2006: The Official Introduction of a Canoeing Trail

June 3, 2006

A marked canoeing trail that runs through a region between the hamlet of Old Forge in New York and the town of Fort Kent in Maine was officially opened. This trail was developed within the Northern Forest, a combination of hardwood and boreal forests that collectively comprise the largest continuous forest in North America that is east of the Mississippi River.

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT), covering 740 miles (1,190 kilometers) altogether, encompasses contiguous bodies of water that include rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds. NFCT specifically crosses New York; Vermont, the Canadian province of Quebec; New Hampshire; and Maine.

NFCT, which has been characterized as a water-based version of the Appalachian Trail, was mapped out to follow longtime Native American travel routes in that part of the world. The word “canoe” was included in the trail’s formal name to highlight the traditional mode of transportation for Native American tribes in the region. While canoes are promoted as the best means of mobility for the entire trail, most of it can also be paddled with kayaks.

The Sunday opening of NFCT included dedication ceremonies along the route at the village of Saranac Lake, New York; the city of Newport, Vermont; the community of Groveton, New Hampshire; and the community of Greenville, Maine.

Kate Williams, NFCT’s executive director (as well as a lifelong canoer and kayaker) emphasized the hoped-for benefits of the new water trail in an article that was published in the next day’s edition of the New Hampshire-based Concord Monitor. She said, “We hope it will contribute to the identity of the Northern Forest . . . We hope the trail will sort of help bring understanding to this region as a whole.”

(The NFCT sign shown in the above photo is located at the village of Enosburg Falls, New Hampshire.)

Photo Credit: Public Domain

For more information on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, please check out https://www.northernforestcanoetrail.org/discover/faqs/

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