Voices from the Northern Forest Canoe Trail

The Official Blog of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail :: Paddling – or dreaming about it – in the Northern Forest

Nulhegan Confluence Hut and Trails

Categories: Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Trail Stewardship

By Noah Pollock
Vermont State Coordinator & New York/Vermont Regional Field Coordinator

Nulhegan Hut construction 2016

The arrival of winter has slowed—but not completely stopped—the completion of a new amenity for paddlers: a hut along the Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s Nulhegan River in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

This year I’ve been managing the construction of a 14′ x 16′ cabin near the confluence of the Nulhegan River and the East Branch Nulhegan River, on a 70-acre parcel that was conserved by the Vermont River Conservancy (VRC). Like NFCT’s other state coordinators, I “wear hats” with other organizations and it is always wonderful finding projects like this that are natural partnerships.


One way to level a stone.

While project development and fundraising is being led by VRC, the Northern Forest Canoe Trail has provided critical hands-on support. Last summer, NFCT interns and volunteers literally built the foundation for the hut. The stewardship team also constructed a moldering privy, a campsite, a river access point, and cleared nearly a mile of walking trails along the Nulhegan. The trails also serve as a re-route for the Nulhegan Gorge portage, getting paddlers off busy Route 105 and the often shallow and rocky East Branch. Read more

A Peek into the Life of a Northern Forest Explorer

Categories: Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Northern Forest Explorers

By Roisin Low
Youth Program Intern

From the rapids of the Androscoggin, down the meandering Clyde River, across Blue Mountain Lake and through the quick water of the Connecticut River, the Northern Forest Explorers travel. Nine trips set off last summer with 10-14 year-olds spread out over the 740-mile waterway that is the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

Day 1: The Adventure Begins

After two weeks of training and preparation with the NFCT, I drove to Errol, New Hampshire to meet the first group of Northern Forest Explorers. As excited as I was, I was thoroughly enjoying the peace and quiet of my car, anxiously awaiting what came next. By 8:30 am, parents started showing up with their kids and all their neatly packed gear in tow. One thing I was sure of was that their gear was not coming back packed in Ziploc bags, and the clothes labeled Thursday were going to remain at the bottom of their dry bag. Read more

A Novice Canoeist’s Perspective on Paddling in Maine

Categories: Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Trail Stewardship

By Serena Doose

Lucky me, stuck with my brother as a paddling partner on my first canoe experience.

The slow moving, tannic waters of the Santee Canal in South Carolina were the backdrop for the third day of “staycation” week involving cypress swamps, beaches and historic plantation homes. Though no one in our family knew which end of the boat was the front or back, much less how to paddle at all, we set out on our first float trip in the high heat and humidity of a southern August day.

A few hours later, no one had capsized, and we were on our way back to the visitor’s center. My brother, in the stern, had decided to stop paying attention now and we quickly found ourselves in some wonderfully thick riparian vegetation. Struggling to understand the paddle strokes to free us from this situation, I looked up at the branch above our boat and saw a snake.

Most snakes in South Carolina are poisonous. This was not good. I vowed to never go canoeing again. Read more

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