Cascade Description

The Cascade is a canoe brought to you by Old Town Canoe and Kayak. Read Cascade 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!

Old Town Canoe and Kayak
Cascade Reviews

Read reviews for the Cascade 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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Pro: Definitely adept in…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/28/2020
Pro: Definitely adept in whitewater as a solo boat. I consider myself experienced in whitewater including grade 3. It gets the job done with fun to spare. My teen son loved paddling it solo on class 2 whitewater. Con: Literally a pain in the rear on flat water, especially in wind. It goes where the wind goes and spins like a leaf in the process. You're much better off converting it to a solo and keeping it for the standing waves. I used it (tandem) on flat water (the lower Wisconsin river) and came away from a weekend of fun with sore glutes from fighting to keep the freeboard sufficiently above the gunwales. Neither I or my paddling partner were overweight but we had a full load of camping gear. I was amused by someone's account of loading it full as a tripper. Nonsense, (politely phrased).

It's been awhile but I have…

Submitted by: georgesb on 9/8/2015
It's been awhile but I have to say that I enjoyed every bit of my canoe ride. I love the fact that it is durable, easy, fun and safe. Plenty of room to carry what you need.

I've had my Cascade for 10…

Submitted by: paddler232463 on 2/27/2008
I've had my Cascade for 10 years - 5 in Wisconsin and 5 in Washington State. I would prefer a different boat for tandem trips, and it isn't good in windy, flat water situations, but I love to solo in this boat. It holds plenty of gear and turns on a dime.

I bought my Cascade new about…

Submitted by: ardy on 12/4/2006
I bought my Cascade new about 10 years ago and this is a very,very fun boat to paddle solo or tandem. I live in the hilly part of Virginia and paddle lots of local class I,II&III technical rivers and streams and it seams that's what this boat was designed for. Not a play boat, but alot of fun. Not a beginer boat, but a great teacher. I've even paddled mine on a section of the Swift in New Hampshire with a gradient of 100 ft per mile at high water because it was the only boat I had with me at the time. My arms felt like they were about to fall off by the end of the run, but I was very impressed by the Cascade's abilities. Not really a tripping boat but has served me well on a few weekend camping trips paddled solo. Too bad Old Town's not making it anymore. If you can find one used, buy it. Also stay off the lakes on windy days.

I've paddled this boat for…

Submitted by: paddler231520 on 4/17/2006
I've paddled this boat for several years now having picked it up in the spring of 2002. Other comments regarding flatwater I would have to agree with, Not a boat to paddle in wind.

River work however...excellent as a solo boat, just so responsive and clean. This may have been the best in the category Old Town has made. Tandem with the factory seats can be tricky especially with inexperienced bow paddlers. Personally, if re-fitted as a solo boat this one is hard to beat. Too bad Old Town gave up too soon on this one!

30+ years experience with a variety of boats.


The Short of it: We love this boat.The Long of it: .....At…

Submitted by: paddler230502 on 4/6/2004
The Short of it: We love this boat.

The Long of it: .....

At the Old Town 2002 Spring Facroy Sale I purchased what may have been the last Cascade. Old Town staff spoke very highly of the boat and it met my shopping criteria of a light (49-59 lbs) moving water boat that could be soloed or taken as a tandem boat (max cargo 975 lbs). I liked the lines as they reminded me of a midget Prospector with the full bow, nice tumble hume, and pronounced rocker - plus it was red.

Tandem - Moving water: The boat performed so well that Susan & I did our first moving water trip together on the St Croix River (class I & II) in the Cascade and we are still going strong! In fact we've been back to the SCR for 3-day/2-night trips on four more occasions.

The boat responded to our novice-level draw strokes and could be back paddled even by the beginner. The SCR requires a lot of side slipping or a "rental".

The full hull was great driving through standing waves and punched through holes. Lots of floatation and good water sheading design.

Tandem Lake Water: - Indeed the boat offers lots of profile to the wind and the rocker affects the tracking so you gotta have your strokes down. But what canoe doesn't? Certainly not my choice for a windy lake crossing - unless the wind was at my back.

Solo Moving Water- I soloed the SCR twice in the Cascade and found that the boat sliped sideways and back ferried even better as a solo boat. I had the Cascade surfing on standing waves "a la" Thrill of the Paddle by Mason/Schreiver with very little effort and no prior experience.

Solo Flat Water: The Cascade has few equals in the pivot department when heeled over. Our Bob Special comes close when you get the keel clear of the water.

Guy Trips: The Cascade was like one of the boys - you should see it put stuff away. The hull desigh is so good that even loaded with lawn chairs, steakes, coleman stoves, fishing gear and coolers the Cascade remains manuverable.


I paddle a Cascade on…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/11/2001
I paddle a Cascade on everything from flatwater to Class III drops, and absolutely love my boat. I find it stable enough to stand up when I need to stretch my legs and very responsive whenever I am running technical drops requiring fast maneuverability. Last weekend, on the Lower Guadalupe River (Texas) I paddled it 14 miles in about 2.5 hours over a typical Texas pool-and-drop river. It moved smoothly in flatwater and I was able to make excellent time without much effort. I even got air flying off a big rock at the bottom of Clutter and Rock Garden.

The Cons: I have left too much Royalex on rocks, and wish the material were a little heavier and less abrasive. The biggest drawback is that it is discontinued and you have to look hard to find a new one these days.

The Pros: This boat does everything I have asked of it, and more. It has never made me swim and had been a lot of fun paddling solo, as well as tandem with my fiancee who is not a paddler.

While it does blow around in the wind, so does just about every boat I have ever paddled including my 16' Buffalo, Old Town Penobscot, Old Town Discovery Scout, Old Town Appalachain, and Mohawk XL-12 and XL-13.

I use an 8' kayak paddle and find that I have instant and easy ability to control direction with rudder strokes as well as sweep strokes when the boat does begin to blow around in the wind.

All things considered, it is my favorite boat to paddle - well suited to multi-day downriver trips on Class II - III rivers and absolutely a blast on those drops and turns. I love my Cascade!


I was lucky enough to find a…

Submitted by: paddler228634 on 5/24/2000
I was lucky enough to find a new Cascade 2 months ago and understand it is similar to the Dagger Legend 15. I bought it to paddle solo for class III WW. I will also be using it to carry gear for several nights on short stretches of river.

THE CONS- It is a little tippy sitting on the factory seats in WW due to high center of gravity. Not recommended for beginner tandem unless you want to learn fast ! Solo, it does not glide very well and is not a joy to paddle on long stretches of still water when you want to make time. Stiff winds are unmanageable. You will go where ever the wind blows you.

THE PROS- There's no doubt that there's much better boats for flat water, but after practicing my J-stroke, and in a calm wind, I can keep my paddle on the same side of the boat for as long as I want and stay on course. In WW, compared to a friend's Old Town Discovery Scout, the Cascade turns on a dime, is quick to accelerate, and quick to slow. This allows me to catch certain eddies and cut across swift water that I can not do in the Scout. I can sit in swift water on a wave facing upstream. I have side-surfed on a small wave at the bottom of a rapid, but I don't recommend it. It was very tricky.

I have installed a homemade foam pedestal and knee pads with Velcro so I can adjust the trim. It is much more stable in this configuration for WW. I have installed Mohawk 48" end float bags and tie-down kits. I weigh 205 lbs. Using the pedestal and properly trimmed, both ends of the boat clear the water. This makes it very easy to spin. When capsized, with the air bags, and moderate load, the boat rides high on the water.

I consider myself a novice and have only had this canoe 4 trips (upper Little Missouri in Arkansas) on what I consider class II water. (this is based on what I was told was class IV water on a rafting trip on the Arkansas river in Colorado). This river has a lot of rocks, tight turns, and fair standing waves(for the class). It also has a few tough rapids with low, stout, tree branch overhangs where the river bends. Being a narrow, swift river, this makes it fairly technical to navigate in a canoe. I do get knocked around a little on this river from the waves and have come close to being thrown out of the boat. Before tackling anything rougher, I will install a factory pedestal and knee strap, probably from Mohawk. I have kept from swimming on 3 of the 4 trips so far. with a little more practice, I will be ready to tackle class III.

With all this in mind, right now, if I think this boat won't handle it, I don't want to run it. But who knows ..... ? Since I am a novice and don't have much to compare it to, I give it an 8.


It's too bad Old Town isn't…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/18/2000
It's too bad Old Town isn't making the Cascade anymore - although there are some still unsold. It is a terrific boat for both class I-II whitewater as well as freestyle. We paddle tandem on the Wolf R. in Wisconsin but it also heels to the gunwales as smoothly as the Bell Starfire for technical quietwater paddling (freestyle). We put a kneeling thwart in center and use it solo - kneeling in chines makes for great canadian style paddling. A bit heavy but it sure beats tearing up kevlar boats on our rocky rivers! And we really enjoy a shorter boat.

As a tandem, great for fast…

Submitted by: paddler228116 on 7/3/1999
As a tandem, great for fast streams / rivers and up to Class 2. As a solo - can carry a great load in almost any water. Yes, 58 lbs. but it gives you capacity and durability.