Canoeing

To paraphrase the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, the canoe trip of 410 miles begins with a single paddle stroke. Why 410? That’s the length of the Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail, which now hosts two new campsites built by volunteers from AMC’s Berkshire Chapter and members of AMC’s Roving Conservation Crew. With so many miles of…

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Apprehension building, I adjust my grip on the fraying ash-wood shafts of the two canoe paddles I’m balancing. The broad blades dig deeper into my 14-year-old shoulders as the weight shifts overhead. The paddles are tied to the wooden thwarts of a 17-foot canoe that is resting upside-down on my crown and spine like a…

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What do downhill skiing trails, rock climbing walls, and whitewater rivers have in common? If you said all three use a scale of difficulty to convey the skill level required to navigate them, you’re right on the money. In the whitewater-paddling world, that classification system is the International Scale of Difficulty, developed by the North…

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A furry head skims the surface of the pond a few feet from the trail. Then it’s gone, just a ripple and a question remaining: Was it a beaver? A river otter? I’m eager to get another look. I’m only 100 yards into my weekend run, following the Dike Trail through Great Meadows National Wildlife…

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Update: The U.S. Senate passed a bill reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, in a 92-to-8 vote, followed by a 363-to-62 vote in the House of Representatives on February 26. The bill will now go to President Trump to sign into law. Whenever Richard Barringer has been confronted…

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There’s no right age to introduce your kids to paddling. If they’re interested, it’s the perfect time. Experienced parents who know the ins and outs of water safety will be well prepared to start kids off with good practices. But if you need a refresher, you might prefer some help from the pros. More on…

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We awoke to a mist hanging over the water, creeping up the mountain on the opposite shore. It was a crisp fall morning, a little late in the season for most paddlers, and only a few hardy souls were out on Middle Saranac Lake, in New York State’s Adirondack Park. Even so, my 11-year-old nephew,…

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Paddling to an island offers the best of two worlds: the waterborne access of a canoe or kayak and the unfettered freedom of a hike. Islands can provide a remote picnic spot, a chance to stretch your legs or nap in the sun, and a temporary escape from the bustle of the mainland. Lucky for…

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At a mere 2,061 feet, Third Mountain hardly commands attention as one of Maine’s lofty massifs. In fact, it ranks 352nd among the state’s notable peaks. And that’s just fine with me. What Third Mountain lacks in altitude, it more than makes up for in quietude. From Monument Cliff, an inviting granite perch on its…

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We asked Mike Lynch, a lifelong paddler and the author of Canoe Camping with Kids: An Overnight Adventure on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, for the key guidelines every first-time canoe camper should follow—especially parents heading out on the water with kids. For more tips on introducing your children to canoeing and kayaking, check out…

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