featured event

Free Public Kayaking

through September • Yonkers Paddling & Rowing Club

A program of the Yonkers Paddling & Rowing Club that provides recreational access to and environmental awareness of the Hudson River for underserved communities through free kayak paddles, tours and training.

Hudson River Riders—the free public paddling program of Yonkers Paddling & Rowing Club (YPRC) —kicks off on Wednesday, June 19 with a community paddling program at JFK Marina from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Ages five and older / no registration needed. View all free weekly activities at HudsonRiverRiders.org. Groups of 8+ and specific programs must preregister through info@hudsonriverriders.org/ (914) 303-5643 x105.



This year, Hudson River Riders is doubling the amount of free paddling experiences it offers. Introductory kayaking sessions for ages 5+ will take place at JFK Marina on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Time is reserved specifically for camp and community group sessions on Thursday and Friday at JFK Marina. New this year: sea kayaking tours and race training and fitness programs for ages 13+ at the YPRC Boathouse at 35 Alexander Street.

Chevaughn Dixon, the coordinator of Hudson River Riders, is one of hundreds of Yonkers youth who gained access to the Hudson through YPRC’s public program led by Gerry Blackstone, its indomitable champion. Dixon is a Level 4 ACA Kayak Instructor with additional certifications in stand-up paddle boarding and wilderness first aid. He is also the winner of the 2018 Yonkers Mayor’s Cup for best time in the men’s 800-meter race.

Blackstone passed away on June 6, 2018. Hudson River Riders’ flourishing programs is one of his many legacies.

“Kayaking is a vehicle,” said Dixon. “You can use it to go places as well as figure out life and make connections. I want to pass that on to other young people.”

Hudson River Riders Free Weekly Activities

Walk-up Community Paddling
Wednesdays & Thursdays 4:00 pm–7:00 pm
Ages 5 years and older / Groups of 8 or more by reservation
JFK Marina, Yonkers

Community Groups and Camps
Thursdays & Fridays 11:30 am–1:30 pm
Free to non-profit groups and camps, starting at $250 per session for-profit organizations
Ages 5 years and older / Register in advance
JFK Marina, Yonkers

Sea Kayak Tours
Fridays 5:30 pm–7:30 pm
Ages 13 years and older / Register in advance
YPRC Boathouse, 35 Alexander Street, Yonkers

Race Training and Fitness
Mondays 5:30 pm–7:30 pm
Ages 13 years and older / No registration needed
YPRC Boathouse, 35 Alexander Street, Yonkers

Yonkers Paddling & Rowing Club serves as an anchor institution along the Yonkers riverfront nurturing paddling and environmental awareness. It is host of the annual Gerry Blackstone Manhattan Kayak Circumnavigation, honored by the American Canoe Association in 2018. Member programs include weekly paddles, rescue and paddling skills clinics, and a winter boat-building workshop.

Hudson River Riders, YPRC’s free public paddling program, provides recreational access to and environmental awareness of the Hudson River through kayaking tours and instruction.

YPRC’s historic boathouse, just north of the Yonkers Pier, was built in 1938. It was home to Yonkers Canoe Club (YCC) which is remembered for the two Olympic Gold medals it brought home in 1948. Although the boathouse was submerged in four feet of water during Superstorm Sandy, the members rebuilt it and continue the club’s long legacy of community involvement.

YPRC has been recognized through the receipt of grant support from the City of Yonkers, the State of New York, Westchester Community Foundation, Hudson River Estuary program, Hudson River Improvement Fund, Hudson River Foundation for Science and Environmental Research, Inc., Toyota, and Public Lands Every Day, a National Environmental Education Foundation Program.