Northern Forest Explorers

Overnight adventures for kids ages 9-15 on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Spend four-to-six days exploring the Northern Forest, paddling, camping, learning outdoor and leadership skills. Meet new friends, discover new talents and fall in love with the natural wonders of the Adirondack Park in New York, northern Vermont, New Hampshire’s North Country or Maine’s North Woods. A skilled and trusted set of outfitters have led Northern Forest Explorers trips for many years. Check out the list of trips below. Sign up contact the outfitter directly.

Matt Burnett

Matt Burnett Guiding will once again offer week-long team building trips this summer!

July 6-14: The Maine Meander! Chamberlain/Eagle Lake to the Canadian Border ($1,200 per participant)

July 22-26: Sojourn on the Saranacs (this trip is now full)

Aug. 5-9: Rendevous on the Raquette! Long Lake to Crusher ($600 per participant)

There is a limited amount of scholarship money available; use the links below to apply.

Scholarship Form (Online)
Scholarship Form (PDF)

For more information, call (518) 524-6441 or email [email protected].

Vermont Trips

Vermont Bike and Paddle Adventure, July 14-19, Ages 12-14
Biking the Lamoille Rail Trail and paddling down the Missisquoi River
Activity Level: Intermediate

A week-long paddle-pedal for kids! Bike packing is just like backpacking, except your sleeping bag, clothes, and tent are attached to your bike in special packs. Biking speed is fast enough to cover many miles each day, yet slow enough to see the beautiful sights and meet new people, as well as stop at ice cream stands, country stores, and swim holes along the way. This is an introductory trip on a rail trail, a trail that follows the old railroad bed. The awesome thing about the rail trails is that they are almost flat, wide, and well-surfaced, making for the best introduction to long-distance bike travel. We will bike approximately 20 miles a day, before transitioning to canoes and completing the last 30 miles of the trip down the Northern Forest Canoe Trail on the Missisquoi River to its mouth at the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge on Lake Champlain in Swanton. While floating down the river, there will be many opportunities to observe the animals, swim, fish, and play.

For more information, contact Misha Golfman, Executive Director, Mad River Path,, (603) 903-5567.

Scholarship Form (Online)
Scholarship Form (PDF)

Maine – Teens to the NFCT!

NFCT and Teens to Trails are working together to send eight trips full of Maine Outing Club members across the entire trail in Maine over the next three years in anticipation of our 25th anniversary. If you are part of an outing club in Maine and would like to participate, contact Samantha Andrews at Teens to Trails, [email protected].  To learn more about our partners at Teens to Trails visit


Moose River-Bow Loop to Grand Falls vis Spencer Stream

Moose River to Northwest Carry on Moosehead Lake

West Branch Penobscot: Lobster Stream to Chesuncook Dam


Allagash: Chamberlain Bridge to The Thoroughfare

Allagash: The Thoroughfare to Allagash Village

St John River: Allagash Village to Fort Kent

Get Outside

Being outside is fun, but it’s a whole lot more! Studies show that spending time in nature improves health by lowering stress, and increasing vitamin D absorption, which helps fight certain illnesses. It increases concentration and helps kids be more active addressing obesity and depression. Kids benefit developmentally from being outside too: time spent in nature has been shown to improve creativity, problem solving and social skills. Help your kids get ahead: get them outside!

Scholarships Available

Through generous support from individual donors and grant funders, Northern Forest Canoe Trail has a limited number of partial and full scholarships available on a first-come, first-serve basis. To apply for a scholarship, fill out this form. If you would like to support our scholarship fund, make a donation and indicate that it is for Northern Forest Explorers in the Special Notes field.

Northern Forest Explorer Stories

And Into the Forest We Go (2021)
Rendezvous on the Raquette (2019)
5 days on the Saranacs with the Northern Forest Explorers (2019)
Peek into the Life of a Northern Forest Explorer (2016)
Jack Skiff’s LOCALadk Story (2014)

Videos of Past Trips





Thank You to our Partners who Provide Scholarship Support

Long Lake Association, Long Lake Lions, the Rod & Gun Club, H. King and Jean Cummings Trust, the DY Kids Fund, Cloudsplitter Foundation.