WAITSFIELD, Vt. – Hundreds of canoe and kayak enthusiasts will gather in Rangeley,Maine, July 23-25 to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Inc. (NFCT). The organization created and manages the 740-mile recreational water trail by the same name that stretches from Old Forge, N.Y. to northern Maine.
Activities planned for the NFCT Paddler’s Rendezvous include guided paddling trips, outings for families and gear demonstrations. Mini presentations will cover birch bark canoe construction, paddling with kids, boat repair, map reading with GPS, kayak fishing and more. There will be exhibitors representing boat and paddle products, outfitters, state conservation agencies, and destinations along the trail.
There will be a Saturday evening party at Saddleback resort with food, a bonfire, a commemorative program and live music. That day paddlers anywhere along the trail can participate in a “740 Miles In One Day” paddling event with the goal of logging enough miles to equal the length of the trail.
The anniversary event will coincide with the 30th Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum Festival Days, and NFCT staff, interns and volunteers will represent the trail with a float in the Saturday morning festival parade down Main Street. For full details on the weekend celebration visit northernforestcanoetrail.org/GetInvolved-11.
Umbagog Lake, Rangeley Lake, Mooselookmeguntic Lake, Cupsuptic Lake, the RichardsonLakes, South Branch of the Dead River and Flagstaff Lake are the bodies of water that make up the two mapped sections of the NFCT in the Rangeley region.
In all, the trail has 13 mapped sections which follow Native American paddling routes over lakes, ponds, rivers, streams and portage trails through New York, Vermont, southernQuébec, New Hampshire, and Maine. The Saranac Lakes, Lake Champlain, Missisquoi River, Connecticut River, Androscoggin River and Allagash Wilderness Waterway are other destinations along the trail.
The nonprofit Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Inc. began operation in 2000 headed by husband and wife Rob Center and Kay Henry, both former executives at Mad River Canoe Company. The physical trail opened to the public in 2006 and is accessible to both canoeists and kayakers.
Waterside campsites, inns and B&Bs on each trail section make overnight and multi-day paddle trips possible for solo travelers or families. A vacation on the NFCT allows paddlers to enjoy flat, swift, and whitewater on the longest inland water trail in the northeast.
NFCT, Inc. is internationally regarded as the preeminent water trail organization in North America. The organization provides trail access, paddling itineraries, trail construction and stewardship, volunteer work trips, and unique outreach initiatives like the Paddlers Film Festival and the Northern Forest Explorers youth paddling program.
For more information about the Northern Forest Canoe Trail call 802-496-2285 or visit northernforestcanoetrail.org/.