Weekend whitewater canoeing escapes from NYC

May 5, 2004
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Weekend whitewater canoeing escapes from NYC

Weekend whitewater canoeing escapes from NYC
Question: I’m looking for a long weekend whitewater canoe trip within driving distance from New York — any ideas? Thanks!

David Pelesko
Roselle, New Jersey

Put together your own customized whitewater canoeing trip
Adventure Adviser: Here are a couple of options, within a half-day’s drive from Manhattan.

A mere two hours away, Clark Outdoors (860-672-6365) is a small outfitter in West Cornwall, Connecticut. There are plenty of Class I & II rapids on the nearby Housatonic River (which erupt to Class IV and V in the spring), and you can hire a guide ($80/day) to put together a customized whitewater canoeing trip, or rent a canoe ($50, including shuttles) for your own itinerary. The majority of Clark’s visitors hail from NYC.

In northwestern Massachusetts — a little over three hours away — Zoar Outdoor (800-532-7483; 413-339-4010) offers custom clinics on the Deerfield River. The $225/day weekend pricetag covers all rentals, shuttles and instruction for your group. Classes range from day to week-long, and if you’re a certified paddler, you can explore the river’s best whitewater — the Gap and Dry Way (Class III and IV) — on your own. Otherwise, if you want to go solo you’re restricted to Buckland, which is mostly Class I and II rapids.

A six-hour drive will bring you to the Riversport School of Paddling, which offers classes on the Youghiogheny River in southern Pennsylvania and Maryland. With Class I-VI rapids, the Youghiogheny is a great choice for all levels, and the school offers one- to five-day classes ranging in price from $110 to $500 and including camping fees, meals, equipment rental, instruction and shuttles. Call 800-532-7483 for details. It may be well-worth the drive — Riversport is highly reputable and has been teaching whitewater canoeing for almost 20 years.

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