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

Impromptu Trip on Lake Memphremagog’s South Bay and the Black River

Categories: From the Executive Director, Northern Forest Canoe Trail

By Karrie Thomas
Executive Director


At the end of September, a group of Northern Forest Canoe Trail staff and board members were hoping to paddle to an NFCT campsite on Eagle Point on Lake Memphremagog in Newport, Vermont. But we only had a few hours and the wind was blasting 20 mph gusts across the lake from the northwest. We knew it would be a battle getting out and around the point, and a wild ride coming back in the chilly wind.

A stop at Beans by the Border Coffee Shop on Main Street provided delicious coffee and great advice about an alternative trip from co-owner Paul Dreher.

South Bay of Lake Memphremagog was protected from the day’s driving wind. We put-in at the Vermont Fish and Wildlife South Arm Access Area launch at 619 Coventry Street in Newport. The shores here are a mix of light industrial buildings and residential houses interspersed with forested banks. The late September sun warmed us as we rounded a point in search of the opening to the Black River. Read more

5 Fall Foliage Paddling Trips

Categories: Northern Forest Canoe Trail

fallfoliage_northernforestcanoetrailThe Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a spectacular place to view the changing colors of fall foliage. From canoe, kayak or SUP, you get a perspective unlike any other.

We suggest you spend a few hours this fall paddling into the surrounding reds, oranges, and yellows, listening to crickets, falling leaves and migrating geese, and breathing in the earthy scent that comes only with autumn.

To help you plan, we asked our staff to share their recommended places to paddle in October on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. We also list links to fall foliage maps for each trail state at the end. Read more

An Intern’s Privy Pride

Categories: Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Trail Stewardship

By Nolan Ebner
Stewardship Roving Crew 2016

nolan_profilepicI took a deep breath, stepped back, and paused a moment to gather myself. I could hardly believe that only several months earlier I had eagerly accepted this position, that of the outdoor wanderer, the transient do-gooder, a member of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s Roving Crew. Surely instances such as this, while not entirely pleasant, were to be expected, even foreseen. Yet there I stood, eye to eye, with the crescent of an Adirondack Box Privy.

There are some outhouses that require a certain mental fortitude to enter. This happened to be one of them. The door, with sections of wood flaking off as easily as the weathered brown paint, stood slightly open to expose a rotting interior with the walls wasting away in a similar fashion.

But it was the floor that stands so vividly in my memory. What once were wooden boards now more resembled a pulp mesh. It was clear that even the weight of a small child would have sent the visitor plummeting into the pile of visible waste below. Though it was not an ideal situation, nevertheless there was no clear alternative with which to answer nature’s urgent call, and so, acrobatically, I stepped in. Read more

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