Local Businesses Join Together to Open Up the Connecticut

Waitsfield, Vt. – Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT), in partnership with North Woods Rafting of Milan, New Hampshire and the North Stratford Market in North Stratford, New Hampshire has created significantly easier opportunities for the public to enjoy canoeing and kayaking in the North Country by making available recreational boat rentals and shuttles on a previously unserved section of the Upper Connecticut River.  Beginning June 15, North Stratford Market will offer rental canoes, kayaks and shuttle services along the Connecticut River using boats, paddles and PFDs provided by North Woods Rafting.  Recently, Northern Forest Canoe Trail announced their “Best of 2012” list for activities along the Trail and the Connecticut River was selected by the public as “Best Weekend Trip”.

In February of this year, Northern Forest Canoe Trail and Vermont River Conservancy convened a meeting of business and community leaders at the Silvio Conte National Wildlife Refuge to address, “opportunities for expanding boat rental and shuttle services and improved access along the Upper Connecticut”.  The meeting resulted in the partnership between Bryan Holcombe, owner of the North Stratford Market, and Heather Piche, co-owner of North Woods Rafting.  “Partnerships like this one are crucial to small businesses in the North Country.  They allow us to bring the natural benefits of the rivers to more people,” says Ms. Piche.

Kate Williams, Executive Director of Northern Forest Canoe Trail, says that in the past two years her group has helped to make forty-one miles of New Hampshire waterways more accessible to public use by partnering with local businesses that now provide rentals and shuttle services on rivers that were previously not served.  “Partnering to broaden the support for recreational opportunities in places like North Stratford, Colebrook and Bloomfield is critical to the long-term health of the region and the Trail,” states Ms. Williams.  She added that last year, Gord’s Corner Store in Milan, New Hampshire began offering rental and shuttle services on the Upper Ammonoosuc River.

In addition to strong local partnerships, NFCT, along with American Rivers, National Geographic Society and the National Park Service, recently announced the Connecticut River as one of ten waterways nationally to be featured as part of the nationwide “River Stories” Campaign.  This effort uses an innovative, web-based storytelling format that aims to engage people in understanding, enjoying, and conserving their waterways.  Using National Geographic Maps’ groundbreaking GeoStories platform, River Stories combines maps, photos, and video to take viewers on virtual tours of waterways across the country, allowing them to experience the journey on the water and see how people are making a difference locally.

For more information about rentals and shuttle services at the North Stratford Market, call 603 922-3312.

Northern Forest Canoe Trail is the longest recreational paddling trail in the nation and runs from Old Forge, New York, through Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire, to Fort Kent, Maine.  In 2011 it was named “Best Canoe Trail” by Outside Magazine.


The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a 740-mile paddling trail tracing historic travel routes across New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire and Maine.  Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Inc. is internationally regarded as the preeminent water trail organization in North America, connecting people to the Trail’s natural environment, human heritage, and contemporary communities by stewarding, promoting and providing access to canoe and kayak experiences along this route.

To learn more visit, http://northernforestcanoetrail.org or call 802 496-2285.

Media Contact:  Kevin Mack, Director of Partnerships and Marketing
Northern Forest Canoe Trail
802 535-5855


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