Sunday, March 20, 2016

Northern Forest Canoe Trail

Credit: Google Images
Well, it’s official.   I had entered a raffle at Canoecopia for a free membership with Northern Forest Canoe Trail.  I didn’t win.   That, of course, is not a surprise.  Had I won, that would have been huge, because I was really interested in the trail and paddling it.  Four people won memberships, and I wonder how many of them will actually through-paddle the trail.  There are two advantages of membership.  The first is that it supports the paddling trail and helps to spread the interest for people actually camping and paddling the trail.  The second is the 15% discount on the cost of the trail guide and maps. 

So, being a big loser, I went onto their site and bought my own membership.  So there!  And, I ordered the guide and complete 13-map set for paddling the trail.  While I was at the NFCT booth, I also met Katina Daanen, and purchased her 2nd Ed. NFCT Through-Paddler's Companion, a guide she wrote after her 2011 through-paddle of the trail.  The upside, of course, is paddling the trail can’t help but make me a winner.  How could anyone spend one or two months in such beautiful country without feeling like a winner?  One of our fondest memories from early in our marriage was a winter camping trip on Eighth Lake, which the paddling trail goes right through.  We came close to being shot by a couple poachers spotlighting deer, but it was still a wonderful time in our lives.  The country is pristine, beautiful, and the trail offers the widest possible variety of paddling experiences and challenges from upstream, downstream, flatwater to class IV, easy reprovisioning, isolation when you want it, or friendly, quaint villages when you don’t feel like being alone.  It is 740 miles long, follows the oldest hunting and trade trails in the country that were used by Native Americans, fur trappers, voyageurs, etc.  It takes the paddler through 22 rivers and streams, 58 ponds and lakes, over 63 portages (ouch!) totaling 55 miles, over beaver dams, through bug swarms, through three national wildlife refuges, 45 towns and villages, spans four states plus a crossing into Canada and back, and allows for camping or lodging about every 15 miles in the beautiful Adirondacks and Northern New England.  The following link will take you to the blog section of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, where you can read posts from the through-paddlers that have actually done the trip.  Enjoy the beautiful photographs they share.  Share the experiences.  Maybe you too will be moved to make the trip.  See

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