In and Around
Clubs are a great way to meet a lot of paddlers, swap gear and river stories, take lessons, and run rivers. Dues for most clubs are in the $8-15/year range, which is a heck of a bargain. Most clubs run trips just about every weekend from March to November, and then schedule skiing trips when the rivers are too solid to paddle!
I spend a lot of time paddling rivers with the Lehigh Valley Canoe Club, which is based out of the Allentown area, but has members from scattered over most of the eastern half of the state. Contact them at (610) 559-9595 or PO Box 4353, Bethlehem, PA 18018-0353.
I'm also a member of the Keystone Canoe Club; they're based in Reading. Contact Jim Hartman, 41 Gouglersville Road, Sinking Spring, PA 19608; (610) 777-7095.
The Conewago Canoe Club is based in York; contact Mike Yocum at (717) 757-1803 or Carol & George Figdore at (717) 764-5834, or mail them at Route 8, Box 359, York, PA 17403.
The Lancaster Canoe Club is based in (surprise) Lancaster; the Membership Secretary is Harry Sowers, 1308 Deer Lane, Lancaster, PA 17601.
If you want to go multisport, and climb, hike, ski, and generally throw yourself into the great outdoors, then contact the Appalachian Mountain Club. The Membership Secretary for the Delaware Valley Chapter is Carol Ginsberg, (215) 542-8705. The AMC costs a little more, but you're joining a national organization that does a lot for conservation and education. And they send you a spiffy magazine.
The Penn State Outing Club Canoe Division operates up in Happy Valley, and does a lot of instruction, trips, and racing. They maintain the slalom site on Spring Creek in Bellefonte which is used for the Penn Cup and Dog Days races. You can reach them via their web site or at 4 Intramural Building, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802.
The Canoe Club of Greater Harrisburg is based out of Harrisburg (well, duh!) and has a full program of river trips, instruction, and other activities.
Just over the border in Delaware is where you're find the Wilmington Trail Club, which has a large program of on- and off-river activities. While you're in the neighborhood, check out Bruce's Paddling Page.
If you're in western Pennsylvania, you might want to contact the Three Rivers Paddling Club, or the CMU Explorers Club, or the Slimy Pebble Whitewater Team all of which are based in Pittsburgh, or the Keel Haulers Canoe Club (which is based around Cleveland).
The Hunterdon County Canoe Club is a good place to start if you live across the Delaware (in New Jersey); another would be Princeton Outdoor Action.
If you're a little further north, check out the Kayak & Canoe Club of New York.
The Canoe Cruisers Association is based in Washington, DC, and is one of the largest clubs in the country. Contact them via their web site or at PO Box 15747, Chevy Chase, MD 20825. They have a large program of trips and instruction, and are affiliated with the Bethesda Center of Excellence. And in the same area, you'll find the Greater Baltimore Canoe Club, and well as the Waterdogs, and the Baltimore Kayak Club, c/o 3934 Old Columbia Park, Ellicott City, Maryland 21043. A bit further west in Maryland, you'll find the Mason-Dixon Canoe Cruisers, and further south, you'll find the Monocacy Canoe Club.
Still further south, you'll find the Richmond Racing Club, which is a racing club based in Richmond, VA.
And while they're not a club, an organization that you probably want to be aware of is Greater Philadelphia Search And Rescue. Their business number is (215) 233-3360 and their EMERGENCY NUMBER is (215) 630-6744. Make sure you're careful about which one you use.