The Connecticut River

One of the most enjoyable canoeing and camping trips in the Northeast Kingdom is right on the Vermont-New Hampshire border. The Connecticut River separates the two states. At 407 miles, the Connecticut is the longest river in New England. Put in near Canaan, one of the northern most towns in the NEK, and hit the rapids down to Maidstone, in the shadow of Monadnock Mountain. After Maidstone, the river slows to a meandering avenue offering spectacular mountain views of the Connecticut River Valley. Conclude your 55-mile trip at Gilman just before Moore Reservoir. The reservoir covers 3,500 acres and is ideal for boating, waterskiing, tubing and fishing. Two covered bridges in the NEK connect Vermont and New Hampshire across the Connecticut: the Columbia Covered Bridge between Lemington, VT., and Columbia, N.H., and the Mount Orne Bridge between Lunenburg, VT., and Lancaster, N.H. The Connecticut River is designated a national scenic byway, a program established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected landscapes throughout the United States.

Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, located in northeastern Vermont, has long embraced the ideals that comprise National Geographic's geotourism programs. Geotourism, as defined by the National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations is "tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place. It's a destination where you can have an authentic travel experience without harming the place." Jonathan Tourtellot, director of the Society's Center for Sustainable Destinations, describes the NEK as "the real Vermont...This is rural America at its most nostalgic, enlivened by a vibrant cultural arts community and the wonderful Vermont scenery. There are scenic back roads to drive, quaint little towns to explore, wonderful hiking in the summer and great skiing in the winter." To ensure the development of a geotourism program that is true to the Kingdom, a Geotourism Alliance was established to help steward the formation of this program. Today, this Alliance is comprised of over 20 member organizations who provide input and support as the Northeast Kingdom Geotourism Program evolves.