Appalachian Description

The Appalachian is a canoe brought to you by Old Town Canoe and Kayak. Read Appalachian reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other canoe recommendations below or explore all canoes to find the perfect one for you!

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Appalachian Reviews

Read reviews for the Appalachian by Old Town Canoe and Kayak as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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Love this boat. Only used it…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/24/2020
Love this boat. Only used it in lakes, class I and II rapids, and playing in the surf at the beach. It is superb ... so versatile... stable, relatively fast, roomy (even for couple of adults and and a kid or two). Stable for fishing (great secondary stability), and just plain fun. Relatively light. My only gripe is that the Royalex is not as tough as other Royalex canoes I've owned (OT Penobscot, Mad River Explorer 16, Mad River Explorer 14TT, Old Town Osprey). This is my favorite all around canoe! You can't go wrong with this boat, but they are hard to find these days! Still have not taken it in class III but it will happen!

Best canoe around! I have…

Submitted by: Thaddius on 8/3/2016
Best canoe around! I have used my appalachian solo a ton and it loves the river! I added a kneeling thwart for class III white water and some kneeling pads for better control solo. It does better loaded down with gear. When tandem it hammers through the chop & yet spins on a dime. Great boat!

I have owned an old town…

Submitted by: Shagnasty78 on 9/6/2014
I have owned an old town Appalachian for over 15 years I bought this canoe for white water camping trips and has been the best canoe I have ever had. The poly link 3 can take a beating and still look great. After years of being beaten on rocks and logs there are only a few minor creases in the haul. I have had to replace the wooden thwarts but it was after I had to store it under my deck for a couple years so I was my own fault.

This canoe can haul a lot of gear for long trips and still ride high in the water with plenty free board. The handling is fantastic with quick response to shoot rapids. If your looking for a tough canoe you can't go wrong with an old town Appalachian


I cannot imagine a better…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/27/2013
I cannot imagine a better canoe than my Old Town Appalachian. I discovered the Appalachian when I had to borrow a friend's boat for the day. I was so surprised. This boat does it all.

Most of the time I solo in it (or paddle with my Golden, Daisy). I always tell people that it takes good care of me. It is super responsive in turns and rapids, but can carry more camping gear than you'd need in a month. My three closest paddling buddies all have Appalachians, too. And we all agree that when the time comes, an Appalachian will be our next boat!


The Appalachian is our all…

Submitted by: Ski-Patroller on 8/30/2012
The Appalachian is our all around favorite canoe. It is designed as white water tandem, but is quite easy to paddle on lakes also. Ours is equipped with air bags and thigh straps and we mostly paddle kneeling, or at least one knee down. It is a very dry boat in white water, and turns waves on windy lakes well also. Compared to a Dagger Legend we rented it is much dryer, and it did not oilcan at all.

My wife and I have no problem making it go straight in flat water, although it is certainly not a fast lake boat. It can be a handful in a wind, since the slight rocker and round bottom let it blow around and make leeway in a side wind, but it still stays pretty dry.

If we do serious WW we have two large cargo bags full of plastic peanuts or gear, that strap into the center of the boat, to supplement the bow and stern bags. The rest of the time the middle is occupied by a Labrador Retriever that alternately swims and rides. We have no trouble getting her back in the boat in the middle of a lake.


If you have been paddling…

Submitted by: paddler233989 on 5/16/2011
If you have been paddling Discoverys, Old Town Penobscots or Trippers, or Wenonah Spirit2s, or other boats in this class and want to up your moving water performance - THIS IS THE BOAT!. This boat will improve your river running game dramatically from cruiser style canoes. It is dry in big standing waves, snaps eddy turns, ferries well, and has good secondary stability. This boat is definitely best on moving water, but paddles flat water fast enough to not frustrate you. For a full 16' tandem it also handles surprisingly well solo. Old Town has a real gem here that more people should know about.

Wow! If you want a canoe that…

Submitted by: paddler233399 on 10/2/2009
Wow! If you want a canoe that handles like a dream on moving water up to class III and is able to carry all of your gear with no problems then run, don't walk and buy this canoe. Not cheap but given the quality of the craft it still a great deal. I would not sell mine, someone would have to steal it!!! If I was forced to say something bad about the canoe then I would have to say that it catches the wind because of its height and can, on windy days be a pain to paddle because of the constant turning.

I've been running rivers,…

Submitted by: wssrios on 6/9/2009
I've been running rivers, class I-III for 20 years either as a head guide or on private trips with friends. I've owned my "APPY" for 12 or 13 seasons so I guess you could say I know about what I speak when it comes to boats. There is NO better all around boat than this one for the money. While not cheap at $1550 nowadays, there is nothing else that will do everything as well. Read the other reviews, it's all there and has already been said. Own one and see.

I've had my Appalachian for…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/9/2008
I've had my Appalachian for about 3 years. I paddle it solo on class 1-3 Ga/Tenn/NC rivers. I've run it on the Nantahala, Broad and Hiwassee. It will do everything I ask it to do. It will surf, catch eddies and when leaned, will do a 180 in a second. The more current the faster it will turn. Stability is great. I've had it turned all the way on edge going over a rock sideways and it came back down. Took in about 8" of water and went through the rest of the standing waves just fine.

Truth is, it's a much better boat than I am paddler. I've had it loaded with about 500 lbs and been alright playing in some class 2 rapids loaded. Very happy with it and would recommend it for river running and playing around. Does get blown around in the wind. Leaned over in a Canadian style position, you can really move along without switching sides. Great boat!


I just purchased my…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/23/2007
I just purchased my Appalachian. I took it out onto a lake on Saturday and loved it. Sure, some will say that it won't track well, but the proof is in the paddler. It's light and easy to portage as well as sexy both on top of my car as well as in the water.

This boat is the best I’ve…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/26/2007
This boat is the best I’ve ever paddled. It does it all pack your gear for the week and have know worries, class ii and iii what can I say? You will experience a ride of your life with the comforts of staying dry, along with all your gear packed to the rim. I love this boat. Cuts through the water like a hot knife threw butter, this is the Cadillac of all around canoes. Must have!!!! If you don’t then get one and if you don’t then you will never experience the pleasures of the river like you truly should.

I've had my Appalachian about…

Submitted by: ardy on 12/4/2006
I've had my Appalachian about 10 years and have put a couple thousand canoe tripping miles on it and many, many day trips. I can't say enough good things about this boat. It's tough as nails, rides high and dry even loaded with 2 weeks of gear, but mostly it's just a joy to paddle. Most of my river tripping miles I've paddled solo on class II,III technical rivers, and thats where this boat really excells. It surfs, side surfs, back ferrys, back eddys, side slips, it does it all with ease. Now as far as tracking? that's more up to the paddler, also it's not the fastest boat especially in a head- wind, but for getting a load of gear down river in style it's hard to beat. Also alot of fun paddled tandam, even if your bow paddler is inexperienced this boat makes it doable. I've owned probably 20 canoes in the last 20 years and this is a favorite. No way could I give it anything less than a 10, for what I use it for. Thanks Old Town !!!

I've paddled my Appalachian…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/30/2006
I've paddled my Appalachian for two years and it's top notch. Primary stability is average, but the secondary is second to none. I mainly use it as a solo and it handles class III waters with "ease". It's made for moving water and that's where it excels. It ferries with ease and turns quite well for a 16'er. Surf it, heal it over, give it your worst and it's got your back. Though you have to do your part to keep it from going to the point of no return. I've taken it through tight spots that most canoers in the 16' class dare not attempt (tight slots with drops and turns). Places some deem only maneuverable for Kayaks. I grin and peel out. Aside from the rough stuff, it's average on still water as far as hull speed is concerned. Paddling into a head wind or being pushed by cross winds is no fun, but I haven't found a canoe that is. As a tandem I find it to be less forgiving than a 17' Old Town Tripper, 16' Dagger legend, 16' Blue Hole OCA, etc, but this is my opinion. When this one is past it's prime I will purchase another without a second thought. I give it a 10 because it's best in it's class bar none! An absolute BEATER!!

As a multi-day tripper it shines. It'll haul a load of gear for those multi-day excursions and still have good freeboard and maneuverability.


Just got back from running…

Submitted by: paddler231753 on 8/21/2006
Just got back from running the Chestatee River, north Georgia and the Buffalo and the Hiwassee rivers in Tenn. as well as some local waters in my home state of central Alabama. I love the Old Town 16' Appalachian. For me this canoe will do it all. I've paddled solo as well as tandem and have experienced no problems. My wife and I rolled the App over to the gunnel in a ledge drop off on the Hiwassee and a stern draw the App back to center, we had to bale a bit of water, but we never wet over. Very forgiving boat. I read that The did not perform well in high wind on big water, that's not quite true. We took the App out in high wind on the Tims Ford Impoundment above the Elk River and found the App to handle just fine with a few tricks from Bill Mason's style of paddling in wind. I can't say enough good stuff about this boat. It has done everything I wanted in a down river and flat water boat. Very stable when leaned over, forgiving in a broach, and very satisfactory on the flat stretches. I give this boat a 10, when used for what the boat was designed and built for.

This has been a great boat…

Submitted by: paddler231682 on 7/11/2006
This has been a great boat for about 10 years, starting mostly in sharp turning little creeks and rivers. It has handle loads with ease and has been recently outfitted for tandem WW action, which it has been handling with great stability. We have been taking it out in 3' to 5' waves on lake Michigan to play, and it is very stable and fun.. Not too bad to roll so far... With small front and rear float bags, it can be paddled completely full of water..and two people...even though it is quite slow going...and gets some funny looks while trying. Tracks well for the amount of rocker and handles high winds on lakes much better than other boats. But I would also rather be in a boat that can handle big waves even if it is a bit slower overall..

y royalex Appalachian is a…

Submitted by: paddler231443 on 1/25/2006
y royalex Appalachian is a delight in whitewater --- maneuverable, dry, very stable, slick as a greased pig (will skid down dew-dampened talus slopes, I think), and tough (shudders and makes an alarming noise when crashed nose first into bedrock at full speed, but shows no sign of being any the worse for it... the Kevlar skid plates may help this). Carries staggering portage loads of gear. Laughs off standing waves and angles of heel that would KO many other boats. Mine's gone airborn over a haystack and landed with only about a cup or two of water shipped over the very buoyant ends. But, it's an absolute bitch in flatwater, even when loaded, and, if there's a breeze, the wind will carry away all the profanity in your vocabulary. The rocker that makes it such a delight in close quarters whitewater makes it venomous in still water. This is a fairly specialized boat, not the family friendly tripper Old Town claims it to be. But, if you need to carry a load of camping and hunting gear in Class II and up, this is the boat for you!

Appalachian has proved to be…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/21/2003
Appalachian has proved to be a great river running canoe, as it is very forgiving yet responsive in moving water, but where it really shines is on class 2+ whitewater with its quick turning and dry ride, also ideal for canoe camping with its high volume, very stable boat even fully loaded for weekend trips for which it was mainly purchased for a few years ago.

I recently paddled this boat…

Submitted by: paddler230218 on 6/30/2003
I recently paddled this boat at an advanced whitewatter paddling clinic. Knowing its reputation as a river runner, I eagerly anticipated paddling with this hull. I wasn't disappointed. Initial stability is average at best but secondary stabilty is fantastic. You can heel that boat to the gunwale and it simply won't go over.

We paddled class III water for two straight days and simply had a blast. Quick for its size, great for eddying and eddy peel outs. The turning radius of the boat improves dramatically when it is leaned. While not designed as a pure playboat, it handled its own quite nicely surfing. The appalachian performs exactly as intended, a down river boat with the ability and performance to handle Class III whitewater. Great boat. I'd love to see Old Town improve on this boat and make more of a playboat.


I have had my Appalachian for…

Submitted by: paddler229258 on 7/12/2002
I have had my Appalachian for 2 year and it performs exactly as it was intended to. That is to say the best all around canoe you can buy! Though is dosen't perform great on open water with wind, IT WASN'T DESIGNED TO DO THAT . Holding lots of gear and running rivers is what is was bred to do and it does that in style. I love this boat!!!!

I do love this boat. I have…

Submitted by: paddler229678 on 5/8/2002
I do love this boat. I have been down the French Broad, Nantahalla and Sec. II,III of the Chatooga and it is great. I always have someone in N. GA asking me to sell it. A few weeks ago I tried to go on a solo adventure down a small S. GA river. While it was great at making hairpin turns around deadfall it was a lot of work on the stretches. I gave up two days early because the trip turned out to be all work with the light wind and the strong (drought) current. I couldn't stop paddling long enough to get a picture of a bald eagle that was playing leapfrog with me for an hour. I wanted relaxation. If I laid the paddle down the boat would spin sideways before the first drop of water fell off the paddle. But on the other hand I was left stranded to paddle solo with a group of 8 people and packed my boat to the gunnels with everyone's stuff and it still sat high out of the water and everyone was in awe as I plugged through rapids with all their gear high and dry! I call it a hybrid, good at a lot but master of nothing!

My Appalachian has proven to…

Submitted by: mayoriver on 1/7/2002
My Appalachian has proven to be a great all around river canoe. It is a high volume boat with excellent secondary stability and good initial stability so it handles class III water with ease. With a good J stroke it does very well in the flat stretches. I generally paddle it solo and do not have trouble keeping up with tandem boats. Where it truely excels is in its load carrying capacity. On river clean ups I have loaded it with 19 tires one trip then over 1450 pounds of trash the next. This is one tough boat! I did try it out in the Boundary Waters and Lake Superior no problem carrying 4 weeks of gear but.. let's just say that there are a lot of boats far better for lakes and portages.

We’ve enjoyed our Appalachian…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/23/2001
We’ve enjoyed our Appalachian for about 6 years. It’s been great on the mostly class II rivers and has handled class III quite well although we’re not as experienced at that level. At first the boat took a little getting used to and also learning that this is not a flatwater boat. Tracking takes constant attention but is very manageable with a solid J stroke. Wind other than a slight breeze complicates tracking and requires frequent correction strokes and an occasional assist from the bow. Initial stability is slightly tippy, secondary stability is great. This is a wonderful river canoe. On faster water, eddy turns, peel outs, ferries and surfing, this boat can handle easily but leans are important. The bow flare and depth generally keeps out most waves but the Appalachian will take on water. We use a large center air flotation bag and are contemplating adding end bags. To avoid entrapment, I’ve raised the bow seat about an inch and tilted it, seems just too tight f! or a paddlers with larger feet and hard-soled shoes. The boat can be lot of work if the wind is blowing especially on a gentle slow moving current. We also recommend the Appalachian for river tripping as it will hold sufficient gear for a weeklong adventure. Overall we’ve been glad to have this boat and intend to keep it for a long time.

I got to give this boat a 10.…

Submitted by: paddler229309 on 6/28/2001
I got to give this boat a 10. I just spent a week on the Buffalo River in AR fully loaded and was amazed at how well it handled. I've also had the chance to take it out on some class II-III and found it to respond very well. Totally satisfied with this purchase.

I live in the province of…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/12/2001
I live in the province of Quebec, Canada. Last summer I had the privilege of renting an Appalachian canoe. Me and a buddy went nuts in class IV rapids for an entire week. All I can say is this; Appalachian ROCKS!!

Great boat for smallmouth…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/20/2000
Great boat for smallmouth fishing on the new river. I feel safe in class 2-3 with my 6&8 year old girls.

I live just outside the old…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/21/2000
I live just outside the old town canoe factory (in fact I can see it from my window). I purchased this boat about two years ago, and it is the best boat I have ever owned. I do mostly tripping and whitewater. Local rivers are a class II-IV. I have done them all in this boat. It is a great larger volume boat... it works great for packing gear and at the same time excels in swiftwater. The high volume sides make it a blast for tandem or solo whitewater. A definite 10 out of 10! Without a doubt is an incredible boat, but not for lakes or the ocean!

I live in near Lexington, VA…

Submitted by: paddler228144 on 6/27/1999
I live in near Lexington, VA and frequently paddle the James, Maury & Shenandoah Rivers (class I-II, & occasional III). My wife & I fish on daytrips & sometimes camp. This boat is perfect for someone looking a "jack-of-all-trades" river canoe. It handles class III well (very nimble for its length), is quite dry, hauls plenty of gear, and is stable enough to fish out of easily. It is not a lake canoe, but tracks reasonably well in the flats between rapids. I would highly recommend this canoe to anyone wanting an "all around" tandem canoe. It is a pleasure to paddle.

I live on the Eel River in…

Submitted by: paddler228008 on 2/27/1999
I live on the Eel River in Northern Indiana, The Eel is all class 1 & 2 water. I bought this canoe to fish and play. I also have a Pack, but since I got the App, which paddles great solo, the Pack gets loaned out a lot. The App. is a great river boat, I can glide down the river with ease and spin into eddies, casting to that trophy smallmouth I never seem to catch. I have dropped over some low head damns with nary a drop getting in. A lake canoe this is not. The high volume sides would make it a real bear in any kind of breeze unless it was loaded heavy. But for river tripping, playing or fishing it just would be hard to beat.