A Day in the Life of America’s Best Canoe Trail

By Kate Williams, Executive Director

I still remember when I was a kid and took my first glimpse through a microscope at an unremarkable drop of pond water. As I saw the remarkable range of squirmy, shapely, and mysterious creatures under the lens, I finally understood the phrase “more than meets the eye.” I had a similar kind of “aha” this past Wednesday, June 29, when I suddenly grokked all of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail activity that was occurring simultaneously in Coos County, NH under the forested cover, rugged topography, and dramatically cloudy skies:

Outreach: With three staffers from the NH Fish and Game Department, I was paddling the Connecticut River from Maidstone to Guildhall to film a segment of a TV show that will air on WBIN-TV. The big clouds and filtered light made the wide valley, silver maples, and background peaks almost unreal in their perfection, and my new paddling friends were fun and knowledgeable. All good. (Stay tuned for when our segment airs….)

Trail Stewardship: Just downstream in Lancaster, several of our interns with field coordinator Noah Pollock were industriously building register boxes at the home of NFCT Board member Mary Sloat. Mary’s husband, Bruce, has done his fair share of trail work primarily for the Appalachian Mountain Club, and he joined in the fun and gave the interns high marks for their work ethic. Phew.

More Trail Stewardship: Continuing east, another pod of interns was working on an Upper Ammonoosuc River access we are building at Gord’s Corner Store in Milan. Huge thanks to Gord’s for being such an active partner!

Community Economic Development: At the tail end of the day, Noah and I converged in Lancaster for a meeting with Kevin Mack, NFCT’s new Director of Partnerships and Marketing, and Phoebe Backler, our field coordinator for NH. We met to review our Trails and Economic Development Report (coming soon!) and to strategize for the coming year’s work in our community economic development program.

Northern Forest Explorers: Last but not least, on NFCT’s third NH river, the mighty Androscoggin, one of our first Northern Forest Explorers trips of the season was making its way downstream to their campsite for the night under the able guidance of Great Glen Trails.

One day – one beautiful trail section – LOTS of activity in all of our program areas. And I knew that to our west and east, so much more similarly wonderful activity was happening in the watersheds of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.