Free kayaking in the city

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From mid-May to mid-October, the Hudson River Greenway’s Downtown Boathouse (located at Pier 96 and Pier 40) offers short escapes from the hustle and bustle in the form of free kayaking sessions.

The Boathouse, which aims to bring residents of this crowded city increased opportunities for recreation, provides visitors with a life jacket, a kayak, a paddle, and the necessary tips to keep you inside the boat. You don’t need any prior kayaking experience: just know how to swim, and show up in a bathing suit or comfortable shorts. The program runs on weekends and holidays during the summer, and most weekday evenings as well. For specific dates and locations, check out the Boathouse’s calendar here.

If you’re looking to kayak for free in Brooklyn, check out Red Hook Boaters in Louis Valentino Jr. Pier Park. Visitors are free to enjoy a paddle through the estuary, or a quick exploration of the cove. In addition to offering free kayaking sessions, Red Hook Boaters encourages visitors to participate in short clean-up missions along the shore. They’ll supply the gloves and trash bags, and you’ll supply a cleaner view for future kayakers. Find out more about Red Hook Boaters’ waterfront revitalization projects here.

Photo: Downtown Boathouse