There and Back Again: Hundreds of Miles of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail runs from Old Forge, New York to Fort Kent, Maine, allowing paddlers to explore the breathtaking natural beauty of the northeastern United States and Quebec. Following the customary routes of Native Americans, the Northern Forest Canoe Trail spans 740 miles through the states and provinces of New York, Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Let’s look at it by the numbers: the Northern Forest Canoe Trail covers 59 lakes, 23 rivers and streams, 45 communities, and 65 portages. For the seasoned canoeing veteran, this is your ultimate challenge. Only 68 people have through-paddled the trail—travelling the length of the trail’s 740 miles in one expedition—while three have completed it in sections. The first two to complete the trail in 2006 took 45 days!

While we can’t provide accommodations and a delicious breakfast on a journey as ambitious as a through-paddle of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, the Highland Lodge would be more than happy to be your host if you’re interested in taking to the water for a small section of it. Section 6 of the trail passes through Vermont’s scenic Northeast Kingdom, from Lake Memphremagog to the Connecticut River. Along the way, journey along Clyde River and across Clyde and Island Ponds as well as Salem Lake.

Whether you’re learning a new skill (steer clear of some portions of the trail, as they require advanced skills) or practicing your favorite pastime, the trail has sections for everyone and most can be completed by any novice. Take a peaceful evening paddle or start planning a longer expedition; it’s all up to you. If you’re new to paddling, consider hiring a guide or instructor.

For more information on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, visit the website. Discovery awaits.

Northern Forest Canoe Trail

8 State Route 17

Waitsfield, Vermont 05673