The Androscoggin Watershed’s 2016 Annual Source to Sea began Friday, July 8, with a paddle down the Magalloway River in New Hampshire, across the corner of Lake Umbagog, then down the Androscoggin River to Steamer Diamond.

Scott Parkhill, loon biologist, provided facts and information throughout the paddle. There were 21 paddlers with two dogs in 14 kayaks and three canoes. They saw moose, ruffed grouse, loons with young, bald eagles, a heron in the top of a tree, kingfishers, an otter and muskrat in the river.

Mark Peabody of Mahoosuc Outdoors in Milan, N.H., gave 13 paddlers 12 kayaks, including one tandem, an instruction to white water rafting Saturday, July 9. Paddles put in at Mollidgewock State Park in Errol, N.H. 

The river was running Class 1, 2 and 3 rapids throughout the 5-mile paddle, which lasted four hours. Paddlers finished the float with a trust in their understanding of the river. The take out was the Islands Bridge in Dummer, N.H. 

Sunday’s paddle encountered more white water, traveling from Pontook Dam in Milan, N.H., to Bofinger in Dummer, N.H. Peobody led this float trip, giving instruction on negotiating rapids and proving duckies, which are inflatable kayaks, to most of the six paddlers. 

Pontook Dam was let out at 10 a.m., so the 2-mile paddle encountered Class 1, 2 and 3 rapids. 

The group completed two runs of advanced paddling over the section, 4 miles total. This stretch is not for inexperienced paddlers. 

Family Day followed the trip at the Mahoosuc Inn. 

Future paddling trips include:

Friday, July 15: Gilead to Bethel, 8:30 a.m.

Saturday, July 16: Bethel to Moran’s Landing in Newry with a Patriot Renewables tour, 8:30 a.m.

Sunday, July 17: Hanover to Rumford, 8:30 a.m., with a stop at the Mahoosuc Land Trust’s new Hastings Landing in Rumford Center. There will also be a free learn-to-paddle seminar for Rumford families. Includes a free boat rental, gear and lunch.

Thursday, July 21: Hike Whitecap Mountain in Rumford, 8:30 a.m.

Friday, July 22: Mexico to Dixfield, 8:30 a.m.

Saturday, July 23: Dixfield to Canton, 8:30 a.m.

Sunday, July 24: Livermore Falls to Twin Bridges in Turner, 8:30 a.m.

FMI, float schedule: 207-754-8158, www.androscogginwatershed.org, tinyurl.com/jz7zfv7.


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