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home : features : science and nature March 26, 2015

Paddle The Connecticut With Essex County Natural Resources Conservation District
Percy Peaks as viewed from the northern Connecticut River in Essex County.
+ click to enlarge

Percy Peaks as viewed from the northern Connecticut River in Essex County.

The Essex County Natural Resources Conservation District (ECNRCD) will be hosting its Annual Canoe and Kayak Paddle on the Connecticut River on Sunday, June 29.

Meet on the N.H. side of the Maidstone Bridge just off of US Rt. 3 at 9:30 a.m. From there, the group will shuttle cars downstream; plan on being on the river and underway by 10:30 a.m. The paddle will conclude approximately 16 miles downstream at the Guildhall Bridge. This long meandering stretch of the river provides mostly flat water with good current, allowing for a leisurely paddle with some quicker water mixed in to keep things really interesting. Essex County NRCD and NorthWoods Stewardship Center staff will be on hand to assist with paddling techniques if necessary.

This is an annual event of the Conservation District, hosted in part to build awareness of the importance of the Connecticut River as a resource to the region. The Connecticut River is one of 14 American Heritage Rivers in the nation because of its historical impact on the region. Featured this year are the conservation restoration partnerships and efforts that have taken place in the Maidstone Bends area. From 2010 to present, The Nature Conservancy has conserved areas along the banks of the Connecticut River and the Essex County NRCD has planted trees and shrub restoration buffers. We will discuss ecological features, public access, and floodplain forests restoration projects, and paddle slow, meandering waters and past some of the most beautiful land in Vermont. This paddle will allow the group time to take in the scenery and abundant wildlife, talk about invasive species and natural resources of the region a little bit, stop for lunch, toss in a line for a fish or two, etc.

Space is limited and pre-registration is requested. Past year's paddles have filled up quickly, so it is suggested that those interested call early. Participants should take a lunch, water, sunscreen, insect repellent and extra clothes. Call Sarah at the Essex NRCD at 802-748-3885 x114 or e-mail to register or for any questions regarding the event.

Limited canoe rentals and equipment may be available; call the district office in advance for more information.

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