Northern Forest Canoe Trail: The Organization Behind the Trail

Northern Forest Canoe Trail—the organization—is the folks behind the support and promotion of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail—the water trail…

northern forest canoe trail
Flagstaff Lake, Maine (photo courtesy of Chris Gill)


The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is 740 miles of connected waterways over lakes and rivers spanning four states. New York, Vermont, a tiny section of Quebec, New Hampshire and Maine host this wild and scenic water trail, as well as 45 communities along the way.

NFCT is the organization that oversees the stewardship and protection of this vast network. Based in Waitsfield, Vermont, NFCT commits to:

Inspire Paddlers to Use and Explore the NFCT

This water trail is designed to be paddled and explored. NFCT inspires paddlers of all ages, abilities and ambitions to use this unique and beautiful natural resource.

Whether for a day trip, a multi-day trip or even to paddle-through (the whole 740 miles), these folks are there to cheer you on and provide you with all the resources you need.

NFCT sponsors a Northern Forest Explorers program for kids ages 9-15. They take these kids on multi-day canoe trips that teach skills like paddling, camping, leadership and outdoor living.

Provide Trip Planning Resources

NFCT has all the resources you need to plan and execute a trip on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Maps (both online and print), a list of suggested trips, advice for through-paddlers, trail updates, and a complete list of services available in the local communities—all can be found under Plan a Trip on the main navigation bar on their website.

canoeing rapids
Permanent Rapids on the Saranac River, New York (photo courtesy of Mike Lynch)

Steward the NFCT

NFCT has care over the physical trail itself—the waterways and portages, campsites, privies and access ramps. Loads of volunteers and summer interns come out each year to provide muscle for these projects.

A great way to get in the trenches is to sign up for one of their Waterway Work Trips. You’ll meet new people, get to explore part of the Trail and help complete a needed work project.

Partner with Other Organizations and Businesses on the Trail

NFCT also plays a key position in building and maintaining connections with local communities and businesses along the Trail, private land owners and partner organizations.

The Trail flows through both wilderness and developed land. So NFCT has worked hard to make it beneficial for paddlers of the Trail as well as the communities along the banks.

canoeist northern forest canoe trail
Spencer Lake, Maine (photo courtesy of Dawn Chernetzky)


Bending Branches is proud to support Northern Forest Canoe Trail and the great work they do for paddlers!

You can learn more about NFCT on their website, Instagram and Facebook.

(All photos courtesy of Northern Forest Canoe Trail)

Call or email our friendly, Wisconsin-based customer service team today with your paddling questions: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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