In April of 2016 a kayaker named John Connelly began a 75-day canoe and kayak journey spanning 1,500 miles. Connelly, a former member of the US Canoe & Kayak team and leader of L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery Schools, will bring his journey to a close on June 24th in Kittery, Maine, after traveling through two countries, four states, 22 streams, and 58 lakes.
Starting in the Adirondack Mountains on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Connelly traveled through New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Canada, ending up in Northern Maine. From there he took the Saint John River of New Brunswick, Canada to the Bay of Fundy. The last leg of the expedition was the Maine Island Trail, which follows Maine’s rugged coastline. Connelly chronicled his journey through a series of blog posts on his website.
To navigate, Connelly used Delorme inReach technology paired with Delorme’s Earthmate app on his iPad air. The 9-inch iPad sat in front of him in a waterproof case. “Before leaving I was able to input all of my waypoints and all of my locations,” he said. “Its so much better than looking at the tiny screen of a GPS, especially when you’re in rough waters and have to move quickly.”
Connelly’s challenging expedition will be the first to link The Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Saint John River, Bay of Fundy, and Maine Island Trail. One of the primary goals of his trip is to gain increased support for the organizations that maintain those waterways. Connelly has also dedicated his long and winding odyssey to raising awareness of the “mental, physical, and spiritual renewal” that can be gained by partaking in outdoor adventures.