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Source to the Sea Trek to begin
REGION -- Hundreds of people will navigate a 170-mile length of the Androscoggin River this summer in canoes and kayaks during the Androscoggin River Watershed Council's 16th annual Source to the Sea Trek
The Trek will begin July 8 with a sunset paddle near Lake Umbagog, the source of the Androscoggin, said Jessie Seymour Perkins, program coordinator, in a news release.
Lake Umbagog straddles the Maine-New Hampshire line in northern Oxford County.
Scheduled from July 8 through Aug. 7, the trek is a series of 19 day trips as paddlers meander through northern New Hampshire and Western Maine. The trek ends in Brunswick where the Androscoggin enters Merrymeeting Bay.
Perkins said trekkers can join the trip for a day or several days.
“Last year was such a great success that we decided to go with a similar schedule this year,” she said.
“We're looking forward to getting lots more people to experience how beautiful every stretch of the Androscoggin is, and get them to see how far it has come in the past generation.”
This year's event will highlight the ongoing development of the Androscoggin River Trail. The ARWC has inventoried and mapped more than 40 access points along the river.
Recently, the council has worked with access site owners to install new signage that is consistent for the river's length, Perkins said.
“Now, the ARWC is strategizing ways to improve certain sites, identify where access may be lacking, and publicize the trail,” she said.
The current set of maps and the full report with access site descriptions is available at www.androscogginrivertrail.net.
The council also recently launched a new website: www.androscogginwatershed.org.
It makes online registration for the trek easy and provides continuous updates of new and changing information related to the event, Perkins said.
“With the new website, the ARWC is also able to accept donations online to support the event and its other programs,” she said.
Participation is free for “Trekkers.” However, a voluntary, tax-deductible donation of $10 is requested to support the nonprofit Androscoggin River Watershed Council to offset the costs of organizing the trek.
Participants should bring their own paddle-powered boats, appropriate gear and lunch. Shuttling will be arranged by trek organizers.
Many days include an educational component, with speakers on topics including history, ecology, conservation, and economic development in the area.
The schedule for the 16th annual Androscoggin River Source to the Sea Trek is:
Friday, July 8 - Evening paddle at Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge HQ, New Hampshire
Saturday, July 9 - Errol to 7 Islands Bridge, New Hampshire
Sunday, July 10 - 7 Islands Bridge to Pontook Dam, New Hampshire
Thursday, July 14 - Bofinger Conservation Area to Berlin, N.H.
Friday, July 15 - Shelburne Dam, N.H., to Gilead
Saturday, July 16 - Gilead to Bethel
Sunday, July 17 - Bethel to Hanover
Thursday, July 21 - Hanover to Rumford
Friday, July 22 - Mexico to Dixfield
Saturday, July 23 - Dixfield to Riley Dam
Sunday, July 24 - Riley Dam to Otis Mill (Jay)
Wednesday, July 27 - Evening paddle from Otis Mill in Jay
Friday, July 29 - Twin Bridges to Center Bridge (Turner)
Saturday, July 30 - Center Bridge to Gulf Island Dam
Sunday, July 31 - Round trip in Lewiston-Auburn
Thursday, Aug. 4 - Evening paddle from Festival Plaza in Auburn
Friday, Aug. 5 - Auburn to Durham
Saturday, Aug. 6 - Durham to Lisbon Falls
Sunday, Aug. 7 - Lisbon Falls to Brunswick