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Birchbark Lessons/Classes Near Lower NY?

Discussion in 'Birchbarks, Dugouts and Primitive Craft' started by Bradley Pitts, Aug 29, 2020.

  1. Bradley Pitts

    Bradley Pitts New Member

    Hello all, this is my first post...

    I live between NYC and Hillsdale, NY and am looking for people and places that might be able to take me through the process of building a birchbark canoe, either in some sort of apprentice role or as a private or group class. Do you happen to know anyone (or any community) down this way who might have the knowledge and spirit to properly guide a person through the entire process? I'm interested in the experience of paddling the finished canoe, but perhaps even more so, the process and sensibility needed to get there.

    I grew up learning to paddle wooden canoes at camp in the mountains of North Carolina. We started on the lake and then progressed our way to whitewater in metal Grumman canoes, eventually graduating to plastic or fiberglass closed-deck boats like kayaks. My craft of choice became a C-1 which I had the honor of paddling down the Grand Canyon many years ago.

    In addition to finding someone who could teach me how to build a birchbark canoe from scratch, I'm hoping to connect with the people and communities that value such things and other "primitive" crafts.

    Thank you for your help and hope you are all doing well
  2. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Welcome to the WCHA! I can't help with lessons/guidance in your area, but will encourage you to join us next July (we hope) at Paul Smith's College, NY, for our annual Assembly... there will be a lot of us there who greatly value such things...

    For the time being, you may want to check in our directory of Local Area Chapters: and the Builders And Suppliers Directory: to find more folks in your area. You'll find the group is quite happy to assist whenever possible...
  3. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

  4. OP
    Bradley Pitts

    Bradley Pitts New Member

    Thank you for all this helpful information! In case it is of any help to others I have also been recommended:
    Steve Cayard in Maine

    If I actually connect with anyone I'll try to keep everyone updated here.

    Thanks again and hope to see you out there.

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