speak,” he says.
The reporter gets a friendly warning from Allyn: “We’ve got a little downhill section we’re going to take you on…it’s quite steep but it’s something you’re going to be telling your kid about!”
And, yes, we take on an almost vertical embankment. Trust the equipment…and, honestly, it’s incredibly exhilarating.
“Families come, they do it, they tell their friends, they share it on social media, next thing I know I get all their friends calling me because they want to come up and experience the same thing,” says Allyn, pointing out interesting sights like a working limestone quarry. “What’s pretty cool is that this stone was used to build the State Capitol.”
We go from rugged terrain to this peaceful spot. Here in Connecticut, you can’t see any houses but you can see into Massachusetts and all the way over into New York.
“People, when they come here, don’t really know what to expect, and then when they come and see the beauty that’s in the Northwest corner of Connecticut, you kind of get a whole different feeling when you’re up here,” says Allyn.
So, get away from it all in style. Put the pedal to the metal on an experience that’s bold and a total blast.
“You can almost see a sense of relief on their faces when the family shows up, they start to smile, the family is all laughing,” says Allyn. “It’s been great.”
Be sure to watch our upcoming one-hour special focused on how the tourism industry is re-opening safely. Destination New England airs June 25 at 8 p.m. on MyTV9 and June 26 at 7 p.m. on News 8.