What is HRGF?
The festival attracts participants of all levels as well as talented and renowned mentors from many different regions, including Greenland. We strive to pass along traditional kayaking skills in a "Pay it Forward" method...by observing...by learning...by teaching. The Hudson River Greenland Festival was founded in October 2003 at Norrie State Park on the Hudson River in Staatsburg, NY. Organized by Wayne Gilchrest and Hudson Valley Pack & Paddle, the one day event featured Greenland Kayak technique demonstrations, races, and rolling competitions. Some of the most recognized and highly skilled kayak mentors in the country were there, including Cheri Perry, Turner Wilson, and Dubside. After three successful years, sadly the organizers left the area and the park closed the Norrie facilities for major renovations. Unfortunately, the festival did not happen in 2006. In 2007, HRGF was revived and found a new venue at Croton Point Park a few miles down river on the Hudson, and was reborn as a multi-day event. In 2011, HRGF became a Qajaq USA sanctioned event.
Who runs HRGF?
HRGF is run by volunteers who want to share the joy of Greenlandic qajaqing skills. Check out our staff page to get to know us!
What types of registration tickets do you offer?
Participating at the Hudson River Greenland Festival is meant to be a weekend, full immersion event. While kayaking skills and techniques are an important aspect of HRGF, it is also a community event that hopefully leads to new friendships, old friends' reunions, and a lot of laughter. A full weekend (including accommodation and meals) costs $300 (plus registration and $3.20 insurance fees) for an adult.
Children younger than 18 AND full time students pay half the price $175 (plus registration and $3.20 insurance fee). Children must be registered by an adult. If you're a full time student you must email a copy of your current student ID card to email@example.com in order to receive a discount code. DO NOT register as a child.
Families pay a flat rate of $600 (maximum of two adults). Children have to be accompanied by an adult at all times.
We have a very limited availability of day guest tickets (Saturday 10am to 10pm) for $225 (plus registration and $3.20 insurance fee). Other than a full day of practicing Greenlandic kayaking techniques, this ticket includes lunch and dinner as well as evening activities.
Will I need to own a kayak to be able to participate?
Absolutely not. A variety of traditional skin-on-frame kayaks are provided for participants. However, many participants like practice rolling in their own kayaks and bring those to the event. Oh, and it doesn't matter what type of (sea)kayak you have to be able to participate. But if your kayak is a very loose fit you may want to bring some foam pad to give it a tighter fit. That will make it easier to learn how to roll. The same goes for kayaks with a high back rest, as that makes leaning on to your back deck harder. In this case, it would be good if the back rest can be removed temporarily.
Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?
Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
Directions from east of the Hudson River: (Point Chester and points East)
Merritt Parkway South or New England Thruway South to Route 287 South. Route 287 South to the Sprain Parkway North to the Taconic Parkway North. Take the 3rd exit (100/9A North). Stay on 9A North to Route 9 North to Ossining and take the 1st exit for Croton Point Avenue. Make a left and follow the signs for the park.
Directions from west of the Hudson River: (Rockland County and points west)
New York State Thruway to Exit 9 for Tarrytown. Proceed north on Route 9 for approximately 10 miles and exit at Croton Point Avenue. Turn left at the end of the ramp. Turn left at the light and the park entrance is straight ahead.
Directions from north of Westchester County:
Take your best route to Route 9 South. Take Route 9 South to Croton Point Avenue and follow signs for the park.
Directions from south of Westchester County:
Take your best route to Route 9 North. Take 9 North to Croton Point Avenue exit and follow signs for the park.
Directions by Train:
Take the Metro North Railroad Hudson Line to Croton-Harmon. From the train station it is about 1 mile to the entrance of the park. From the train station, head east toward Veterans Plaza (0.2miles). Turn left onto Croton Point Ave (0.8miles).
Plenty of parking is available in the park.
What should I bring into the event?
Full meals will be provided starting Friday evening until lunch Sunday. We do all we can to provide meals to accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences (please let us know when registering). However, if you have strict food requirements, we suggest bringing along some of your favorites to supplement our catered fare.
Drinking water will be provided all weekend. Please bring your own water bottle as we are trying to keep things environmentally friendly.
Adult beverages (beer/wine/etc.) WILL NOT be provided so please bring your favorite beverage to share.
Please bring a snack and/or dessert to share as these will also NOT be provided.
Other things to bring:
Tent (unless you reserved a bed in a shared cabin)
GOOD Water Shoes (there are river rocks and spiny water chestnuts)
Water Bottle (water will be provided to fill them). This is a green event.
Qajaq/Kayak and Greenland Paddles (but not to worry...there will be some kayaks and gear on the beach to try and share if you do not have one, courtesy of Qajaq USA).
Kayak Cart since we schlep our kayaks and gear from the parking lot to the beach every morning.
Paddling Gear such as wetsuits, drysuits, hoods, tuiliks, akuilsaqs, sprayskirts, pumps, and norsaqs (again not to worry...there will be some Greenland Gear to share all weekend courtesy of Qajaq USA)
Be prepared for all types of weather
A Coast Guard Approved PFD (this must be worn during on-water activities)
Yoga mat, if you would like to participate in morning yoga (highly recommended!)
If you would like to participate in Greenland Rope Gymnastics (highly recommended!), bring a pair of old blue jeans or pants to prevent rope burn
How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
You can email the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please, allow three business days for a response.
What's the refund policy?
Full cash refund up to 4 weeks before the event. 50% refund up to two weeks before the event. No refund after that.
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
Is my registration fee or ticket transferable?
Please contact the organizers at email@example.com if you want to transfer your ticket to somebody else.