Founded in 1902, Inwood Canoe Club is the oldest canoe and kayak club in Manhattan.
"Seasons Come and Go, but Inwood is Forever"
Our 2017 Open House season starts on Memorial Day Weekend. Come join us this summer for a paddle on the Hudson!
¡Nuestro primer día de Puertas Abiertas de la temporada proximo Memorial Day! ¡Ven a remar con nosotros en el Hudson!
Every Sunday from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, the Inwood Canoe Club invites members of the public who can swim to join us for a guided, 20-25 minute kayak tour of the Hudson River just north of the George Washington Bridge. We paddle from 9:30 to 12:00, but guests are asked to arrive between 9:00 and 11:00 to ensure they get a spot. No prior experience is needed, and all equipment is provided.
At this time of year, my thoughts drift to the waves of the Hudson and the fuzz-ball ducklings who will be riding them soon. It’s generally the best time of year for me—but this year is bittersweet. This will be my last year as Commodore and I leave
the role with mixed emotions.
Paddle Smart: Firstimer Videos
Informational video for first time paddlers planning to attend open house at the Inwood Canoe Club.
Weekly Open House Posts
James Rubiera saw our Open House table while he was out for a jog. He came in and paddled for the first time in his life--and he's come back every week since then.
Member Profile: Luis López
Luis Lopez has been a member for more than two years. He is a teacher, translator, and carpenter, and a keen paddler. He recently translated key information for the ICC website into Spanish.
One of the great joys of quietly paddling on the water is that other species don’t react to you as a threatening human, so you can observe wildlife more closely than you can on land. It’s also an immensely relaxing experience; the calmer you are the more you will see and hear. The music of the birdsong, the dance in flight, the colors and patterns of feathers, and the surrounding environment of water, shoreline, cliffs, and marsh are an unrivaled spectacle of art and science.
If there is one key point to remember, it’s that when on the water you are a mariner. Like everyone else, you’re expected to follow the “rules of the road.” It may seem silly to compare a kayak to a cruise ship, but there are rules for all vessels. We all work together to get where we’re going safely.
This winter, six Inwood Canoe Club Turtles kayaked and raced and rolled and rescued and taught newbies all within the heated confines of a pool. Aptly referred to as pool kayaking, the program has been led by the gruffly determined Lee Reiser for the past six years. He’s a man on a mission.
I'll Take Manhattan–by Circumnavigation
Every summer, the Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club (YPRC) organizes a Manhattan circumnavigation. The trip has grown from 17 paddlers in 2004 to more than 100 in 2014. Many Turtles participated in the event last year as paddlers. Others helped paddlers launch from ICC’s boathouse early that morning and rocked the dock to celebrate successful completion of the long day’s journey late into the night.
A Big Trip for a Big Cause
Mac Levine was looking for an endurance
challenge. But when a fellow standup paddler
suggested a several-day voyage from Albany all the way to Inwood, she laughed. “At first I thought it was the craziest thing I’d ever heard,” she said last summer, shortly after finishing the trip. “It just seemed so long and far. And then I thought, why not?"
The Turtle Lady of the Upper West Side
Lorri Cramer has about 20 tanks in her living room for rehabilitating turtles. She also has a very understanding husband. “I’m lucky in that he loves me enough to let me have my turtles,” she said.
The Atlantic sturgeon are the largest fish in the Hudson and some can grow to be eight feet long and weigh 200 lbs. Both species have whisker-like barbels instead of teeth, armored plates instead of scales, and leathery skin. These primitive fish date back some 40 million years.
Approximately a year ago, ICC replaced its old floating dock with a shiny new one that volunteer Turtles built themselves. As large as it was, and weighing an unknown number of tons due to its waterlogged condition, it had become a ponderous, waterlogged, sinking, failing structure. We kept it around last summer partly out of nostalgia. And over the winter out of inertia.
I wanted to learn how to roll a kayak for two reasons: the stated, practical reason and the generally unspoken, yet universally understood, reason. I wanted to have the ability to right myself should I capsize, in the fastest way possible. Also, rolling a kayak looks badass.
Anyone who’s ever been to the boathouse knows the Inwood Canoe Club has a long history. It’s hard to miss “Est. 1902” emblazoned proudly above the door. But looking through the club’s treasure trove of old documents and photos is different. It breathes life into those 113 years.
New Dock Workday
Over the last year and a half I have gone to each workday hoping to be asked to do strenuous, getting-dirty work, show some ingenuity, and—use power tools! In my head I am a forty-something D.I.Y. kind of guy (hello reality check), but mostly, like many, I just like feeling useful. Last Saturday was a success in that regard. We were all industrious in various ways, but more importantly the workday was a success.
From Inwood to the Olympics
In a lifetime of paddling, Steve Kelly has been a lot of places and seen a lot of things. He’s competed in two Olympic Games and officiated at three others. He qualified for the U.S. team in 1980 and ended up in the middle of a geopolitical maelstrom, forced to sit out the games when President Carter declared a boycott. He was at the Munich games when an act of terrorism changed the Olympic landscape forever.
Founded in 1902, the ICC is the oldest canoe and kayak club in Manhattan. While we are now a recreational club, the Inwood Canoe Club was once a training ground for canoe racers. Between 1956 and 1984, seven members of the ICC proudly represented the U.S. in the Olympics.
Kayak Kids Got Game
Noah and Monte Gutierrez and their mom, Ellie Rios, explored the Hudson as a family last summer in kayaks and a canoe during the Inwood Canoe Club’s Sunday morning Community Open House. To rev up for the 2014 season, I spoke with Monte and Noah to learn what lured them to the water and what kept them coming back to kayak with ICC several times over the summer.