Paddler Blogs

A Collection of Blogs from NFCT Paddlers

Thru-paddlers and section-paddlers have some great stories and inspiring tales to share. Link to their blogs here, and send us your blog as you start logging your journeys on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

2017 Paddlers

Beth Ziehl and Calvin Decker shared their tales on the trail in their blog, Stories Worth Telling. Beth is a former stewardship intern for the NFCT, working on the trail during the summer of 2014.

2016 Paddlers:

Collin Blunk is half of “The Wild Outsiders” duo. His partner Liz Furmanski joined him for the first section of the NFCT and know Collin is paddling on kayaking solo. Read his updates at Life on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

The Read Family has done a big water crossing before, namely the Atlantic Ocean on their sail boat Edelweiss in 2013. This year they used a much smaller boat to thru-paddle the NFCT. Read about them at The Read Family Adventures.

Once wasn’t enough for Mack Truax. Mack returned to repeat his thru-paddle. He also broke the record for fastest time completing the trail in 21 days. Read his updates at Mack Truax’s 2016 Northern Forest Canoe Trail Journal and watch Mack’s 2016 NFCT Movie.

John Connelly completed the NFCT…and kept going. PaddleQuest 1500 included our trail, the St. John River through New Brunswick, and the Maine coast to Kittery, Maine. Read his adventures at and watch a news interview here.

2015 Paddlers:

Gabrielle Mutel and Bryce Bognet decided to make their through paddle a family affair. Their 3-year old son is the youngest tot to have been paddled and portaged the entire trail! Relive their pace at Northern Forest Canoe Trail – A Family Adventure.

One dream sometimes leads to another. In 2011, Laurie Chandler kayaked the NFCT in Maine and raised $10,600 for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program (see Paddle for Hope). During the summer of 2015, with escaped convicts on the loose in northern New York, she through paddled in a new 13-foot Wenonah Fusion Kevlar canoe. Laurie shares her adventures at

Mack Truax from Michigan, recently retired and ready for an adventure, through paddled starting in May 2015. Read his story at 2015 Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

2014 Paddlers:

Geoff and Valerie Welch-Westerman traveled from The Netherlands and through paddled in a Penobscot canoe. Valerie won her PFD in the previous year’s Northern Forest Canoe Trail auction! Read their blog Journal of the Floating Dutchman.

Eric McIntyre through paddled the NFCT in 38 days in May and June and celebrated his 21st birthday while paddling. Read his story and see a short interview coutesy of the Bangor Daily News.  

Father-son team Tim and Ben Hille started through paddling begining of June. The duo has participated in multiple Northern Forest Canoe Trail Waterway Work Trips, creating campsites and doing trail work projects. This summer they get to revisit their handiwork…by canoe! Mid-trip, the Hille’s unfortunately wrapped their canoe on the Saranac River, but the team re-outfitted and got back on the Trail in Maine. Read about their trials and triumphs at NFCT Hille Through Paddle 2014.

2013 Paddlers:

For a late season Through Paddle (and hot off the Appalachian Trail) follow the adventures of the Wise Owl and Jitu.

Brian Quarrier and Allie Miller have built their canoe, paddles and pole in anticipation for their upcoing through paddle. Follow their blog at

Peter Macfarlane of Otter Creek Smallcraft completed his through paddle this spring in his custom-built cedar strip canoe. Started May 19 and ended June 15. Follow his trip planning on his blog Peter Macfarlane’s Solo Through-Paddle of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. See Peter’s talk 1 Man, 1 Canoe, 750 Miles at Isley Public Library in Middlebery, Vt. on 12/10/13.

2012 Paddlers:

Emily, Erik, and Elspeth find that three is the magic number and that an extra person sure does help on those long portages!  Follow their adventure across the NFCT in pictures.

Mark Fromm completed the NFCT in 39 days. Visit Mark and Pat’s Adventures for his trip stats and blog posts.

Mike Messink and pal got 14 days into their through paddle when a collision with a rock cracked a kayak. They’ve posted a fantastic video of images from their journey – including snow! – at Two Weeks on the NFCT.

Harry and Emily will begin their through paddle later this summer. Follow their planning and trip reports at Crew of Two.

Joe Peterlin’s blog shares his solo Through Paddle attempt this spring. Good lessons to be learned about his struggles with portage wheels.

Former NFCT intern Ben Malakoff and his brother Liam are paddling the Trail’s 350 miles in Maine to raise awareness for Nature Deficit Disorder and raise $10,000 for the Northern Forest Explorers. To learn more about their expedition and to make a pledge go to Canoe for the Kids 2012.

2011 Paddlers:

Team Collett:  The father and son team of Russ and Jeremy Collett successfully through paddled the 740 mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail this Summer. Follow their adventure (which began on Saturday, June 25th) on their Team Collett Blog.
Mike Lynch and Jacob Resneck, journalist extraordinaires, are through paddling to make a documentary about the the Northern Forest Canoe Trail! Follow their progress at Northeast Outdoors at

Katina Daanen first heard about NFCT in March 2010 at Rutabaga’s Canoecopia, in Madison, Wisconsin. She’s gearing up for her through paddle this summer, and you can watch her pack on her blog kdaanen-nfct.

Team Moxie began their through paddle on Memorial Day. Moxie is a 4 lb Yorkshire terrier with more canoe experience than most humans. Read Moxie’s Great Adventures blog.

The Rough Water Gypsies are on the NFCT this May and June. Four college friends with titles Navigator & Chandler/”Sue”-Chef, Head Scribe & Medical Officer, Expedition Therapist & System’s Dialer, and Chief Petty Officer & Admiral of Woodsmenship. Follow them on the Rough Water Gypsies blog.

Laurie Chandler will paddle the 350-mile Maine Section of NFCT this summer and raise $10,000 and awareness for childhood cancer in Maine. Follow her story on her blog Paddle for Hope.

Team Black Cat paddled the NFCT this spring. They left Old Forge, NY at 3:30 pm on April 29th and arrived in Fort Kent, ME at 10:30 am on May 22.  But their trip is far from over. Next: a paddle on the St. John River and hike on the Appalachian Trail north to south. Follow the journey on their Trail Journals blog.

2010 Paddlers:

Cathy Mumford celebrated her 50th birthday while through paddling NFCT. Her blog One Woman’s Solo Kayak Adventure shares her journey on becoming the first woman kayaker to solo through paddle the 740-mile Trail.

Ryan and Catherine Thompson (Hit and Miss) completed the NFCT and the AT in 2010.  Read their adventures by checking out their Blog!

Section Paddler, Chuck Horbert has developed a blog called Canoe Tales.  Join him as he chronicles his adventures across the NFCT!

Brian and Whitny (aka Ahab and Starbuck) completed the NFCT end of June 2010.  Check out Ahab and Starbuck here!

2009 Paddlers:

Mike Stavola through paddled the Trail in a kayak in 33 days during the summer of 2009.  Check out his web page describing his journey, Kayakathon

Excellent photos and engaging writing make Rick Beaty’s blog a must read.  And for the inquisitive, it’s a chance to explore just what is the Crooked Blue Line

Gil Whitney, a 67 year-old kayak through paddler, completed the trail in 2009. Read his fascinating experience of kayaking and witnessing a bear swimming across the same lake on his blog Gils Bucket List.

Looks like there’s an interesting through paddle afoot for 2009, beginning with the construction of a cedar strip canoe.  Check out the blog site for Noah, Don, and Argy.

Morrigan and Mahsa are slated to begin their journey on July 18th.  Follow their adventures as they guide the Floraburn over the NFCT.  They will be updating their blog regularly with Twitter-feeds.

2008 Paddlers:

Adam and Andy Boone (finished through paddle August 27, 2008)

Link to an article about Adam and Andy Boone.

Eileen McCue and William Hafford (finished through paddle July 10)

Link to an article about Eileen McCue and William Hafford.

Luke Shorty and Brett Townsend (finished through paddle July 10)

Debbie Chapin and Alan Christman, Jr. (AKA “JR”) (section paddling)

Chris Gill (section paddling)


2007 Paddlers:

Zand Martin and Ben Reilly
(finished 5/31/07)

Link to an article about through paddlers Zand Martin and Ben Reilly.

Jason Bivin (attempted AT and NFCT in one summer!)

Pennsylvania 4
(finished 8/19/07)

Darrin Kimbler
(finished 10/1/07)