Manhattan Community Boathouse is a nonprofit organization that provides free kayaking 
in New York City. 


We operate at two locations on the Hudson River that are open to the public all summer long.
All programming is funded by donations, staffed by volunteers, and offered free of charge.


All participants must sign a liability waiver and know how to swim. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Paddlers under the age of 16 must share a boat with an adult.


Manhattan Community Boathouse offers free walk-up kayaking at Pier 96 and at 72nd Street on a first-come, first-served basis—no reservations or pre-registration. These sessions are suitable for people of all ages and athletic abilities. 

We ask paddlers to limit their time on the water to 20 minutes if there are others waiting for a kayak. 

Please allow time for waiting in line when planning your visit. We cannot guarantee that you will have a chance to go out if you arrive less than an hour before we close. We launch the last boat of the day 15 minutes before the program closes for the evening.

All of our public kayaks are sit-on-top boats. You will get wet while you paddle, so dress accordingly or bring a change of clothes. We have changing rooms at Pier 96, as well as lockers for personal belongings at both locations.


The free public classes at Pier 96 cover basic paddling skills and safety techniques. They have been designed with beginners in mind, but are appropriate for kayakers of all skill levels. All classes include both on-land and on-water components.

Forward Stroke: Efficient forward paddling in a kayak
Offered at 6:30PM on June 13th, July 11th & August 8th

Kayak Turns: A variety of techniques for turning and maneuvering your boat
Offered at 6:30PM on June 20th, July 18th & August 15th.

Kayak Rescues: Re-entering a capsized kayak and kayak-to-kayak rescues
Offered at 6:30PM on June 27th, July 25th & August 22nd.


During the summer months, Manhattan Community Boathouse schedules free programming for children and young adults in conjunction with nonprofit day camps and other youth-based organizations. Each session provides children with an opportunity to learn the basics of kayaking and water safety in a supervised environment. These sessions must be scheduled in advance. Please contact us to plan your visit.


Hours of Operation

Pier 96

at 56th Street
in Hudson River Park



72nd Street

north of Pier i Cafe
in Riverside Park


Follow us on Twitter for news and notification of unexpected closings.

All of our programs are staffed entirely by volunteers

Volunteers share their time and talent in a variety of ways, both on the water and off. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to find out about upcoming orientation sessions and volunteer opportunities.

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Our program allows volunteers to give back to the community, meet new people, and share their passion for paddling.

We offer unique trips and training sessions for volunteers interested in additional kayaking opportunities.