Main Stream Canoe & Kayak
170 Main Street Route 44
New Hartford, CT 06057
Call Us: (860) 693-6791

Canoe and Kayak Instruction and Guides

Canoes and Kayaks on the Farmington RiverYour safety and enjoyment are our primary concerns.

For people who want to learn how to paddle, or want to improve their paddling abilities we offer guided trips and lesson for canoeing and kayaking. These lessons can range from basic starter courses, to advanced technique and Eskimo Rolling courses. Canoe and Kayak instruction has been a fundamental part of Main Stream since it’s conception.

Our basic lessons do not only teach how to properly paddle, get in and out of a boat, but also how to read the river currents and predict trouble spots. It is our goal not only to teach you how to paddle, but also proper safety and technique.

Our advanced lessons are very customizable. They can range from teaching the Eskimo Roll, to helping people refine their stroke for efficiency and speed.

All guides and lessons require a reservations, and a pre-trip consultation to make sure you have the right instructor at the best body of water for what you need to learn.

Canoeing and Kayaking provide hours of enjoyment. Knowing what to do and how to do it will help make your next trip fun and safe. Groups: scouting groups, civic and corporate accounts - Call Us Today! American Red Cross - Fundamentals of Canoeing Course- click here.

Always wear your life vest. Connecticut state law requires that during the period from October 1st through May 30th, all persons on board a canoe must wear a Type I, II, III or V Coast Guard approved personal flotation device, and no operator or paddler shall allow any person to be on board who is not wearing such a device.

Early Canoeing Class
From our photo archive of group instruction on the lake.


Schedule your lessons today! Contact us by phone, fax, or email, or just stop by. Custom lessons are also available.

Fundamentals Course  The fundamentals course is a 10-hour comprehensive beginners program that covers basic techniques of both sea and white water kayaking. It is perfect for the person who has little or no paddling experience or for those who would like formal instruction to complement self-taught skills.

This course meets once a week for three weeks. It consists of two 3-hour lessons and an instructional 4-hour ride down the river. One lesson hour is spent in the classroom learning about boats, equipment, and weather and safety concerns. The remaining time is spent on the river or lake developing efficient paddling skills and learning basic paddling strokes. Bracing, capsizing, and self- and multi-boat rescue procedures are also covered. Emphasis is placed on effective boat control through the use of upper and lower body movement.

There is a minimum of six and a maximum of ten students per class. Cost is $135.

Quick Start I Course  This one-session course is 3-4 hours long and is held on weekends. It emphasizes safety and skill acquisition, and it is geared towards river or flat water kayakers whose time does not permit a longer course. Quick Start I provides ample paddling instruction for new-comers to the sport, and material covered is tailored to the coastal waters in and around Long Island and Connecticut. Special emphasis is placed on paddling a touring boat straight.
     Depending on the kayaker's preference, this lesson can be held on the river or on flat water. There is a minimum of two and a maximum of four students per class. Cost is $80.

Quick Start II Course   Quick Start II is a 2-hour evening session held during the week from 6pm-8pm. Topics covered are the same as those in Quick Start I. There is a minimum of two and a maximum of four students per class. Cost is $60.

Eskimo Rolling Course   Designed for sea or white water paddlers who know the basics of kayaking, this course teaches the Eskimo Roll. The C-to-C (Hip Snap) roll is usually covered, but Pawlata, Sweep (Screw), or other styles can also be taught. Students must know basic paddling strokes and should be familiar with the High and Low Braces. Successful com-pletion of the Fundamentals Course or an equivalent is strongly recommended.
      Class size is limited to two students. Cost is $70 for 1 hour; $100 for 2 hours.

American Red Cross Certified Canoe Course   This course is held at West Hill Lake in New Hartford, CT or at your on-site water locations. Cost is $75 per person with your own canoe or $110 per person with a Main Stream canoe.

Guided Trips   We also offer guides to many of our group customers, including scouting groups, Park and Rec groups, and civic and corporate accounts. If you would like to arrange for a guide, please contact us.