Onion Foundation supports Water Trails Network

A grant from the Onion Foundation is helping the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) cultivate a water trails network, a cohort of organizations across the Northern Forest region working to promote paddling opportunities in their communities.

This year, the NFCT is strengthening its partnerships with recreational organizations that are developing waterway access and promoting paddling in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. NFCT’s stewardship and mapping crews have been working with these groups over the last several years, lending skill and expertise to maintenance and waterway access projects, as well as cross-promotion of events and providing technical support.

“The Northern Forest Canoe Trail traces historic travel routes from the Adirondacks to the Allagash,” said Karrie Thomas, NFCT’s executive director. “Our founders envisioned a resource that connects people to the communities and landscapes of the Northern Forest and supports the regional economy by strengthening recreational tourism. This concept was never meant to be limited to one trail: it imagined the NFCT as a backbone linking the major watersheds of the region, encouraging improved access and information to promote exploration of the region’s history and natural beauty through its waterways.”

The Onion Foundation grant will enhance the NFCT’s current collaborations and support the creation of new partnerships while supporting concrete mapping and infrastructure projects.

NFCT works with a number of partners including Androscoggin River Watershed Council (Maine), High Peaks Initiative (Maine), Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail (New Hampshire) and Lamoille River Paddlers’ Trail (Vermont). The Penobscot River Paddling’ Trail (Maine) is the newest group working to launch their effort.

The Onion Foundation funds efforts that encourage conservation and stewardship of the natural environment and to promote music and the arts in the state of Maine. Learn more: onionfoundation.org.

To learn more about NFCT and water trails in the northeast, see the NFCT Trip Planner tool, northernforestcanoetrail.org/trip-planner, or email karrie@northernforestcanoetrail.org.