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United States Canoe and Kayak National Championships

Syracuse, New York

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Hosted by the New York Marathon Canoe Racing Association

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News and History

The USCA Nationals and Central New York

Erie canal in Clinton Square, Syracuse in 1906

The United States Canoe Association (USCA) Nationals Canoe Race is a 4-day event where canoers and kayakers from across the US and Canada test their race skills against the best in their sport.

The 2018 edition of this premier race event is being hosted by the New York Marathon Canoe Racing Association (NYMCRA) and will be held Aug 10-12 in the greater Syracuse area. This will be the first time NY plays host to the USCA Nationals since they were held in Syracuse in 1995. The races will be held on the outlet of Onondaga Lake and the Seneca River, part of the historic Erie Canal.

Onondaga Lake was once one of the most polluted lakes in the United States. Last year marked the completion of the dredging portion of the restoration plan, which recently won the Western Dredging Association's 2017 Environmental Excellence Award for Environmental Dredging. The lake is now the cleanest it has been in over 100 years and it continues to improve. The Erie Canal was an engineering marvel in its time. Cities like Schenectady, Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse thrived due to the cheap shipping the canal provided.

Modern day Syracuse is located on the former lands of the Onondaga Nation. Syracuse is known as “The Salt City” as the region was known for commercial salt production between the 1700-1900’s from the Halite beds just south of the modern day city and the salt springs that are found on the southeastern edge of Onondaga Lake. Until 1900 the bulk of the salt used in the US came from Syracuse and was largely distributed on the Erie Canal. The combination of the Erie Canal and the salt industry led to the increase of population in the local area.

In hosting the 2018 USCA Nationals, NYMCRA plans to showcase the amazing clean-up efforts of Onondaga Lake as well as the historic waterways of Upstate New York. We look forward to 4 great days of racing in Syracuse! See you there!


Racing class


Opening Ceremony, Youth Sprints

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Racing class


C1, K1 women, C2, K1 men and more

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Racing class


C2, K2 woman, C1, K1 men and more

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Racing class


C2, K2 mixed, SUP men, SUP woman and more

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This event is possible due to the contributions of our sponsors


Chuck Bolesh Sr

It would not be possible to host a sucessful Nationals without the dedicated work of our volunteers. If you are interested in supporting our endevour to put on the best Nationals ever, please contact us right away.

Racer Information

What you need to know

  • To participate in the 2018 USCA nations you will need to have a current USCA membership. You may sign up online here or by mail, instructions can be found here. Registration will be available on sight but we strongly recommend signing up ahead of time to avoid delays.
  • This year there are new eligibility rules for paddlers with physical disabilities. Details coming soon on USCA's home page.

Course Map

Course Map

Visit Syracuse


Syracuse has a rich history of Irish and Italian immigration and the most popular foods of the region reflect this. Salt potatoes were originated from Syracuse. Irish immigrant salt miners would bring potatoes and boil them in the salt brine for their lunch. Syracuse and Central New York also have some unique Italian dishes such as Chicken Riggies (pasta-based dish usually consisting of chicken, rigatoni and hot or sweet peppers in a spicy cream and tomato sauce) and Utica Greens (dish made of hot peppers, sauteed greens, chicken stock or broth, escarole, cheese, pecorino, breadcrumbs and variations of meat and prosciutto).


Syracuse is home to numerous kinds of entertainment, shopping, and historical venues.

  • Armory Square (shopping, bars and restaurants)
  • Destiny Mall (shopping, bars and restaurants)
  • Tipperary Hill (Bars and restaurants)