May 23, 2018
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Regional canoe trail to be demonstration project

Contributed | BDN
Contributed | BDN

WAITSFIELD, Vt. — The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) has been selected as a multi-state demonstration project by the New England Governors’ Conference Commission on Land Conservation.

The 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail links lakes, ponds, rivers, streams and portages from Old Forge, N.Y., to Fort Kent, Maine.

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Land Conservation 2010 Report to the Governors outlined five integrated initiatives for the region, and chose NFCT to develop demonstration programming along its 740-mile recreational waterway as part of the Connect People to the Outdoors Initiative.

NFCT was one of two New England trail systems recognized for “enhancing recreational opportunities while supporting local economies,” the report stated. The trail connects people to a “paddling route that traces a compelling history from early Native Americans through European settlement. NFCT also introduces visitors to places and people that make waterway destinations along Northern New England inviting and exciting today. The variety of flat water, swift water, and whitewater, on a range of rivers, streams, lakes and ponds, provides extensive opportunities for canoe and kayak recreation,” the report noted.

The nonprofit Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Inc. stewards the mapped, 13-section paddling trail that links waterways across New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire and Maine. The organization also directs programs that provide public access to paddling and generate meaningful experiences in the outdoors, including an innovative youth program focused on connecting rural youth with their backyard waterways, and a nationally-recognized rural economic development model linking trail users to locally-based businesses and services.

NFCT will build on these existing programs to launch the demonstration activities that will play a critical role in providing the more than 14 million residents in the six-state New England regionwith real opportunities for outdoor engagement.

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