For many, hearing a reference to the Northern Forest Canoe Trail evokes images of sunlight scattered across lakes, cedars leaning over whitewater or close encounters with grazing moose. With canoes and paddles packed away for the season and the mercury dipping well below zero, the Trail feels as distant as the easy days of summer.
I live on a hill in Milan, New Hampshire which stands between the Upper Ammonoosuc and Androscoggin rivers. Through paddlers are familiar with our hill because they have to haul their boats 4 odd miles over it in order to continue on their journey. As a resident of the NFCT watershed, I get to observe it through its seasonal shifts, and at this time of year, watch the Androscoggin steam as it weaves between its snowy banks.
Folks heartier than I paddle these waters in each of the 12 months. I prefer to explore them by skis. The NFCT watershed can be skied on a web of snowmobile trails, on the groomed corduroy of local cross country ski centers or anywhere for those who are happy to break their own way.
Snowshoe hare, coyote, deer and moose tracks crisscross the woods revealing an active ecosystem that is otherwise dense with quiet.
In order to make this stunning winter landscape more accessible to visitors, NFCT has partnered with local small businesses to create the New Hampshire Nordic Ski Vacation Package. The package includes a custom-built day of backcountry skiing in the NFCT watershed or of touring on the groomed trails at the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel. A seasoned guide from Outdoor ESCAPES New Hampshire will oversee ski rental and instruction (if needed), and will share winter survival, and natural history tips along the way.
The package also includes 2 nights at the lovely 150 MAIN STREET LODGING ON THE ANDROSCOGGIN which is within walking distance of shops and restaurants in the quaint town of in Errol, NH. Click here for a full package description and for booking information.
The NFCT is an exceptional place to visit (and live) in any season!
~ by Phoebe Backler, NFCT Community Outreach, New Hampshire