Pittsburgh Council previously a member of American Youth Hostels
To provide inexpensive educational travel, intercultural understanding, and an understanding of the natural environment through hostels, hostelling, and outdoor recreation.


Pittsburgh Council had a very active Canoeing Program. We lead many Canoeing Schools. Most trips were for the beginner to intermediate canoeist. i.e. Class I to Class III on the International Scale of River Difficulty.  We rely heavily on the Army Corps of Engineers River and Reservoir Gauge Readings to determine where a trip will be going on any particular day.  All trips were lead with the AWA Safety Code in mind.

Pittsburgh AYH Canoeing Program

Pittsburgh Council offers a variety of canoeing activities during the canoeing season from May to October. These vary in difficulty from family trips on quiet rivers to Class III whitewater. Trips may be day trips or canoe-camping trips several days in length or longer. To participate in canoe trips, you must demonstrate to the trip leader that you were qualified at the level of the trip by having taken one of our canoe schools or having equivalent experience.

Pittsburgh Council runs several canoe schools to allow new members to get started in canoeing or to improve their skills. You may choose to develop your skills as a solo or tandem paddler. The number of schools and types of trips each month reflect the wishes of the membership and trip leaders.

Most of our leaders and instructors were developed through the AYH canoeing program. New members with previous experience were usually asked to attend a whitewater school to see how Council trips were run.

Pittsburgh Council has canoes, life vests, and paddles for use on Council trips at a modest rental fee. While Council policy prevents the equipment from being used on higher class rivers, some members paddle their own canoes on more difficult water.

Check the latest newsletter for the current trip schedule and leader. Call the leader listed for information about a trip or to sign up for the trip.  Please call before 10 o'clock at night.

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Pittsburgh AYH Canoe Schools

Basic Canoeing introduces canoeing on flat and moving water. Steering and maneuvering strokes were taught along with the proper method of getting into and out of a canoe, and how to load, unload, lift, and carry a canoe.

Whitewater I (WW I) reviews the basic strokes used on whitewater rivers. These were taught on still or quiet water. Progress to moving water follows, and downstream and upstream ferrying skills were taught and practiced. Other skills that were taught include river reading, safety, rescue, river etiquette, and scouting procedures. The school was taught on Class I rivers.

Whitewater II (WW II) reviews the skills learned in WW I and moves on to eddy turns, peel outs, surfing, rescue, safety, and tactics for river running. WW II was taught on Class II rivers.

Poling was taught on flowing streams. This is an interesting variation to the sport, and not nearly as difficult as it may seem.

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"To provide inexpensive educational travel, intercultural understanding, and an understanding of the natural environment through hostels, hostelling, and outdoor recreation."

Pittsburgh Council | Activities Program | Comments/Questions

Page was last updated January 21, 2006