Monday, February 3, 2020

Plans Afloat For New Ownership of 90-Miler, Other Races

90 miler Adirondack Canoe ClassicThe Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) and the Adirondack Watershed Alliance (AWA) are working towards a transfer of AWA events and activities, including the Adirondack Canoe Classic, to NFCT’s care before the launch of the 2021 paddling season.

AWA, managed by Brian and Grace McDonnell for over two decades, currently coordinates the ‘Round the Mountain Canoe and Kayak Race and the Celebrate Paddling Invitational in Saranac Lake, the Long Lake Long Boat Regatta, and the Adirondack Canoe Classic, known more commonly as the 90-Miler.

“We’re excited by the prospect of this transition, and we’re confident that NFCT’s board and staff will provide a promising future for paddle sports in the Adirondacks,” Brian McDonnell said in an announcement sent to the press. “NFCT’s focus on stewardship, promotion of paddling and celebration of paddling culture make them a perfect fit for carrying on the legacy of AWA and its tentpole events.”

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a nonprofit organization that maintains and promotes the 740-mile water trail that runs from Old Forge to Fort Kent, Maine. It is the longest in-land water trail in the nation and consists of 23 rivers and streams, 59 lakes and ponds, 45 communities, and 65 portages.

This year, AWA is expected to continue to manage events, with NFCT staff and volunteers observing and engaging.  NFCT seeks to complete fundraising and officially acquire AWA in 2021. That will require taking on correspondence, registration, marketing and sponsorships.

NFCT currently operates a number of longstanding, successful events, including Waterway Work Trips along the 740-mile canoe trail, the popular Missisquoi Paddle-Pedal in Richford, Vt., annual Paddling Film Festival screenings and the Northern Forest Explorers program. NFCT has worked with AWA for a number of years, providing stewardship support before and after the 90-Miler, as well as aid station support during the race.

For more information on Adirondack Watershed Alliance events contact Brian McDonnell at To learn more about the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, visit, or contact Karrie Thomas at

Photo of 90-miler Adirondack Canoe Classic provided by Adirondack Watershed Alliance.

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