Northern Forest Canoe Trail trip plans-http://50littlebirds.com/

Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,692
Location
Appleton, Maine
[FONT=verdana, tahoma, arial, sans-serif]I came across a post on the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association's forum by Geoff Davis about his planned trip on the NFCT next summer.( [/FONT]http://50littlebirds.com/) I'll add updates when I get them. He has a good plan, he seems serious (50lb weight loss, he is now proficient in poling upstream and he has a new 15' Cheemaun wood canvas canoe being built in Alabama). Impressive plans and I'll be cheering for him along the bank, maybe even get to paddle with him for an hour or two along the trail.


[FONT=verdana, tahoma, arial, sans-serif]"The NFCT is a 740 mile long band of streams, lakes, rivers and trails winding from the Adirondack Mountains of New York, across Lake Champlain, northern Vermont and New Hampshire (with a short loop into Quebec) before striking north through the wild interior of Maine. The length and isolation of the trail are not its only challenges. A good portion of the trail crosses large lakes, is upstream and includes nearly sixty miles of portages.[/FONT]
I will spend six weeks paddling, poling and walking a wood and canvas canoe from Old Forge, New York towards Fort Kent, Maine. My days will be spent canoeing, observing wildlife and camping. Evenings will be spent resting and writing. I will compose blog updates to be shared when internet access is available. To establish short term completion goals and to combat loneliness I’ve arranged for friends to meet, for brief visits, along the way."
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,692
Location
Appleton, Maine
Well I see 50Littlebirds just signed up so it will interesting to hear his plans first hand. We have one member, riverstrider, that I know of who has almost completed the NFCT in sections, probably alot of folks have done a few sections.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Thanks Robin- Through your post on the WCHA Forums I discovered these great forums. I've read a number of great posts and look forward to interacting with the folks here. I really appreciate your shout out about my planned trip!

A couple of quick clarifications. The Cheemaun that I refer to in my grant proposal was a boat that a builder had in stock. He did not expect it to sell--it's been on the market for some time--but it did. I'm working with him to explore ways to get another built for the spring. My funding -- if approved -- will not be available until March, which may be too late to get a build scheduled and completed by early June. I've some ideas to work through this which I'll share over the next few weeks.

This morning I posted a photo of my newly completed bucksaw and case. Take a look at 50littlebirds.com.
 
G

Guest

Guest
If enough folks are interested in the NFCT (that would include me), would it make sense to have a separate forum by that name? Let's vote on it. I'll start.

Yes.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,474
Location
Raymond, ME
Is this going to be a supported or non supported trip? Cart is handy for some of it, and a hassle for others.

The Trail has a great website of its own and in early December in VT there will be a presentation of a wooden canoe users one month trek to complete the trail.

http://www.northernforestcanoetrail.org/sitePages/events.cfm?action=view&ID=2093

It also has its own forum

http://forum.northernforestcanoetrail.org/~northez1/forums/forumdisplay.php?47-Paddlers-Place

And the online auction is on!
 
G

Guest

Guest
Yellowcanoe - My trip is largely unsupported. I've a few contacts in New England that have agreed to meet me on the trail as needed, but I"ve no plans for continued support. I've been following the paddler's blogs. They are full of great information.

Re: wheels - In what sections are they most important? When should I hand them off or ship home?

THX
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2012
Messages
83
Location
Eastern Long Island, NY
Geoff, if you were to ask 50 different people about where to use wheels on the NFCT you'd likely to get 50 different answers. For example; the Raquette Falls carry which is a little over a mile long and a constant source of opinions on whether to use a cart or carry your boat. If you were to spend some time at the lower falls you'd note most people don't use carts for the portage and will double carry first with their boats and then go back for their gear or vice versa. The next carry "Indian Carry" which is also about a mile long and is roughly 5 miles after Raquette Falls is primarily a paved and gravel road carry and definitely easier with a cart. I can't speak for the entire trail as I'm section paddling and still have a long way to go, but for the NY section I'd definitely be bring a good cart with ample ground clearance.
 
G

Guest

Guest
That's been my feeling about it. I've studied the first sections the most thoroughly and they seem to make sense. It will mean double carries whenever they cannot be used. It seems that most too the folks blogging about this trip are using wheels.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,474
Location
Raymond, ME
I have only paddled the mainline between Old Forge and Saranac Lake in NY. None in VT and just day trips along sections of NH. I live fairly near some of the trail in Maine. Umbabog to Richardson..wheels are very handy (its on dirt roads). Also going upstream on Spencer Stream from Grand Lake Stream to Spencer Rips. Also of course the Northeast Carry (its all on dirt road).
Mud Pond Carry is a ditch and a narrow one at that. A cart will make you tear your hair out. You don't need a cart at all on the Allagash part. In NH south of Errol on the Androscoggin you will be going upstream. Where 26 crosses its not something you can make your way up. Its class 3 and paralleled by a road. Cart handy.

Most important don't forget you will need a passport.

This is not my picture but is of Mud Pond Carry

http://www.flickr.com/photos/16445161@N05/1796507001/in/photostream/
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,474
Location
Raymond, ME
If you really want to walk to NE Maine, it might be easier to leave the canoe home.:)


Not at all.. the rivers were used long before there were any roads( and the roads I talk about really are tracks, not for cars -NE carry is a dirt road though). Thoreau is some good reading this time of the year.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2013
Messages
7
Location
Boston Metro Northwest
I've done many sections (2,3,4,5(but not the Missisquoi),6,7,8,11,12(but not the Mud Pond carry),13) with Riverstrider and crew. I'm lazy and HATE to carry. There are quite a few roads on the NFCT. I've been surprised at the places I could wrestle the cart through including the Raquette Falls and Indian Carrys. But there are plenty of places where a cart won't work.
If I wanted to through paddle, I would use the lightest backpacking kit I could get away with and I would use a cart everywhere I could with the understanding that I would be carrying the cart sometimes.
There is no section I've done where I did not either use or wish I had brought my cart.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
4
Waterspyder, I think you might not have done, or mis-remembered Indian Carry. The first half of Indian Carry is a hiking trail that is marginally wheelable, I wheeled it but it was rough. The second half, after crossing Rte 3, is on a gravel road and is wheelable.

When to ship them home is a good question. Wheels are very helpfull on the 2 mile Northeast Carry and not really needed after that. Unfortunatly there is nowhere to ship they home until you get to Allagash village 130+ miles further on and at that point you might as well just keep them. Your choices are: 1. Ship them from Rockwood and consider Northest Carry good training for Mud Pond Carry, 2 Ship them from Rockwood and hire Raymonds General Store to shuttle you on Northeast Carry, 3. Bring them with you and use them at Allagash Falls for the .3 mile carry there. I don't think UPS delivers to Chesuncook village. Good Luck!
 
Top