NFCT Stewardship Machine

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail field season is winding down and we are shifting gears towards fall projects. But first, holy smokes, it’s hard to believe all the work that was accomplished this summer! Over the years we have developed a stewardship machine that professionally improves the paddler experience, mitigates user impact, and works to help keep our waters in good shape.

Like all machines there are a number of moving parts. Two highly efficient gears this summer have been our regional field coordinators, Noah Pollock (NY-VT-QC) and Will Jeffries (NH-ME). Starting in early spring they helped with hiring and planning, and then led our Stewardship Intern Crew and many volunteers through a flurry of field projects, including several we have been working on for a number of years.

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Regional field coordinator Will Jeffries on the aptly named Moose River Bow Loop.

New York

Indian Carry: With support from the Adirondack Land Trust and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, we replaced an 80-foot stretch of bog bridging along this historic carry connecting the Raquette River to the Saranac Lakes.

IndianCarryBogBridge_NorthernForestCanoeTrail_2016
Thanks to volunteers for pitching in mid-week to rebuild bog bridging for New York’s Indian Carry.

Vermont

Brownway Campsite: With support from the Brown Family, Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership, Enosburgh Conservation Commission, and Outdoor Gear Exchange, we installed a new campsite and paddler access on the Missisquoi River.

Alex’s Lean-to: Located along the Yaledale Portage in Derby, Vermont, the walls and roof were erected on a brand new lean-to for paddlers. A big thanks to REI, Outdoor Gear Exchange, Newport Pick and Shovel, the Schweizer Family, and the Yale Family.

Nulhegan Gorge Portage: With support from the Vermont River Conservancy, we rerouted the Nulhegan Gorge Portage, installed a new campsite, and lay the foundation for a future cabin.

NulheganGorgePrivy_NorthernForestCanoeTrail_2016
A waterway work trip brought together volunteers and interns to build a moldering privy and do campsite and portage trail work on Vermont’s Nulhegan River.

New Hampshire

Stark Access: With support from Gord’s Corner Store and REI, we put the finishing touches on an access ramp made possible in 2015 by the New Hampshire Recreation Trails Program and Fields Pond Foundation. The new 8-step stone staircase is a nice complement to this brand new access.

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Interns learned how to build a stone staircase on the Upper Ammonoosuc River in Stark, NH.

Maine

Rapid River Carry: With materials and on-the-ground support provided by the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, we installed more than 200 feet of bog bridging just outside of Cedar Stump Campground.

Moose River Bow Loop: With support from the Maine Bureau of Parks and Land, we hired a two-person stewardship crew to survey and maintain campsites along this historic paddling loop. We also performed a series of improvements including installing 18 new picnic tables, 2 new privies, and a log ladder.

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Our Moose Bow Loop Crew sawed, transported and built new picnic tables for campsites on Maine’s Holeb Pond.

It’s amazing all of the people that come together to make this 740-mile water trail a premiere paddling destination. A big thank you to all of our summer interns, trail maintainers, project volunteers, landowners and project supporters who keep this stewardship machine gassed-up and running efficiently year after year. Thanks also to our members and all who donate to NFCT’s Trail Fund. Working together is not only an enjoyable experience, but it makes canoe and kayak trips possible for so many people.

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There is one comment

  1. These accomplishments are beyond my wildest dreams. NFCT’s long-term management plan is unfolding before everyone’s eyes and paddlers should take notice. The spirit of cooperation that is reflected in Walter’s report of landowners, both private and public, to enhance the paddler experience underscores my long-held belief that access is a privilege, not a right! Without this generosity, the trail never would have gotten off the drawing board. If you are as moved with what you have read and have yet to show your support for the Trail’s efforts, I urge you to act. Your support will enable NFCT to continue its work.

    Rob Center
    Co-founder, Northern Forest Canoe Trail

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