Northern Forest Canoe Trail Improves Paddling on Missisquoi River

Last summer the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) made improvements at two campsites on the Missisquoi River between East Berkshire and Enosburg Falls. Doe and Lawyers Landing campsites provide canoeists and kayakers an overnight experience on this river that derives its name from Mazipskoik, “flint place,” the name of a large Abenaki settlement in present-day Swanton.Doe Campsite 2015

Like travelers before, today one can paddle and fish on the Missisquoi, but overnight camping is restricted to designated sites. NFCT works with local communities and private landowners to provide camping for anyone enjoying a night out on the river as well as paddlers who tackle part or all of the 740-mile water trail.

Doe Campsite is on private land about ½ mile upstream from the Rte. 118 bridge in East Berkshire. It sits on river left on a high bluff that shows varved clay—annual sediment layers that create visible stripes—dating back to the last ice age. Last summer, NFCT replaced a simple campsite marker with a more visible sign on the bank stating the campsite name.

Lawyers Landing Campsite is also on private land on river left just upstream from the Rte. 108 bridge and dam in Enosburg Falls. Toge logohanks to a grant from the Outdoor Gear Exchange, NFCT created a proto-type, portable privy to evaluate and improve a design for dealing with human waste. The system may replace outhouses across the trail.

To ensure the good-faith, continued use of these campsites, NFCT asks that visitors please respect these sites and practice Leave No Trace principles when visiting them.

Both efforts were accomplished by NFCT’s stewardship intern crew. The four-person crew worked last summer with volunteers to accomplish field projects in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Their work was made possible in part by a grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership funded by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission and managed by the Lake Champlain Basin Program. The program also received funding from REI, L.L. Bean, and member donations to NFCT’s Trail Fund.


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