The Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington, DC, founded in 1956, has members from Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and other nearby regions. We are a kayak and canoe club whose main purpose is to unite persons interested in paddling the Potomac River Basin and adjacent watersheds. We run trips, teach classes, promote river safety, and participate in river access and watershed conservation efforts.
The History of CCA
Every year. we have about 100 trips with nearly 1,000 paddlers, varying from flatwater to advanced whitewater and ranging from several hours to all day to overnight with camping. Most are within a couple of hours of the DC area, but groups often venture farther out. Many are right here in the metro area. The Potomac River, flowing past Washington, DC and separating Maryland from Virginia, offers flatwater, easy whitewater and advanced whitewater within minutes of our homes. For more info see our Trip Information Page
See our Trips and Events Schedule
to see what we have planned. We welcome non-members on our trips, and hope you'll want to join.
CCA has always been a strong and consistent force in preserving the natural environmental integrity of our watersheds. We simultaneously strive to protect the natural qualities of rivers and their tributaries in the Mid-Atlantic region, and work to preserve paddlers’ rights of access on these rivers. CCA founded the Potomac Conservancy, and co-founded the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. Three of our Conservation Chairs, Courtney Caldwell, Steve Taylor, and Pope Barrow, have received the National River Conservationist of the Year Award from Perception, Inc. See our Conservation Page
We teach Canoeing, Kayaking and Swift Water Rescue classes. All of our head instructors are certified by the American Canoe Association, and assistant instructors, who may or may not be ACA certified, are very experienced. For more information see our Instruction Page
. The dates of our classes, clinics and workshops are listed on our Trips and Events Schedule
An easy way to get more involved in CCA is to join one of our committees.
Board of Directors
Club officers, standing committee members and steering committee members.
The Membership Chairperson is responsible for maintaining the membership database, along with the assistance of one or two volunteer administrators.
Trip Coordinators are members who volunteer to schedule paddling trips at all levels for club members and friends. The Club's nearly 100 annual trips are listed on our calendar
CCA has always been a strong and consistent force in preserving the natural environmental integrity of our watersheds. We simultaneously strive to protect the natural qualities of rivers and their tributaries in the Mid-Atlantic region, and work to preserve paddlers’ rights of access on these rivers. CCA founded the Potomac Conservancy, and co-founded the West Virginia Rivers Coalition.
This group seeks to maintain and improve river access points along the Potomac River and elsewhere (Goose Creek, C&O Canal, Seneca Creek). We also keep a constant eye on Canal levels and advocate restoring paddling there from Georgetown (with gaps) up to Violettes Lock. We work with local park authorities to keep paddlers' interests in the forefront.
Run the rapids or float gently down the C&O Canal. We can teach you how to paddle canoes and kayaks whether you like your recreation wet and wild or peaceful and relaxing, CCA instructors are trained and experienced. You can count on learning to canoe and kayak safely. Don't be left high and dry — join us and learn how to be safe and have fun on the water! See if one of the classes below is what you need to get the most out of your paddling experience.
River Safety (SWR)
The Canoe Cruisers Association and other canoe and kayak clubs have enviable safety records. It is the responsibility of every club member to maintain this high standard. These safety records go a long way in preventing passage of laws that could limit access to many paddleable waters in our region. The CCA Safety Committee works with local agencies and organizations, such as the National Park Service, to provide information and safety education to the general public.
We rent time at a pool in Takoma Park, Maryland so that kayakers can practice their roll during the winter months.
Competition and cruising have gone hand-in-hand since the formation of CCA. the club’s founding members brought together a small band of paddlers who savored the fellowship of a dancing campfire within the wooded stillness of a remote river island, and who also wanted to provide a sponsoring organization for the annual Potomac Downriver Race, which began in 1956. Throughout the intervening years, a healthy balance of cruises and races within our program has been of benefit to every active paddler in the club. Improved equipment designs and more highly skilled paddlers have resulted from this competition. CCA sponsors the annual Potomac Downriver race, usually held in May.
We are the outreach arm of CCA. We inform the general public of CCA trips and events through our website and through social media, and we use email broadcasts to advertise CCA events to DC area paddlers who are not members of CCA. At non-CCA events we provide and man a display booth where we inform people about CCA and try to recruit new members.
CCA produces a bi-monthly newsletter, the Cruiser, and an annual Roster of the members.
The Social Activities Committee organizes our social events such as the fall picnic and the December holiday party.