I’ve been playing cribbage for so many years that I can’t remember when I first learned the game. I know I played it with my folks when I was a teenager and I have taught all three of my children – who all enjoy a game or two – and I even ran a cribbage league in Silicon Valley years ago when I lived out there. It’s a fun, fast paced game where there are equal parts luck and skill, and it doesn’t involve expensive boards or much beyond just a deck of cards.
Unlike gin rummy or similar, however, cribbage is scored one or two points at a time, with two, three or four players racing to hit 121 points first. That means the scoring system is typically and classically a peg board where you leapfrog your two pegs along a track, side by side with your opponent or opponents. The most basic cribbage boards are dull, pedestrian affairs where players go back and forth on the track or (better) around a curved track with a start and finish point clearly visible. But it’s a popular game, so there are some rather fancy and ornate cribbage boards on the market.
I’ve never seen one as amazing and fun as the Summit Trail board, however, from Outside Inside Gifts. I bumped into it at the Outdoor Retailer show in Denver and, for obvious reasons, it caught my eye:
From above, you can see what I mean about it being a track you follow (starting at the bottom left, with the summit being the winning spot, of course), but you can’t see the amazing detail on this board. So, instead of talking about it, here’s a little photo tour of Summit Trail and its many outdoor adventure spots.
The entire adventure starts at the base camp cabin, which cunningly doubles as a storage spot for the pegs:
Then it’s up to the 25’s, where you pass an idyllic camping spot, complete with canoes:
A bit further along the trail, in the 50’s, you come up to what I call Kayak Point. It’s a bit of a haul to get them up to the plateau, but you know the view’s lovely:
Finally, the point of the entire (cribbage) adventure; the summit!
As you can see from the photos, this is a fantastic and highly imaginative board that’s sure to appeal to outdoors folk and likely will inspire many to learn cribbage just so they can figure out what it’s for in the first place! We’ve already played a couple of games and had a good time jumping over canyons and being stuck on bridges as we journeyed to the summit.
Two cribbage warnings, however: first, the pegs aren’t quite standard size compared to our other boards, so if you lose these you’ll need to find narrow pegs to work. Secondly, and this is a bit of a design hiccup; there’s nowhere to store a deck of cards. It’s odd because there’s definitely space in the unit base where a hidden storage space could have been included with a small door and space for a deck of cards, but there’s nothing. You’ll need to keep your cards separate from the board.
Still, I really love the Summit Trail cribbage board. It’s a centerpiece, entirely appropriate for your lake or mountain cabin, and ready for a quick game or just to admire as you recall your own mountain adventures. Any cribbage lover would adore it too, I’m sure!
Summit Trail Cribbage Board, from OutsideInsideGifts.com, $52.95.
Disclosure: Outside Inside Gifts sent me a cribbage board for the purposes of this review. Which was pretty sweet!