Rangeley Oquossoc Adventure Rendezvous Set for June 29-30

A new race is coming to Rangeley Lakes, a two-day paddling challenge that will serve as the anchor event of the new Maine High Peaks PaddleFest.

Hosted by the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) and dozens of statewide partners, the Rangeley Oquossoc Adventure Rendezvous (ROAR), will take place June 29-30, in Rangeley, Maine. The 40-mile paddling stage race will feature a paddle through the lands and waters of the Rangeley Lakes, showcasing the region’s rich history and natural beauty.

Registration for ROAR is open through May 31. If you are a member of the NFCT, New York Paddlesports Racing Association (NYPRA), Maine Canoe & Kayak Racing Association (MACKRO) and/or New England Canoe & Kayak Racing Association (NECKRA), discounts are available. Space is limited; visit https://bit.ly/rangeleyrendezvous to learn more and sign up.

“Over the last several years, our organization and our partners have been investing time, money and resources into enhancing access to the waters of Maine’s north woods,” said NFCT Executive Director Karrie Thomas. “Now we’re adding an opportunity for paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts to get out and enjoy this majestic landscape. The new Rangeley Oquossoc Adventure Rendezvous and High Peaks PaddleFest serve as a significant step toward accomplishing this goal.”

The NFCT is a 740-mile water route that begins in Old Forge, N.Y., and ends in Fort Kent, Maine, connecting New York, Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire and Maine, showcasing the mix of landscapes and communities currently lining the traditional routes used by Indigenous peoples, settlers and guides; it is the longest in-land water trail in the nation. The Rangeley Lakes region is among the most beautiful and remote stretches of the entire trail.

ROAR starts at Rangeley Town Cove Park, 31 Park Rd, in Rangeley. On day one, participants will paddle across the north side of Rangeley Lake and carry through Oquossoc past the fish hatchery and onto Lake Mooselookmeguntic. From there, they will continue across Mooselookmeguntic and south along the western shore to Upper Dam, then carry around Upper Dam to Richardson Lake. Day one ends with a paddle north on Upper Richardson Lake and finishes at Mill Brook Boat Launch. This stage is 20 miles with two portages totaling 1.2 miles. The second day of ROAR starts at the Mill Brook Boat Launch and reverses the course, finishing at Rangeley Cove Town Park.

The race features classes for all skill levels and boat types, from a non-competitive “ramble” class for paddlers who are in it to finish, to  divisions for competitive racers. Solo, tandem four-person canoes and eight-person voyageur canoes — often referred to as war canoes — are also invited to participate. There are also classes for surf skis, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and guideboats.

Funds raised by ROAR will be used to support stewardship of the Maine sections of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and be invested back into the Rangeley Lakes communities.

ROAR is the premiere event for High Peaks PaddleFest, which begins Friday, June 28, and continues throughout the weekend. The schedule includes exhibitors, equipment demos and sales, outdoor games, kids events, speakers, book signings, a silent auction, an Esquif Prospecteur 17 canoe raffle, libations, food, entertainment and more. On Sunday, the Youth Can Paddle program at Haley Pond Park will feature paddling races for kids, obstacle courses and face painting. The weekend will conclude with the ROAR awards ceremony.

ROAR and High Peaks PaddleFest are sponsored by the NFCT, Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, Rangeley Adventure Co., The Rangeley Inn. Rangeley-Oquossoc Chamber of Commerce, Maine Sports Commission, Maine Lakes & Mountains Tourism Commission, Saddleback Mountain and Esquif.

Lodging is available at The Rangeley Inn and the Rangeley Lakes Trails Center, as well as downtown camping in Rangeley. Visit https://bit.ly/rangeleyrendezvous to learn more and for discounts on nightly stays.

To learn more about ROAR and High Peaks PaddleFest, or if you have questions about registration, email info@northernforestcanoetrail.org.