Northern Forest Canoe Trail

Researchers examined the economic impacts of paddler recreation along the waterways of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, a 740-mile route traversing New York, Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire, and Maine. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail association has been working with communities to develop campsites, signage, and portage trails, as well as to promote the trail in the media. This project helps communities better understand the potential economic impacts of these endeavors.

Outcomes and Products

At the time of the study, approximately 90,000 visitors paddled the waterways in six study areas. Their spending in local communities created $12 million in total economic impacts, supporting about 280 jobs. Economic benefits can be increased by expanding camping and lodging opportunities on both public and private land; however, expansion must be balanced by concerns for the social and environmental impacts of increased visitation. Local communities have an important role to play in guiding the development of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.


  • Lisa Chase, Clare Ginger, and Jane Kolodinsky of the University of Vermont
  • Noah Pollock and Kate Williams of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail

Learn More

Reports and Summaries 2007

Journal Article

Funding for this project was provided in part by the Northeastern States Research Cooperative, a partnership of the Northern Forest states in coordination with the USDA Forest Service.