WTC Kayak

Wilmington Trail Club
Lehigh Gorge

Curriculum I

This course is designed to give students tools to travel down a moving river. The first day is on flat water and the second day is on moving water


Dates and times are provided here.


  • Friday
    • We encourage all to stay at the Canalside to meet instructors, assistants, and other students. You can arrive either Friday night between 5:00-11:00 (preferred, see below) or Saturday morning if you do not want to spend the first night there. Dinner and drinks are on your own. There are several near-by options.
  • Saturday (Day 1)
    • Location: Meet at the Canalside by 8:00.
    • Duration: Approximately 8 hours
    • What to bring:
      • Required: Kayak, paddle, spray skirt, PFD, helmet, air bags, water shoes, water bottle, lunch, towel, dry clothes, double ziploc baggies or dry bag to keep food and other items dry.
      • Bring a lunch, snacks, and plenty of fluids with you for the river. You will store these items in your boat, so space is a consideration. You will need a “take-out” bag with a towel and dry clothes to change into after the paddling day ends. There are restrooms available at the end of the day for changing.
      • Highly recommended: Sunscreen, Nose clips (many experienced paddlers use them).
      • Optional: Sunglasses, additional clothing, carabiners, extra dry bag.
      • Saturday dinner is provided at Canalside. Dinner is not your average fare and is one of the highlights of the weekend.  Entrees and salads made from scratch with plenty for those hungry and wet from a hard day on the water. WTC recognizes some student have special dietary considerations. Please inform the training coordinator of any special dietary restrictions. We try to accomodate most dietary restrictions by offering an array of proteins and side dishes; however, students with special dietary restrictions should expect to supply their own evening meal.
  • Sunday (Day 2)
    • Location: Meet at the Canalside by 8:00.  A shuttle will be required to relocate cars to the take-out.
    • Duration: Approximately 8 hours
    • What to bring:
      • Required: Kayak, paddle, spray-skirt, PFD, helmet, air bags, water shoes, water bottle, lunch, towel, dry clothes, double ziploc baggies or dry bag to keep food and other items dry.
        • You will need a “take-out” bag with a towel and dry clothes to change into after the paddling day.  This bag may end up stored in someone else’s car at the take-out so be sure you have everything you need at the take-out.
        • You may want to bring an extra towel (or changing robe) to use while changing.  There are no changing facilities at the take-out for day 2.
      • Highly recommended: Sunscreen, nose clips.
      • Optional: Sunglasses, additional clothing layers, carabiners, dry bag
Suggestions to make the paddling weekend go smoother

It is most important that you not be late.  The instructors and assistants have invested much time to prepare professional training for you.  The class is disrupted if you arrive even a few minutes late.  Please be respectful of others and always arrive on time.


When (not if), you flip over and wet exit, everything in your boat dumps into the water and sets its own course downstream.  It is much easier for those assisting you if they do not need to chase your loose gear downriver.  We suggest you use a plastic water bottle that can be attached to your boat using an inexpensive non-locking carabiner.  Your other gear (lunch, keys, sunscreen, etc.) can be secured in large, double ziploc baggies or a dry bag.


Electronic devices are better left in your car.  If you must bring them, they should be kept in special electronics dry bags or in two dry bags (one smaller bag that holds the electronics placed inside a larger bag).  Remember, dry bags must fit behind your seat (where there is limited space) attached with a non-locking carabiner, 


Again, it is important you arrive on time!


Equipment Rental

WTC can assist you with the core required equipment through our reasonably priced rental program. The charge is $25 per training weekend and includes a kayak, paddle, PFD, spray-skirt, air bags, and helmet. The standard process is listed below. Contact the equipment coordinator if this will not work for you.

      • Once enrolled in training, the club equipment coordinator will contact you about gear and the training coordinator will contact you to coordinate the rental fees.
      • You will be asked to provide your height, weight, and possibly other information to enable selection of equipment that best fits you.
      • You will then be requested to go to our equipment storage location near Newark, DE to verify fit. You can transport equipment on your vehicle or choose to have WTC transport the equipment for you for $5.
      • You may keep the equipment for the number of weekends of training for which you are enrolled. You may keep and use the rental equipment on sanctioned WTC trips  between classes.
      • Upon completing your final course, the equipment should be returned to WTC and the equipment coordinator will arrange for the return of your deposit. 
      • Graduates of the WTC training program may rent equipment for any sanctioned WTC kayaking trip or Intermediate/Advanced program classes for a nominal fee.  Contact the training coordinator for additional information or to arrange rentals.

Canalside in Lehighton

What are the accommodations?

Most students and instructors stay at the Canalside, a hostel-like facility in Lehighton, PA; however, you may choose to stay at any facility or campsite in the region.  This is a great opportunity to meet and get to know the trainers, other club members, and your fellow students.   We have found this to be a very opportune time for you to learn more about equipment, other paddling opportunities, how to get involved in the club, etc.  Outdoor seating for several is provided at the Canalside, but you may want to bring an extra portable chair if you have one.  Dinner will be provided Saturday night at Canalside between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm.  This is the only meal provided by the club during the weekend.  All other meals will be on your own and ad hoc with fellow paddlers.  Because of varying drink tastes, we provide only water and tea.  Feel free to bring your drink of choice, including alcoholic beverages, if desired. 


A week before the training weekend, we will request input from all paddlers that will allow us to determine the sleeping accommodations at the facility.  Fitting everyone into the facility usually requires people to share rooms and some to sleep on mats on the floors.  Consider this more of a ‘roughing it’ weekend in which hopefully life-long friendships are established.


MOTELS:  For motel or bed and breakfast lodging, please check VisitPA.com.

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