Water Trails

Eastern and Midwest Water Trails 3
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19 - Hudson River Trail

Route: From the mouth of the Hudson to the Great Lakes and the St Lawrence Seaway, via the Erie & Champlain Canal System
Length: 140 miles
Campsites: Planning overnight facilities every 10-12 miles
Types of Craft: Small boats, primarily human and wind powered.
Year Started: 1992
Guidebook: Yes, available to members
Contact: Hudson River Watertrail Association

20 - Connecticut River Water Trail

A relatively short but immensely satisfying water trail that features a broad, nearly unbroken vegetated shoreline. A day on the river offers wetlands, high bluffs, long views, and floodplain forests.

Route: Between Turners Falls Dam in Montague and Hatfield in Massachusetts
Length: 12 miles
Campsites: None
Types of Craft: Canoes, kayaks, and small boats
Year Started: 1994
How Far Along: Complete, 3 access points
Guidebook: Brochure
Contact: Dept. of Environmental Management, (413) 586-8706

21 - Upper Connecticut River Valley

There's a lot going on over the 150 miles of this water trail. Besides the wild woods, wetlands and river, the trail passes through several enjoyable communities. A good multi-day trip for devotees of New England.

Route: Cornerford Dam to Massachusetts border
Length: 150 miles
Campsites: Approximately 21 sites
Types of Craft: Canoe and kayak
Year Started: 1993
Guidebook: Map available
Contact: Upper Valley Land Trust; PO Box 1229; Norwich, VT 05055
For river flow information, call (888) 356-3663

22 - Adirondack Canoe Routes

The Adirondacks is one of the granddaddies of recreational paddling. To this day if offers miles and miles of sublime water trails.

GORP Features: Adirondacks Paddling.

23 - New York Seaway Trail

You may not expect to, but you'll find some of the best canoeing and coastal kayaking anywhere in this corner of upstate New York. Waterways include Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River's Thousand Islands region, and the Black River. New York State, the Canadian park system, paddling groups and private outfitters have been cooperating to expand options for paddlers in the area.

Route: St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, Niagra River and Lake Erie
Length: Over 500 miles of coastline
Campsites: 38 state parks along the shoreline, as well as marinas with lodging facilities
Types of Craft: From paddlecraft to big bruisers
Guidebook: Several types of guidebooks and nautical charts are available from Seaway Trail, Inc.
Contact: Seaway Trail, Inc. (800) 732-9298

24 - Lake Champlain Paddlers Trail

Large but not overwhelming Lake Champlain has great views of neighboring Adirondacks and Green Mountains, fun towns, wildlife, and several significant historical sites. That's what we call a well-rounded paddling trip.

Route: New York and Vermont portions of Lake Champlain (Quebec has a tiny bit of the lake that's not included in the water trail.)
Length: 120 miles
Campsites: 60 public and private campsites at 30 locations
Types of Craft: Developed for paddlecraft
Year Started: 1997
Guidebook: Available from Lake Champlain Committee
Contact: Lake Champlain Committee, (802) 658-1414

25 - Northern Forest Canoe Trail

A fascinating project to document ancient canoe routes. Attempting any portion of this trail is a research project, but that's kind of what it's all about.

Route: Old Forge in the New York Adirondacks to Ft. Kent in northern Maine
Length: Around 725 miles
Campsites: Catch as catch can
Types of Craft: Focused on canoes and kayaks
Year Started: Formally incorporated in 1989, but the organizers have been working on this idea for 30 years
How Far Along: The trail has been mapped, but very few dedicated facilities exist for it.
Guidebook: A map has been published showing trails and campsites. A guidebook is in production.
Contact: Native Trails, Inc.

26 - Allagash Wilderness Waterway

One of the great ones, the Allagash combines whitewater and flatwater through the Maine woods. The Allagash is a designated Wild and Scenic River.

Route: Roughly the waterway corridor south to north into the St. John half lakes and half the Allagash River
Length: 92 miles
Campsites: This trail was designed for several day trips. There are 80 campsites along its length.
Types of Craft: Lakes have boats and canoes, while river is primarily canoe. No personal watercraft or water skiing.
Year Started: 1966
How Far Along: Completed
Guidebook: Official brochure
Contact: AWW, (207)941-4014
Special Feature: Paddling Through Time - Along Maine's Allagash River, the best way is the old way.

27 - Kennebec Water Trail

Still in the planning stages, this trail will extend from the Moose River to Moosehead Lake and down the Kennebec River to Merrymeeting Bay. Many stretches of this river are paddleable.

28 - Maine Island Trail

This marine trail is unsurpassed for wildlife viewing. You'll see myriads of nesting birds, seals, porpoises, perhaps even whales. Also be on the look-out for bald eagles and osprey. The Maine Island Trail Association sees itself as first and foremost a conservation organization. They also publish a quarterly newsletter and have a bustling membership program.

Route: Along the Maine coast
Length: 325 miles
Campsites: Access to 95 islands. Not all campable - but every section has a place.
Types of Craft: Sea kayaks are the most common, but all types are seen, including Jet Skis and cigarette boats. You can even be on a schooner and drop a couple of dinghys.
Year Started: 1988
How Far Along: In place, although islands are continually being added and taken away.
Guidebook: Annual guidebook for members only
Contact: Maine Island Trail, Inc., (207)761-8225: 41A Union Wharf; Portland, ME 04101.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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