Gowanus CanalGowanus Canal


Winter Kayaking at Riverbank State Park

To promote paddlesport on the NY-NJ Estuary, the Gowanus Dredgers sponsor a Winter Pool Program to introduce the sport of kayaking to New Yorkers and to improve kayaking skills.The classes are offered in partnership with the Aquatics Department at the Riverbank State Park [Directions] swimming pool every Fall and Winter.

It is expected that graduates of this program will bring the sport of kayaking to our shorelines and they will enlist volunteers to participate in beach cleanups and other events that will restore our estuary.

Who Can Participate

Everyone is welcome!No prior kayaking experience is required. All children (ages 8-17) must be accompanied by an adult (18 or older) who must stay for the duration of the class and their parent must sign a waiver form.


All participants must register with Riverbank State Park before participating in the class.There is a two-part registration process:

         Identification Card: To attend any class in the park, one must have a Riverbank State Park identification card, which is a requirement when attending classes offered in the park.It costs $8 for seniors and $10 for everybody else.

         Registration Fee:For each class in the park, there is a general registration fee.It cost $3 for seniors and $4 for everybody else.

The Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club finances this program from your generous contributions and do not earn revenue from registration fees.

pool program logo
Pool Program Logo

2013-14 Class Sections

Course 1


Nov 16, 23

Dec 7, 14

pool program photo

pool program photo

Course 2


Nov 17, 24

Dec 8, 15

Course 3


Jan 4, 11, 18, 25

Course 4


Jan 5, 12, 19, 25

Course 5


Feb 1, 8, 15

March 1

Course 6


Feb 2, 9, 16

March 2

Rescue Orientation



(1) Class Maximum

In order to offer the classes to as many people as possible, no person may sign up for more than one section (i.e. month/day combination).

Equipment Used

The boats are a mixture of sit-on-top kayaks and small whitewater boats.There are boats for almost all sizes. Lifejackets are supplied, and must be worn at all times.

Directions to Park

The nearest subway stop is the 1/9 train at 145th Street. and Broadway.Once you exit the subway, walk west on 145th Street down the hill. Walk across Riverside Drive into the park. The pool is located in the Aquatic Complex (with the scoreboard on top) to the right of the track. Allow ten minutes for the walk from the subway.The M11 bus runs directly into the park.

Pool Rules

No running, no diving, no standing in boats, no paddle fights.Launch boats from the side of the pool, not the end. You MUST wear a lifejacket at all times.Before going kayaking, one must have:

         Registered with Riverbank State Park.

         Signed a NYC Winter Pool Program waiver (good for year).

         Signed Riverbank State Park sign-in sheet and Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club Waiver (every day).

What to Bring

Bring a swimsuit, towel, padlock, registration card, and your receipt for the class.T-shirts, cutoff jeans, and leotards, etc. are not allowed.

Riverbank State Park

Riverbank is the only park of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Inspired by urban rooftop designs in Japan, this 28-acre multi-level landscaped recreational facility is a state-of-the-art park facility.Rising 69 feet above the Hudson River, Riverbank offers a wide variety of recreational, athletic and arts experiences for all ages, interests and abilities.

Contact Information

Riverbank State Park
679 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10031

Phone: (212) 694-3664, 65 or 66 (Managerís Office)

Pictures are Copyright © 2009, Daniele P. Scarpazza, www.scarpaz.com