JAY — The Androscoggin River Trail Source to the Sea will begin its paddling tour Thursday, July 31, through the Jay-to-Auburn area.

Thursday’s event is a paddle after hours at the Otis Mill boat launch in Jay starting at 5:30 p.m. with hosts The Androscoggin Land Trust and the Androscoggin River Watershed Council.

“This is an excellent opportunity to see this section of the river from the mill to Pine Island and back,” Becky Secrest, event coordinator, said Wednesday in a news release.

The Land Trust will give an overview of its work, which includes the acquisition of the Androscoggin Greenway Community Forest properties, as well as its ongoing efforts to steward conserved properties and recreation sites along the river within its service area. Light munchies will be provided by the Mill Street Café.

The paddle on Friday, Aug. 1 will travel from the Twin Bridges in Turner to Center Bridge in Greene. This paddle starts at 9 a.m. with the put-in at Googin’s Island between the Twin Bridges on Route 219.

“Beautiful, rural paddling from one end of Turner to the other,” Secrest said. The trip ends at the gateway to Androscoggin Riverlands State Park. 

“A great section for bird sightings,” she said. “This is a quick, easy paddle with a good current to move you along.”

Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, the group will travel from Center Bridge to Cherry Pond in Greene, just north of the Gulf Island Dam. Shaker Hill Outdoors will be joining the group on this leg of the journey and will have boats available for folks to try paddling at the Cherry Pond boat launch when they arrive there, Secrest said.

“If you have never tried paddling a kayak, this is an opportunity not to miss,” she said. “The Cherry Pond site provides calm waters for your first-time paddling pleasure. Come give paddling a try and find out what all the buzz is about paddling down the Androscoggin.”

The estimated time at Cherry Pond is between 1:30 to 2 p.m., depending on the current of the river. People are asked to pre-register for this day’s event as there are a limited number of kayaks available. They can register on the Androscoggin River Watershed Council’s website at www.androscogginwatershed.org. Provide an email address for updates and changes, Secrest said.

The paddle on Sunday, Aug. 3, an out-and-back paddle from Auburn to Lewiston and the Rancourt Preserve. Put-in is at the North River Road boat launch behind Wendy’s Restaurant on Center Street (Route 4) in Auburn.

Beginning at 9 a.m., participants will paddle about 1.7 miles upstream until reaching a small sand beach on the Lewiston side of the river. This is the David Rancourt Preserve, which has some trails through the woods.

Anyone interested in paddling any section of the river can register for the event on the council’s website, www.androscogginwatershed.org, which has a full list of each day’s event and also provides continuous updates of new and changing information related to the event. The council also accepts donations online to support the event and its other programs.

Participation is free for paddlers. However, a voluntary, tax-deductible donation of $10 is suggested to support the nonprofit ARWC to offset the costs of organizing the event. Participants should bring their own paddle-powered boats, appropriate gear and lunch. River guides will be provided by ARWC and shuttle arrangements will be determined each day of the event.

The council also posts information about the Source to the Sea trips on its Facebook site at www.facebook.com/androrwc.

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