Northern Forest Canoe Trail

Dumpster Canoe Stops in Raquette and Long Lake on their way to Maine

This fine Tuesday morning, while indulging in my coffee and the the last of my half and half and taking a moment to look out over the dewy grass and still bare trees, while multi-tasking and keeping up with the news of the day, I happened upon a Facebook post on the Raquette Lake Group page by Deb Evans.  

Photo of the Dumpster Canoe in Raquette Lake, NY by Deb Evans.  

On Monday, May 7th, Deb had met up with the couple traveling to Fort Kent, Maine  in a recycled, dumpster rescued canoe.  The mission was to travel the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.  This afternoon while making the rounds to check on water levels of the lake and see what activities were going on in and around the town, I  happened upon Andrew and Kristen resting and regrouping on the Town Beach.  They had embedded themselves in the sand to catch some rays, get some rest and to post images from their their challenging portage around Buttermilk Falls on Facebook.  They were pleased to find the Long Lake Public Restroom and to have access to  the complimentary WIFI at the Long Lake Town Beach.

Andrew and Kristen with their “Dumpster Canoe” on the Long Lake Town Beach. A glorious Blue Sky Day on Tuesday, May 8th and the Black Flies have yet to appear.  So Kristen and Andrew are having a great time!  

Andrew, Kristen and Alexandra Roalsvig, Long Lake, Parks, Recreation & Tourist Director.  Photo by Andrew …. (I’ll have to get his last name!)  

Andrew and Kristen are paddling the 740 miles of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail in their “Dumpster Canoe,”  with a goal of paddling 20 miles a day. Andrew found it in a dumpster and rescued it from it’s debilitated condtion.  The aluminum Sears and Roebuck canoe was bent, had holes and needed some serious TLC to get it river worthy.  Andrew was able to unbend it, and weld a few holes to ensure the boat would navigate the journey.  He finished it up by knocking out some dents and added the final touch, a unique paint job.  Andrew explained he painted Shark Mouths on either end of the canoe, but realized a. he had painted the canoe upside down, and b. he realized when you look at it, the canoe looks like it’s going in the opposite directions. 

For the timetable, Andrew and Kristen had discussed leaving two weeks prior to when they actually set out. With a change in plans and keeping an eye on ice out they started out on Sunday, May 6th and avoided the terrible storms of Friday night.  As far as having navigable waters to paddle, up until the wild storms of Friday night, most lakes still had ice on them. Had they left two weeks ago as originally planned, they wouldn’t have gotten very far.

Kristen gets crackers and cheese

Kristen picks up her cheese and crackers

After a quick chat, they mentioned they wanted to get some snacks.  Andrew was dreaming of sopressata, cheese and crackers, but Northern Borne isn’t open for the season yet, so I happily volunteered and drove Kristen “uptown” to the business district where both Hoss’s and Stewart’s Shops were a bustling.  Kristen was able to pick up cheese, crackers and sausage and enjoy banter with the Stewart’s Shops construction crew, while it undergoes a remodel.

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail Register in Long Lake is across from the Adirondack Hotel.  The register can be found in Raquette Lake right near the Town Dock

On the return to the beach we stopped off at the Northern Forest Canoe Trail register, located across from the Adirondack Hotel. 

Andrew has planned this trip for 12 years and when he met Kristen, now his fiancé, she admitted prior to leaving on this ambitious trip, she had only paddled two times before they set out.  Andrew and Kristen will post updates on their Facebook Page when they have access to wifi or cell service.  

A great pleasure to meet them and we wish them well on this epic adventure! 

Long Lake