Don’t get me wrong, long-distance paddling trips can be a battle. While they’re not necessarily physically hard, they demand the skills and mental willpower to navigate a wide variety of circumstances. But for paddlers willing to take on the distance, the trials come with exceptional rewards: access to some of the most pristine wilderness in the world, genuine and informative interactions with small-town locals, uninterrupted views and plenty of vitamin D.
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail travels over 700-miles from Upstate New York to the Canadian Border in Maine. It follows lakes, streams, ponds, and rivers to connect historic old trading routes. Paddlers who travel it’s waters experience solitude, joy, and challenges. But thanks to its length, few people paddle it in one go, end to end. Most will opt to paddle in smaller pieces in days or weeks, but even this isn’t easy. Thankfully, some of the best pieces of the NFCT are do-able in a short trip, and are begging to be paddled.