NFCT launches 2021 stewardship season

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) stewardship season is underway.

With projects planned across New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, the NFCT’s stewardship crew will work to maintain and enhance access for all paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts along the 740-mile water trail and nearby waterways.

“Our team is excited to get back to work,” said Noah Pollock, NFCT’s stewardship director. “We executed some great projects last year despite the limitations imposed by COVID-19 restrictions. With conditions improving, we’re able to welcome back volunteers through our Waterway Work Trips, all of which filled up quickly — a great indicator that folks are enthused to get out there and help with our stewardship work.”

Projects this year include:

  • Saranac River Union Falls Pond Campsites and Carry, NY: Improve three campsites on Union Falls Pond with tent pads, access trails, privies, and signage while reducing erosion and stormwater runoff along two upstream carries.
  • Clyde River Carries, VT: Improve portage trails providing passage around several dams and rapids.
  • Connecticut and Upper Ammonoosuc River Campsites, VT/NH: Build new infrastructure to handle growing use, including access steps, tables and a new moldering privy.
  • Grand Falls Carry, ME: Make accessibility improvements to the portage trail on the Dead River.
  • Long Pond Campsites, ME: Upgrade two campsites with tent pads, tables and moldering privies, and complete overdue maintenance along a carry around Demo Rapids.
  • Lawyers Landing, VT: Build a set of stone steps at an access and portage along the Wild & Scenic Upper Missisquoi.
  • East Berkshire Landing, Missisquoi River, VT: Construct a floating dock and landing trail for use at a variety of water levels and during the Missisquoi Paddle-Pedal.
  • Winooski River Access, VT: Establish a formal access trail above the Hidden Dam in East Montpelier, and install benches, composting privy and tables along the river’s north branch.
  • Mad River Access, VT: Establish two formal river access trails at a Mad River Path parking area on Meadow Road in Waitsfield to mitigate severe bank erosion that has resulted from heavy use by paddlers, anglers and swimmers.
  • Crossing Falls Carry, VT: Improve a portage around the Lamoille River’s Crossing Falls in Johnson with stone steps, a retaining wall, and a 30’ boardwalk.

NFCT’s stewardship team is led by Pollock, with support from Field Coordinator Phineas Peake and stewardship interns Rachel Hatheway, Adam Blachly, and MacKenzie Michaels.

“This work is all made possible by our volunteers, members, donors, and corporate and business partners,” said Karrie Thomas, NFCT’s executive director. “We’re incredibly grateful that these generous people and institutions stuck with us through the pandemic, setting us up to continue the core work of our organization — maintaining access to the waterways of the Northern Forest for the enjoyment of all.”

Stewardship partners include the Vermont River Conservancy, Friends of the Mad River, Neck of the Woods, Mad River Valley Planning District, UMATR Wild & Scenic Committee, the Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands, Maine Huts & Trails, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Cross Vermont Trail Association, Lake Champlain Basin Program, Brookfield Renewables, Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, Davis Conservation Fund, Vermont Watershed Grants Program, Gravity Renewables, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and Vermont Fish & Wildlife.

To learn more about NFCT’s stewardship programming, contact Noah Pollock at [email protected].