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Pittsburgh Kayakers Message Board › Beginner kayaker, Decided to join the group

Beginner kayaker, Decided to join the group

A former member
Post #: 2
I know Cook Forest State Park -- and I'm sure other state parks -- offer free kayak and canoeing courses.

Cook Forest offered Kayak 101 and Kayak 201 courses last year. Both were free, and all gear was supplied.

In addition, all those who successfully completed the initial course received a 50% discount on any river trips the park office offered after that.

Nice trips on the Clarion and Allegheny rivers, too!
Julia K.
Aliquippa, PA
Post #: 7
Cook Forest is one of my top 5 favorite places.
Tom D.
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 6
I'm going to put in a plug for our Meetup sponsor, Exkursion. (Thanks, Fred!) I've taken all of their broad range of classes, from beginner to rolling to open water and surf in Lake Erie. I know I've taken some of them at least three times. They're great the first time and outstanding refreshers the second and third time. They teach here in the 'burgh and in the suburbs, as well. They have knowledgeable, friendly, common sense, self-effacing and humorous instructors and plenty of boats and equipment for those who wish to try before they buy. I'd love to try a tandem as adding that boat to my fleet (?) would allow my wife and both sons to enjoy paddling together. Two solos isn't enough. I'm all for getting your daughter out with you as you obviously understand that paddling alone with her isn't any different than paddling alone. It certainly doesn't sound like you're looking for other novices to go out with you to see how things work and save you from mistakes, but that you'd like to join a larger group with paddlers of varied levels of experience. That's a great plan in my opinion. I like creek trips on occasion. If I can get my 18 year old son who's home from school this weekend to go with me, I'd like to take Chartiers Creek from Heidelberg to McKees Rocks on the Ohio. It's about 10 miles by water over 3+hours. If I can get him to agree, I'll post it. Welcome to the group! Tom Dempsey
Ben S.
user 37256282
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 15
Tom, I would like to try that trip. I can't for a couple of weeks though. I was noticing the stream near Boyce-Mayfield and thought it could be interesting.

Tom D.
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 7

Sorry for the delay. Busy at work and home. Let me know when you're ready. I'm out for next weekend (3/2-3/13) as that's my wife's birthday weekend and the boys will be home. After that should be good. How are you situated for cold weather/water gear? I think that Boyce/Mayfield stream is actually Chartiers Creek well upstream from Heidelberg. I'll check Google Earth and my PA Gazeeter. Tom
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