Paddle Trails Canoe Club
Paddle Trails Canoe Club exists to provide an informal organization for paddlers in Washington State. Club activities revolve around a busy trip schedule that includes flatwater trips on both fresh and salt water, and river trips at widely varying skill levels (Class I to Class IV). Each year, club members lead over 100 trips on saltwater, lakes and rivers for paddlers of all skill levels. Most of these trips are local to western Washington, but some travel far afield to great destinations in the western U.S. and Canada.
Paddle Trails also sponsors training sessions for beginning and intermediate boaters, safety and equipment workshops, rescue practice sessions, leadership training and occasional races. Each Spring, a basic canoe class is taught for new members.
The Club has growing traditions. One is the annual "Spring Social" -- a sort of kick-off to the paddling season. The Social is held at one of the beautiful riverside parks in the Seattle area. It starts with breakfast, followed by a day of river boating to match your skill level, and is a great time to renew old friendships and make new friends. Later in the year comes the Fall Social, a time to relive the past summer with slides, or an amazing video, awards, and trip reports (which get inflated beyond reality as everyone's memories of recent trips come flooding back). The Winter Social acknowledges and commends our trip leaders with trip leader awards, slides and more story telling.
Other traditions include, a quiet (?) weekend of camping and boating on the Methow river over the Fourth of July, a Fall Colors trip, a Parade of Lighted Christmas Canoes on Green Lake, and a New Year's day trip to start the New Year out right.
Paddle Trails members are a diverse bunch, representing all ages, working at all sorts of jobs and having a wide range of canoeing interests. About the only requirement is an interest in canoeing or some other form of paddled boating (most trips seem to have at least one of those funny little boats with the double-ended paddles).