The Northern Forest Canoe Trail will host its annual Trail Maintainer Jamboree in Saranac Lake and at the Paul Smith's College VIC next month.
The event, which takes place the weekend of May 17 and 18, is geared for people who have already adopted specific segments of the trail under the NFCT's trail maintainer program. However, it's also a great opportunity if you're interested in getting involved the program and want to adopt a segment in the future.
The longest paddling trail in the United States, the NFCT starts in Old Forge and ends in Fort Kent, Maine. The 740-mile trail goes through Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire, New York and Maine. The route goes through both private and public lands.
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail Crew and volunteers work on the Eighth Lake carry near the hamlet of Raquette Lake in 2010.
(Enterprise file photo — Mike Lynch)
The trail is managed by a nonprofit group out of Waitsfield, Vt., that oversees stewardship of the trail. One of the ways it does that is through its trail maintainer Adopt-A-Segment program. Through this program, individuals or organizations are responsible for doing general upkeep on a roughly 10-mile section of waterway.
Trail maintainers generally visit their segment at least twice a year, preferably spring and fall, and perform tasks such as replacing missing or damaged signs, clearing portage trails, picking up trash and maintaining paddler campsites.
Each segment can have multiple trail maintainers.
At the Jamboree, which is for New York and Vermont trail maintainers, NFCT staff will teach volunteers skills necessary for working specifically with this canoe trail. There will be talks and also two trips to nearby sites. One will be a paddle to the Moose Creek campsite on the Saranac River. The other will be to the Permanent Rapids take-out.
If you're interested in participating in the program or want to learn more information about it, contact Regional Field Coordinator Noah Pollock at firstname.lastname@example.org or Trail Director Walter Opuszynski at email@example.com.