The club began in 1995 as the Ahwaga Canoe Club, a friendly, informal group of paddlers, mostly canoers, from the Southern Tier of New York who loved getting together to paddle the many incredible rivers, lakes, and streams of our area as well as some located as far away as Virginia, Florida and Texas. In 2005 we celebrated our 10th anniversary with a picnic and barbecue at Dorchester Park in upper Lisle, followed by lots of paddling on the lake.
In 2006 we became the Ahwaga Canoe and Kayak Club, to acknowledge the many kayakers who have joined our ranks. We also changed our structure, becoming a voting membership organization with bylaws. As part of that change, members elected an Executive Council to manage the club and carry out the wishes of the membership.
In 2007 we became a Paddle America Club, an affiliate of the American Canoe Association. In addition to paying Ahwaga’s modest membership fee, all members who take part in on-water events must now also join ACA. They can do this by purchasing a membership for a whole year, or by purchasing a temporary membership to cover one trip only. Thanks to this affiliation, all Ahwaga events are sanctioned by ACA and participants are covered by ACA insurance. Ahwaga members who join ACA, a 125-year-old institution dedicated to paddlesport, gain many other benefits as well.
Besides providing canoe and kayak recreational opportunities for our members—including organized trips, outings, programs and other services such as a lending library—the Ahwaga Canoe and Kayak Club hopes to expand its offerings of safety education and paddling instruction. We also want to provide opportunities for interested members to address local and national issues that may seriously impact our environment or our paddling rights. We continue to be a friendly group of paddlers of all ages—both individuals and families—dedicated to the sociable and responsible enjoyment of our waterways. We welcome new members, and we hope to see you on the water!