Kayaking and Canoeing on the Deerfield River: Zoar Gap River Run
A river run on the Zoar Gap section of Massachusetts' Deerfield River is the perfect follow-up after taking one of our Novice or Class II kayaking or canoeing clinics.
We spend the day enjoying the river, while gaining experience kayaking or canoeing on New England's best class II summer whitewater run.
We will be offering the Zoar Gap River Run on various dates from May to October. Use the availability widget below to find individual clinic dates.
Price: $95.00 per person includes all equipment, instruction, catered, picnic-style lunch and transportation from our base to and from the paddling sites.
Goal of the clinic:
To provide opportunities for class II to class III paddlers to run the Zoar Gap section of the Deerfield River under the guidance of an able instructor.
Who should take the clinic:
Kayakers or canoeists who are comfortable in Class II and want a chance to gain experience or paddle a new river under the expert leadership of qualified instructors. Our minimum age for these clinics is 14.
What will be covered:
The instructor will lead a warm up session before setting out down the river, and will set up a river order. While the day is set up to be experiential, not instructional, students may ask for help on specific skills while paddling the river.
A Typical Paddling Day
Your clinic will meet at our base in Charlemont, Ma. at 9:00 AM. The clinic will start on time, so please be prompt. Complimentary hot drinks will be available upon your arrival. Your clinic will come to an end at about 5:00 PM.
Since river runs are designed to be recreational paddling days, there will be people in different types of boats, and at different levels. Your group may be divided up by ability or by craft (kayak or canoe) to maximize each person's experience. Your instructors will encourage you to push your limits, but in a way that does not endanger you or the rest of the group. There may be specific rapids where options will be presented, but the instructor will have final say as to what each river runner may decide to do. Each student will be expected to carry his or her own boat from the vehicle to the water and vice versa.
The number of students in your clinic may vary. We have a maximum student-to-instructor ratio of 4:1 and a maximum clinic size of 12 students.
You will be spending somewhere between four to five hours in your boat. To prepare you will want to stretch your thighs, hamstrings and torso (back, stomach, shoulders and neck). If you increase your flexibility, you will have more efficient strokes, and you will be more comfortable in your boat. The book “Stretching” by Bob Anderson is an excellent reference for specific stretches.
What should I wear?
While some of the flatwater areas we use are quite warm in June, July and August, the Deerfield River is always cool, regardless of the time of year or air temperature. When packing your paddling clothes, please plan accordingly, especially if you are coming early or late in the season (April, May, September and October). Our clinics will run rain or shine.
Wear items such as :
- synthetic long underwear, garments made of plypropylene, capilene, or some polyester/spandex blend.
- fleece or wool socks
- bathing suit
- fleece or wool jacket/sweater (early/late season or if you tend to chill easily)
Other items to bring.
- retaining strap for glasses
- nose plugs
- required medications
- extra money for snacks, t-shirts, or coin operated showers.
Zoar Outdoor will provide:
- paddle jacket
- life jacket
We provide a catered picnic-style lunch on all our clinics. Typical lunches include homemade rolls, sliced turkey, ham or other meats, sliced cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, chips, salsa, hummus, pasta or other salad, cookies or other dessert and hot and cold drinks.
The following statement is required by state law: "Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy."
(If you own your own equipment, we suggest you use it in the clinic to get used to its quirks.)
- Take Route 2 west. Where Route 2 merges with Interstate 91 in Greenfield, take 91 south, but be sure to exit again onto Route 2 west at the next exit (exit 26).
- Zoar Outdoor is about 17 miles west of this exit. We’re based in a red colonial on the north side of the road. Look for the blue, white and green sign.
- Driving time from downtown approximately 2 1/2 hours.
From New York City:
- Take Interstate 95 north to Interstate 91 north.
- Take exit 26 in Massachusetts and follow Route 2 west for about 17 miles. We’re based in a red colonial on the north side of the road. Look for the blue, white and green sign.
- Driving time from Manhattan approximately 3 1/2 - 4 hours, depending upon traffic.
From Albany, New York:
- Take Route 2 east through North Adams.
- Continue past North Adams and over the mountain, about 20 miles. Our base is the red house on the north side of Route 2 on the western outskirts of the town center. Look for the blue, white and green sign.
- Driving time approximately 1 1/2 hours.
At the start of your clinic you will get two shop discount cards good for two weeks from the date of your clinic. One card entitles you to 10% off accessories in our Outfitters Shop. The second card entitles you to a $50.00 discount off a boat purchase. All boat purchases come with free outfitting and 10% off accessories in the Outfitters Shop for the next year.