Spring on the Water: Paddle the Border & UVLT Canoe Campsites Opening

The wide, fertile floodplain that is at the heart of the northern end of the Upper Valley is some of the most productive agricultural land on the planet. Just ask the farmers who work and care for it. On an annual visit to one of these UVLT-conserved farms last year, the farmer told me that he would put his bottom land up against the most fertile land along the Nile, or any other place else on earth, for that matter. And it is as beautiful as it is productive. Our “working lands” as they have become known, are a vital part of the economic vitality and identity of this region.

Harkdale Farm

One of the best ways to experience this region is to get out in a canoe or kayak, and paddle down the river. Paddling provides an up close opportunity to experience the natural diversity of this place. From silver maple-ostrich fern floodplain forests which are essential to the health of the river and the wildlife that make it their home, to the rich agricultural soils that provide good local food for people and farm animals alike, it is an experience that can remind one of all the ways the Connecticut River connects and nourishes us. And these lands will continue to sustain us in large part due to the hard work and vision of the landowners and community leaders who have put their land “in trust” with the Upper Valley Land Trust. In fact, along this section of the CT River, there is a continuous stretch of 13 miles of protected lands along both sides of the river. And we aren’t finished, either.  In fact UVLT just worked with the Cook family to conserve their farm, which abuts the southern end of this 13-mile stretch of conserved land.

Canoes on the water.Come celebrate the river that unites the communities of the Upper Valley at the 10th annual spring Paddle the Border Sunday May 19th rain or shine! This event is sponsored by The Newbury Conservation Commission, Haverhill Recreation Commission, and Lower Cohase Chamber of Commerce, with support from Woodsville/Wells River Rotary Club. The Spring Paddle goes from Woodsville Community Field in Woodsville, NH, to the Bedell Bridge State Park Boat Launch off Route 10, Haverhill Corner, NH ( a 3-4 hour paddle), and UVLT is looking for a few volunteers to assist with put ins at the Woodsville fields (we’ll paddle afterwards, too!). We’ll also be staffing Harkdale campsite as a rest stop along the way. Just follow the music, which will be provided by UVLT’s VP of Stewardship Pete Helm and friends! Let UVLT Stewardship Coordinator Jason Berard know if you’d like to get involved at jason.berard@uvlt.org or 603-643-6626! Check out our calendar for more details. 

Jason Berard, Stewardship Coordinator