The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) is thrilled to announce founder Kay Henry's selection as one of L.L. Bean's first Outdoor Heroes. This small group of six competitively selected individuals was chosen for their "significant contributions to creating, maintaining, teaching about, or encouraging the use of recreational outdoor space." 

Henry's volunteer role in bringing to life the Northern Forest Canoe Trail positioned her to receive this recognition. Over the course of fewer than 10 years, she worked persistently to transform the intriguing idea of the long-distance water trail into a fully mapped and nationally recognized public paddling resource. In the process, she helped to engage widespread volunteer support for the project, as well as critical funding from federal, state, private and corporate sources to support the start-up of the project. Henry remains on the NFCT board of directors.

Kate Williams, NFCT's executive director, nominated Henry for the recognition.   She says that "Kay was a natural for this award. She worked thoughtfully and diligently -- and with great passion -- to create this new public resource in the Northern Forest Region. We're excited for her, and for the spotlight this sheds on our Trail and water trails in general."

Kay Henry was a founder of both Mad River Canoe Company and, subsequently, the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Both organizations have their roots in Waitsfield, Vermont. The offices of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail remain in Waitsfield Village. Henry lives in Fayston.

As part of the Outdoor Hero award, L.L. Bean will be including a feature on Henry and NFCT in one of its 2008 spring catalogs, slated to come out sometime during the month of January.

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail links the watersheds of northern New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire and Maine and is a unique thread tying together the Northern Forest Region. The 740-mile water trail traces historic Native American travel routes through the rivers of this region and is a living reminder of history, where rivers were both highways and routes of communication.

To learn more about the Trail, visit www.NorthernForestCanoeTrail.org or write to P.O. Box 565 Waitsfield, Vermont 05673.