Northern Forest Canoe Trail NY-Maine

I just read an interesting article on line, from the Sept. 10 issue of the New York Times. It is on the Northern Forest Canoe trail, which runs 450 miles from the Adirondacks of northern New York to the far north of Maine. This is following the old indian trails. It looked good to me, but I live a long way from the Northeast. I had not heard of the trail before.

Worth looking at, if only to dream…


Indian Trails?

– Last Updated: Sep-12-06 11:32 AM EST –

I think your referring to "Indian Carry", which is a single portage trail in the ADK's of about a mile or so. The NFCT doesn't follow any kind of Native American trails that I know of.
Just trying stop a rumor before it starts...

Water Trails

– Last Updated: Sep-12-06 2:49 PM EST –

Native American water trails. This is from the NFCT website:

"Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a non-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate the rich human heritage and diverse natural environment of the Northern Forest, by establishing and stewarding a water trail tracing historic Native American travel routes across New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire, and Maine."

that makes sense, the route is known for being a trade route, so likely it would’ve been adopted from native routes. Thanks for the clarification

Carry trails too.
Really, the NFCT carry trails often closely follow the native carry trails too. This is not to say that the exact same paths has existed continuously from pre-history to the present.

Just think about it, places that make the most sense for taking your boat out of one drainage and walking over land another drainage (to continue your long distance trip) have not really changed much over the centuries.

That is why places like Vemont’s portage from the Clyde to the Nulhegan, NH’s from the Upper Ammonoosuc to Androscoggin, and Maine’s Spencer Stream to the Moose, Northeast Carry, and Dallas Carry have always been part of “the route”. Even many of the short portages around dams today were once the same short portages around falls, right? The topography demands it now, as before.

NFTC length
Actually, the trail is closer to 740 miles long, stretching from Old Forge, NY to Fort Kent, ME. A lot of good information on the trail can be found at:

They’ll be having an interesting on-line auction starting in November as a fund raiser.

I’ve only paddled a couple short stretches of it (actually, I paddled one stretch listed as a portage), and it’s inspired me to get out of my kayak and into a canoe, and to try canoe poling.