Waitsfield, Vt. – In honor of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s 15th Anniversary, Wenonah Canoe and Wood and Wood Sign Systems created a custom-made “Cownoe” canoe to support the water trail’s work in increasing paddling opportunities in northern Vermont along the Missisquoi River. A canoe raffle fundraiser coincides with this summer’s “Celebrate the Missisquoi,” a series of events and speakers along the 80-mile international river.
“Northern Forest Canoe Trail has worked with community partners since 2000 to establish our route, create erosion-resistant access to the Missisquoi River, and entice recreational canoeists, kayakers and fishermen to northern Vermont. We are thrilled to have an iconic symbol of Vermont life—the Holstein—married with a canoe, the traditional Abenaki mode of transportation,” said executive director Karrie Thomas.
The one-of-a-kind Cownoe is a Wenonah Champlain 18-foot touring canoe made of Kevlar, and designed with a black and white cow graphic designed by Sparky Potter, owner of Wood and Wood Sign Systems in Waitsfield, Vermont. Tickets for this special edition canoe valued at $4,999 are $10 for 1 ticket and $25 for 3 tickets at participating events, businesses and online at www.northernforestcanoetrail.org; the drawing will be held in August.
Minnesota-based Wenonah Canoe, Inc. was an early supporter of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Mike Cichanowski, founder and owner of Wenonah Canoe, recognized the significance of the nonprofit’s goals and earmarked this project as a company priority. Cichanowski and friends have tripped on the canoe trail enjoying the mix of lakes, rivers, whitewater, campsites and portages which are all well mapped and documented.
"The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a significant resource for paddlers of all types and abilities," Cichanowski said, adding, "The Cownoe project is the latest effort by Wenonah on behalf of the canoe trail."
The Wenonah Cownoe will debut on June 6, 2015 in the state’s longest parade at the Vermont Dairy Festival in Enosburg Falls, as part of the Upper Missisquoi & Trout Wild & Scenic Rivers float.
The Cownoe will be on tour this summer at the “Celebrate the Missisquoi” Speaker Series. These family-friendly talks will share local organizations’ efforts to improve water quality in the watershed. The series also promotes recreation events occurring this summer along the 80-mile long Missisquoi River thanks to organizations like the Cold Hollow to Canada, Enosburg Falls Conservation Commission, Friends of Northern Lake Champlain, Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, and the Richford Conservation Commission. For event details visit www.celebratethemissisquoi.com.
Caption: This one-of-a-kind Wenonah “Cownoe” is a fundraiser for the Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s work on Vermont’s Missisquoi River.
About Wenonah Canoe
Established formally in 1968 in Winona, Minnesota, Wenonah Canoe is the outgrowth of a lifelong devotion to paddling by Mike Cichanowski who began canoeing as a Boy Scout. His passion manifested itself into a life’s business while he was still in college. Today, Wenonah Canoe’s brands, including Wenonah Canoe, Current Designs Kayaks, C4 Waterman and QCC Kayaks, are available globally through knowledgeable retailers and distributors.
About the Northern Forest Canoe Trail
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is the longest paddling trail in the nation and runs from Old Forge, New York through Vermont, Québec, and New Hampshire to Fort Kent, Maine following ancient Native American travel routes. We protect and steward our 740-mile water trail and foster community vitality to promote inspiring outdoor experiences in the Northern Forest Region. In 2014 the Northern Forest Canoe Trail was named “Editor’s Choice–Best Canoeing” by Yankee Magazine.