The Northern Forest Canoe Trail
Through-Paddler's Companion

A guidebook to paddling the 740-mile water trail from its western terminus in Old Forge, New York to the eastern terminus in Fort Kent, Maine.

260 pages. By Katina Daanen

The first comprehensive resource that guides
paddlers from the first put-in to the last take-out
on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

Through-Paddler's Companion

Named in 2011 as America's Best Canoe Trail by Outside Magazine and sometimes referred to as the "Appalachian Trail of the Waterways," the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) begins in the Adirondacks at its
western terminus in Old Forge, New York,
ending at the eastern terminus in Fort Kent, Maine. It traverses 23 rivers and streams,
62 lakes and ponds, connects 49 communities and towns, and includes 77 portages,
totaling about 78 miles.

The Through-Paddler's Companion documents navigating the Trail in its entirety-west to east-from the perspective and unique needs of an expedition paddler or anyone looking for more detailed information while following the official NFCT maps. It provides comprehensive and tactical advice about specific water bodies, including upstream paddling directions, portage (or carry) descriptions and distances, and mileage markers, while offering suggestions for ordinary, yet sometimes elusive matters, such as where one might spend the night.

The Through-Paddler's Companion guidebook includes:

  • 35 consecutive segment descriptions documenting the entire Trail including 160-plus miles of upstream paddling
  • 25 illustrated maps highlighting challenging trail sections
  • Details about every portage (or carry) with recommendations about how "wheelable" each may be
  • Statistics about average paddle times
  • Tips for planning daily mileage goals
  • Lists of services found along the Trail

Click here to review sample segment descriptions.

A portion of the sales of this guidebook will benefit the Northern Forest Canoe Trail Inc. Trail Fund.

Mileage Segment Descriptions

1.Old Forge, N.Y., to Raquette Lake, N.Y. 20 miles
2.Raquette Lake, N.Y., to Long Lake, N.Y. 23 miles
3.Long Lake, N.Y., to Stoney Creek 22.5 miles
4.Stoney Creek to Saranac Lake, N.Y. 20 miles
5.Saranac Lake, N.Y., to Union Falls Pond Dam 21.5 miles
6.Union Falls Pond Dam to Baker's Acres 19 miles
7.Baker's Acres to Plattsburgh, N.Y. 22.5 miles
8.Plattsburgh, N.Y., to North Hero Island 22 miles
9.North Hero Island to Swanton, Vt. 15 miles
10.Swanton, Vt., to Sheldon 15 miles
11.Sheldon Springs to Enosburg Falls, Vt. 11 miles
12.Enosburg Falls, Vt., to Richford, Vt. 16 miles
13.Richford, Vt., to Mansonville, Qué. 21.5 miles
14.Mansonville, Qué., to Newport, Vt. 19.5 miles
15.Newport, Vt., to Pensioner Pond 12.5 miles
16.Pensioner Pond to Island Pond, Vt. 18 miles
17.Island Pond, Vt., to Bloomfield, Vt. 19.5 miles
18.Bloomfield, Vt., to Groveton, N.H. 22 miles
19.Groveton, N.H., to West Milan, N.H. 19 miles
20.West Milan, N.H., to Errol, N.H. 23 miles
21.Errol, N.H., to Middle Dam 12 miles
22.Middle Dam to Oquossoc, Maine 21 miles
23.Oquossoc, Maine, to Lower Dallas Bridge 15.5 miles
24.Lower Dallas Bridge to Flagstaff Lake 20 miles
25.Flagstaff Lake to Spencer Stream 27.5 miles
26.Spencer Stream to Spencer Lake 10 miles
27.Spencer Lake to Jackman, Maine 23.5 miles
28.Jackman, Maine, to Little Brassua Lake 22 miles
29.Little Brassua Lake to Northeast Carry 29.5 miles
30.Northeast Carry to Umbazooksus Lake 29.5 miles
31.Umbazooksus Lake to Chamberlain Lake 6 miles
32.Chamberlain Lake to Churchill Dam 21 miles
33.Churchill Dam to Michaud Farm 45.5 miles
34.Michaud Farm to Pelletier's 6.5 miles
35.Pelletier's to Fort Kent, Maine 17 miles

The information contained within this publication is the result of the best efforts of the author using information obtained from personal experience, interviews, paddler blogs, trail data and facts available at the time of publication. Changes in environment and economics are constantly occurring and therefore, information cannot be guaranteed to be precisely accurate. This book is not a substitute for outdoor skills or good personal judgment. Any outdoor recreational activity is potentially hazardous. Each user of the information presented on this website or in this book must accept personal responsibility for his or her own safety and orientation. Always wear a pfd.

All rights reserved. No portions of the content of this website or the guidebook may be reproduced without the express written consent of the author or publisher. Illustrations and photography remain the rights of Katina Daanen or any other credited contributors.

© 2024 NFCT Paddler