In the span of a few hours biking around New York City I discovered three boathouses that I wasn’t looking for and didn’t know existed.
The Inwood Canoe Club isn’t easy to find. It sits on a narrow strip of land besides the Henry Hudson Parkway at 200th street, just before the bridge into Riverdale.
It was built in 1902 and bills itself as the oldest boating club in the city. It trained seven men who went to the Olympics.
It seems so remote now that it’s hard to believe that it was once one among five boathouses dotting the river at that place. At that point, in 1913, there was a ferry at the end of Dykman Street that carried New Yorkers over to beaches below the Palisades.
The second boathouse I came across was the Peter Jay Sharp boathouse, the fanciest. It sits out in the middle of the Harlem River and offers rowing lessons for kids and adults.
I discovered the final boathouse after riding down the East Side and crossing the 59th street bridge to Long Island City.
This was the most modest of the three boathouses.
It’s really more of a bunch of canoes and kayaks stored on a dock at the end of a dead end street on a small inlet from the East River. It’s totally charming.
The Long Island City Boathouse is a not-for-profit that offers walk-up paddling in the Hallet’s Cove and some trips. They have a web site and newsletter for volunteers.