Trip Report: Missisquoi River from North Troy to Richford, Vermont

On a beautiful spring morning, my kids and I arrived at the meeting spot at Davis Park in Richford, Vermont just in time to get our boat on the trailer. We were joining folks for a shuttle up the Missisquoi River to our put-in near the Canadian border on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s first guided day trip of the year. It was also my first time canoeing alone with my 7 and 4 year-old boys, and I knew that Russ Ford and Steve Boal, our trip leaders, would be the right team for me to test this parenting experiment.

upper Missisquoi RiverEight adults and two kids made up a friendly, comfortable group. Aside from our fearless leaders, none of us had yet paddled this section of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Russ provided just the right amount of information and a keen eye for safety, which put all of us at ease and allowed us to “add another section of river to our list” as one of our number put it.

Not including the Class III chute in the Town of Richford, the river from the border down to Davis Park is generally flat with a few small riffles all easily walked. We came across a recently downed tree that allowed us to squeeze by on river left, but most of us opted to line through the tight spot and not take the risk of getting caught in the branches.

MissisquoiTrip_4-30-16_cairnAll together the camaraderie, river beta and shuttle sharing made for an excellent outing. I owe a big thanks to Monica and Chris for standing with my kids below the last rapids so I could have a bit of excitement just before the take-out!

Thanks to Russ and Steve and everyone who attended. I will certainly look for more opportunities to join these NFCT guided day trips in the future.

Next trip: May 22, Birding and Photography along the Nulhegan River, Brighton, VT with NFCT section-paddler Chris Gill.

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