Outdoor Classes and Seminars

Paddling Classes

Higher Pursuits offers both kayaking and canoeing classes at both the basic and advanced levels. Our instructors are Level I certified Kayak Instructors and Level III certified Canoe Instructors with the American Canoe Association and have 20+ years of paddling and teaching experience.

In addition to scheduled classes, private lessons are available. Private lessons are not available on the weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day. All lessons must be scheduled in advance and are subject to instructor availability.

American Canoe Association

Description: Want to get your family into kayaking but don’t know where to start? Want to learn a new sport that gets you outside, exploring and exercising, but need help learning how to kayak? Or maybe you own a kayak and want to improve your skills and feel more confident?

Join us for our Basic Kayaking class and feel more confident on the water. This class is intended for people new to kayaking or paddlers who want to improve their kayaking skills, on flat water. The class will cover how to choose a kayak and paddle, entry and exit a kayak, how to stay “sunny side up” or upright, kayak strokes (forward, reverse, sideways, turning strokes), self-rescue, what equipment do I really need, and places to paddle in Middle Tennessee.

Length of Class: 6 to 7 hours (most classes start at 9 am and end around 3 pm)

Cost of Class: $75 per person

What to Bring: Bring a lunch packed in a zip lock and plenty of water, wear shoes that will stay on your feet and can get wet. Plan to dress for the conditions of the day (rainy, cooler, sunny, hot, etc)

What to Expect: This is a physically active class, and you should plan to get in the water. Our basic kayak class has a land component where we discuss the basics of kayaking, planning a trip, river hazards, river gauges, types of paddles, pfds, and types of boats. We then have a 2 to 3 hour on water session where we work on paddling skills and self-rescue. All our classes use a challenge by choice philosophy so if you are not comfortable getting in the water or practicing a particular skill just let your instructor know.

Minimum Class size: four participants

Minimum Age Requirement: 10 years old and up

Weather and water conditions: All Kayaking Classes are dependent on the weather, if we are not going to be able to conduct your class due to high water conditions or adverse weather conditions we will call before the class.

Sign up for a Class

Outdoor Seminars

This year we are adding a series of outdoor classes and seminars that provide information on paddling and outdoor skills. These seminars will focus on topics such as paddling during many seasons, how to read river features, how to read the river gauges, practical map and compass skills and basic camping skills and if you have been thinking about buying a kayak, join us for our in-depth class on buying a kayak, paddle and PFD.

Each outdoor seminar is 2 to 3 hours in length and is taught at the Higher Pursuits Canoe base at our educational shelter.

Outdoor classes on paddling

Description: Kayaking and canoeing can be enjoyed through several seasons if you plan and prepare for your trip. This workshop will lay out the essential gear you need for paddling in the spring, summer and fall. We will look at gear solutions that range from low cost to higher cost, how to pack your gear in your boat, as well as what food and clothing you need to bring.

Length of Class: 2 to 3 hours

Cost of Class: Adults are $20 per person. Children 10 and younger attend for free (limit one child per paying customer)

What to Bring: This workshop is outside so come dressed for the weather (rainy, cold, hot, sunny)

Sign up for a Seminar

Description: There are an amazing number of diverse rivers in Tennessee that are fun to explore and paddle, but the hardest part is figuring out how to plan you trip and then safely navigating an unknown river or lake. This seminar will focus on how to plan your trip and prepare for your next paddling adventure. We will look at how the US Geological system of river gauges work and how to interpret those gauges. Finally, there will be an in-depth discussion on common river features/hazards, how to read those features and the best way to navigate each type.

Length of Class: 2 to 3 hours

Cost of Class: Adults are $20 per person. Children 10 and younger attend for free (limit one child per paying customer)

What to Bring: This workshop is outside so come dressed for the weather (rainy, cold, hot, sunny)

Sign up for a Seminar


Basic Canoeing Classes

Ever wanted to learn how to make a canoe go where you want it to go? Have you ever wanted to learn how to paddle a canoe without frustration? Would you like to feel confident enough to paddle a canoe in the Boundary Waters, the Florida Everglades, or our local rivers?

Join us for our basic canoeing class and learn where canoeing can take you. This class is intended for people new to canoeing or who want to improve their canoeing skills on flat and moving water. The class will cover how to choose a canoe and paddle, enter and exit a canoe, canoe strokes (forward, reverse, moving sideways, turning strokes), what to do if you tip over, what equipment do you really need, and places to paddle in Middle Tennessee.

Class Overview and Requirements:

  • Sign up for a class online
  • Minimum Age Requirement: 12 years old and up
  • Copy and bring a completed copy of our release form and class agreement
  • Morning classes: Bring a lunch packed in a zip lock and plenty of water
  • Afternoon classes: Bring a snack and plenty of water
  • Wear closed toe shoes that will stay on your feet
  • Plan to get in the water
  • This is a physically active class
  • Minimum Class size: four participants
    All Canoeing Classes are dependent on the weather, if we are not going to be able to conduct your class due to high water conditions or adverse weather conditions we will call before the class.

Cost:

  • $75 per person (includes boat rental and canoe instruction)

2022 Class Dates

  • To be Announced

Our canoe instructors are Level III certified Canoe Instructors with the American Canoe Association and have 20+ years of paddling and teaching experience.