Born from the idea that there were and are historically linked bodies of water used for travel and trade by Native Americans and Canadians the NFCT brought together the best of what other terrestrial (on the ground) trail systems had to offer and added in the excitement and pleasure of seeing the world go by from the seat of a canoe or kayak. We think it does’t get much better than that.
And while you may some day endeavor to complete a paddle-through the Trail is likely best enjoyed in segments that suit your style, speed and plan. With 741 miles of paddling from end to end the trail passes through many kinds of terrain and covers a great mix of back country and developed areas. As a partner of Maine Woods Discovery we believe that the Trail truly celebrates the history of the Northern Forest. In Maine, maps 8-13 cover the trip from our border to the Maine end of the Trail in Fort Kent. For most travelers coming to the Trail by way of our site, border crossing will not be an issue, but please note that there are sections fo the Trail that cross from the US into Canada and as of 6/1/009 US citizens are required to present a valid passport at any land entrances into Canada
From the wide forested lakes of Rangeley into the the South Branch the rough and wooly Dead River and beyond through some of the only remote wilderness left in the eastern USA the 347 miles (more than half of the entire Trail) offer paddling adventures for all skill levels. Yes, there are white waters in the Dead that you can paddle, then there is the calmness to follow on Flagstaff Lake, there is the unmatched beauty of Grand Falls and the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. Parts of the “Maine Bow Trip” are covered and time is spent in Maine’s largest lake Moosehead.
Name-dropping locales and places to stop and see do not do the journey the justice it deserves. Instead, spend some time on the NFCT website which does a far better job than we can. It has an unbelievable detailed trip planner and offers all the tools a paddler will need to make the right decisions about how they wish to spend their time in Maine on the water.
Another way to experience the splendor of the NFCT is to hire one of our experienced Maine Woods Discovery partner providers to show you it’s best parts.