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Canoeing

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail

In the May issue of Sierra Magazine, I wrote about paddling the West Branch of the Penobscot River in northern Maine. More paddlers are soon to follow, now that the West Branch of the Penobscot is part of a 740-mile water corridor called the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Launched in June 2006 by the former owners of Mad River Canoe Company, Rob Center and his wife, Kay Henry, the route starts in Old Forge, New York, linking together more than 75 lakes and rivers before reaching its northern terminus in Fort Kent, Maine. Unlike the Appalachian Trail, Center does not believe the non-profit will attract a significant number of thru-paddlers. So far, the list of canoers who’ve traversed the entire circuit in one trip numbers around thirty.  He hopes to entice paddlers to try each section of the route in chunks, going back year after year and thus support the struggling economies of small communities along the waterway. The non-profit also designs exquisite maps for each segment of the trail that not only pinpoint campsites and portages in the area, but delve into the ecology and history of the region. To become a member and learn more about the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, visit their website.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/30/10 at 01:00 PM
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Monday, January 04, 2010

My Top 5 Adventures in 2009, Canoeing the West Branch of the Penobscot River, Maine

Every newspaper, magazine, and website seems to be picking their top (fill in the blank) of the past year, so I’ve decided to give you my favorite adventures of the year. In early October, when the leaves on the maples were turning yellow, I had the good fortune paddle down the West Branch of the Penobscot River following in the current of the great naturalist and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau. Our guide was Kevin Slater, a legendary Maine paddler and dogsledder who learned these rivers and how to carve his own canoes and paddles from his mentor who he simply called “the Old Timer.” We spent four glorious days on the water, with few other paddlers, spotting moose, bear, loons, and osprey. In the backdrop was mighty Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. The story will appear in an upcoming issue of Sierra Magazine, the publication of the Sierra Club. If you want to paddle with Kevin Slater on the Penobscot, you can contact him via his website.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/04/10 at 02:00 PM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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