Source to the Sea gets underway

Over the course of nearly 170 miles, hundreds of paddlers will paddle down the Androscoggin River during the 19th annual Source to the Sea (S2S), which this year is scheduled for July 11 through August 10.

The S2S will begin with an evening paddle at the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, north of Errol, N.H., continue on a series of 20 day-trips as paddlers meander through northern New Hampshire and Western Maine, and end in Brunswick, where the river enters Merrymeeting Bay. Paddlers may join the trip for one day, several days or all days.

This year’s theme is “Healthy Environment – Healthy Lifestyle.” Highlights include evening paddles, healthy foods, family days, music, hiking, standup paddle-board, as well as educational sessions on native plant species, fish habitat, ornithology, weather, aquatic insects, healthy nutrition and river ecology. In addition, we have planned several family days where we will have a few boats available to try for those folks who have not had the paddling experience. We do ask people to pre-register for this event as there are a limited number of kayaks available.

Anyone interested in paddling any section of the river can register for the event on the ARWC 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. ARWC is also able to accept donations online to support the event and its other programs.

Participation is free for paddlers; however, a voluntary, tax-deductible donation of $10 is requested to support the non-profit ARWC 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 the ARWC and shuttle arrangements determined each day of the event.

Sponsors for this year’s Source to the Sea include Sunday River Ski Resort, TransCanada, L.L. Bean, Brookfield, Verso Paper of Jay, Patriot Renewables, Liberty Mutual Insurance, ReEnergy along with numerous area businesses providing additional funding and in-kind services. See the website for a full list.

The non-profit Androscoggin River Watershed Council was founded in 1999 with a mission to continuously improve environmental quality and promote healthy and prosperous communities in the Androscoggin River Watershed.

See you on the Androscoggin River Trail Source to the Sea.