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Northern Forest Canoe Trail: Section 6

The 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail traverses some of the most scenic paddling country in the northeast. The NFCT follows follows the Nulhegan and Clyde Rivers and crosses Lake Memphremagog as it travels through Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.
Trail Activity
Length
65.9 miles, One Way
Difficulty
Advanced
Towns
Bloomfield (VT), Brighton (VT), Brunswick (VT), Charleston (VT), Derby (VT), Ferdinand (VT), Newport City (VT), Newport Town (VT)
Surface
Lake/Pond, River/Stream
Pets
Permitted
Fees
No

Description

This section of the NFCT crosses Lake Memphremagog (beginning in Québec) and follows the Clyde and Nulhegan Rivers to the Connecticut River. The Northeast Kingdom is a high, cold, corner of Vermont whose granite hills remain sparsely settled. The Clyde River wetlands support rare natural communities, where paddlers might hear the courtship calls of pied-billed grebes or catch glimpses of northern harriers among the sedge and bog willow. Vermont's most wild river, the Nulhegan River drops through a basin of thick forests and boreal wetlands (home to Vermont’s largest population of moose and largest deer yard) and protected through the Nulhegan Basin Division of the Silvio O.Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

The lower Nulhegan has a challenging Class III rapid run that should only be attempted with appropriate skills and equipment. During the summer, these rapids are usually too low to run. Both the Clyde and the Nulhegan Rivers can be narrow. Paddlers should watch for blowdowns and be prepared to drag their boats if necessary. 

In order to safely experience the Northern Forest Canoe Trail in this region, please bring the NFCT Section 6 map with you on your trip. Trail Finder is not intended to be a comprehensive resource along this trail.

Other Information

To learn more about this region and plan your trip, visit the Northern Forest Canoe Trail website. There you can:

  • Buy waterproof maps and a guidebook, which describe local regulations and attractions
  • Use the Trip Planner Map Tool to locate outfitters, guides, and other amenities
  • Learn about the trail and its unique history
  • Become a Northern Forest Canoe Trail member or volunteer
  • And much more!

INTERNATIONAL BORDER: The NFCT cross the US-Canada border on Lake Memphremagog. All paddlers must register at waterfront customs in Leadville (when entering Quebec) or Newport (when entering the US). For more information: US Customs and Border Protection - www.cbp.gov, 802-873-3219; or Canada Border Services Agency- https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca, 450-292-5995.  

AQUATIC NUISANCE STICKERS: All boats must display an aquatic nuisance inspection sticker while on the Canadian side of Lake Memphremagog. Stickers can be acquired at the Newport City Dock or at Perkins Landing.

WATER CONSUMPTION: The Clyde River passes through active agricultural land. The NFCT recommends bringing water from known safe sources for your trip.

CAMPING RESERVATIONS: Camping is available on a first-come, first-serve basis at most campsites on this section. Reservations are required at Brighton State Park. 

This section of the NFCT goes through a patchwork of public and private lands. Camping and access sites along this section of trail are a result of NFCT collaboration with the partners and landowners. Please respect landowners and use only designated access points and campgrounds.

PRIVATE LAND CONSIDERATION: Many trails are comprised of both public and private land. Trail organizations work to secure landowner agreements and maintain public use through stewardship and maintenance efforts. Each campsite, trail, and access point may have a different code of conduct required by trail users. More information about specific user requirements and guidelines can be found in the resources -- website, map, or guidebook -- provided by the trail manager. As a trail user it is important to understand and uphold these codes of conduct to allow future use of these locations.

Trail Manager

Visit Northern Forest Canoe Trail online for more information or contact:

Northern Forest Canoe Trail

Northern Forest Canoe Trail
Noah Pollack
PO Box 565
Waitsfield, VT 05673
Phone: 802-496-2285
info@northernforestcanoetrail.org
View website

Trail Tips

Minimize Campfire Impacts
Use only small pieces of dead and down wood for campfires and let them burn down to ash. Please extinguish your campfire before leaving.
Legend
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Trailhead Information

There are many access points to the NFCT in Vermont. Parking areas are marked by icons on the map. For more information, visit the Northern Forest Canoe Trail website.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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Trail Alerts

Safety
Be a Safe and Respectful Paddler
Paddling conditions will vary according to the weather and season, so always exercise caution and always wear a lifejacket. With good judgment and proper equipment, the risk associated with paddling can me minimized. Respect the natural world and the rights of landowners, and be considerate of other outdoor enthusiasts. Paddlers should seek to avoid causing erosion, trampling vegetation, disturbing wildlife, and harming water quality.
Ecology
Stop the Spread of Aquatic Invasives
When moving from one body of water to another make sure to do the following to stop the spread of invasive aquatic organisms: - Visually inspect your craft and remove plants, mud and debris - Eliminate water from all of your equipment - Clean and dry anything that came into contact with water - Wear quick-drying shoes
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