The Northern Forest Canoe Trail has cancelled the annual Missisquoi Paddle-Pedal event in Richford, Vt., due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the NFCT team is promoting virtual participation, encouraging people to safely paddle and cycle the race routes throughout the paddling season and share their experiences on social media.
The event, which combines 6.5 miles of paddling down a Wild & Scenic section of the Missisquoi River and 5 miles of cycling on the adjacent Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail, was scheduled for Saturday, June 20. Currently, the state of Vermont is limiting public gatherings to groups of no more than 10; the Paddle-Pedal regularly draws up to 75 participants and their support teams.
“While Governor Scott has relaxed the ‘stay home, stay safe’ guidance, the state of Vermont continues to recommend physical distancing in our social interactions to help limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Karrie Thomas, NFCT executive director. “At this time, our Board of Directors and staff feel that cancelling this year’s Paddle-Pedal is the appropriate course of action. We’re saddened by this, but also excited to go the extra mile to make 2021’s Paddle-Pedal an even bigger celebration of paddling and cycling.”
In the spirit of the event, NFCT encourages individuals and families to safely paddle and bike the route:
NFCT also encourages paddlers and cyclists to share photos of their trips by posting them to social media with the hashtags #paddlepedal2020 and #nfct20, or by emailing them to [email protected].