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Free kayaking, canoeing, and boating this summer in Brooklyn and lower Manhattan

There are so many ways to get out on the water in New York Harbor this summer – for free! Our overview includes kayaking, canoeing, and rowing programs in various neighborhoods in Brooklyn and lower Manhattan.

Kayaking in Brooklyn Bridge Park | Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays

With the Conservancy’s ever-popular kayaking program held in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, visitors can enjoy gliding across the East River on Wednesday and Thursday evenings (5-7pm) as well as Saturdays (10am-3pm) and Sundays (12-2:30pm) through September at Pier 2. Advance registration is required; make a reservation here. Do not walk-up without a registration, as they may not be able to accommodate you!

Kayaking in Red Hook | Thursdays and Sundays

The Red Hook Boaters operate from the New York City Louis Valentino Jr. Pier Park at the end of Coffey Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn. For minors to paddle, a legal guardian must be present. No advance registration necessary.

  • Thursdays, 6pm-8pm | May 30 through August 15, 2024
  • Sundays, 1pm-4pm | June 2 through September 15, 2024

Kayaking and Canoeing in Greenpoint | Saturdays

North Brooklyn Community Boathouse offers a free public paddling program twice a month on Saturdays through the summer. Public Paddles alternate between canoeing and kayaking. Trained trip leaders guide participants down Newtown Creek and out toward the East River. Paddling is child friendly, but there is a minimum height requirement of 4’10” on kayak trips in order to ensure the boat will remain balanced.

Kayaking | Queens Landing Boathouse and Environmental Center

  • June 8, 11am-3pm (June 9 rain out day)
  • July 13, 11am-3pm (City of Water Day Edition)
  • August 17, 11am-3pm (August 18 rain out day)
  • September 14, 11am-3pm (September 15 rain out day)

Canoeing | Manhattan Avenue Street End Park

Kayaking in Lower Manhattan | Tuesdays, Thursdays Saturdays & Sundays

Downtown Boathouse runs the world’s largest free kayaking program from Pier 26. Minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian. No advance registration necessary. Participants are encouraged to come early, as they sometimes close the line early to make sure everyone gets on the water! Check their calendar for exact dates this summer.

  • Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays | 10am-4:30pm | May 18 through October 14, 2024
  • Tuesdays & Thursdays | 5:30-7pm | June 18 through August 29, 2024

Note: Downtown Boathouse’s kayaking program on Governors Island is not operating for the 2024 season.

Rowing in the West Village | Wednesdays, Fridays & Sundays

Village Community Boathouse has a fleet of more than 30 handcrafted wooden boats, most of which were built in their shop at Pier 40 or by school partners. They offer free community rowing on Wednesdays and Sundays, as well as youth rowing for high school students on Fridays. No experience necessary necessary; high school students must bring a waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Rowing is offered April through November; check their calendar for exact dates. Advance registration for Sundays; no registration needed for Wednesdays and Fridays.

  • Community Rowing | Wednesdays, 6-8pm | Sundays, 12-5pm (advance registration for Sundays)
  • Youth Rowing | Fridays, 4-7pm

Ride the Staten Island Ferry from lower Manhattan | Daily

The Staten Island Ferry is one of the easiest ways to get out on the water in New York Harbor! The ferry is free and runs 24/7 between the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in lower Manhattan and the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island. Ferries run every 15-30 minutes, depending on the day, and travel time is 25 minutes in each direction; see the full schedule here. Passengers will enjoy stunning views of the New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty. Note that passengers may not stay on the ferry round-trip; all passengers must debark after every trip and then re-board the boat for their return trip.

Updated: June 17, 2024. Main Image: Kayaking in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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