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Canoe & Kayak River Race to precede Great Falls Brewfest

This year’s event will feature three different course options and an option to rent a canoe or kayak from Shaker Hill Outdoors.

The Androscoggin Land Trust (ALT) will hold its third annual Canoe & Kayak River Race on Saturday, June 23 at 9 a.m., before the kick-off of the annual Great Falls Brewfest that afternoon. The race will depart from the Festival Plaza boat launch on Main Street in Auburn. Participants this year have three course options to choose from:

The Long Distance Paddle, over mostly slow-moving water with a section of class I-III rapids, finishing at the Durham Boat Launch (distance 7 miles; average time 1.5 hours).

The Twin City Boomerang Paddle, from Auburn to Lewiston, then back upriver to Auburn, finishing at Festival Plaza (distance 3 miles; average time 45 minutes; no rapids).

The Twin City Paddle, a short, fun paddle from Auburn to Lewiston, finishing at the Lincoln Street Boat Launch (distance 1.5 miles; average time 20 minutes; no rapids).

A free shuttle service provided by Northeast Charter will be available to transport racers from finish locations back to Festival Plaza in Auburn.

“Last year, we had over 60 racers for the event,” said race spokesperson Shelley Kruszewski. “We are hoping to have even more come out this year, Along with fellow recreational enthusiasts, racers will be able to experience unique sections of the Androscoggin River, paddling past the iconic Lewiston canals, beyond the confluence of the Little Androscoggin River, and, in the case of the Long Distance Paddle option, through Dressers Rips.”

New this year, there will be an option to rent a canoe or kayak from Shaker Hill Outdoors, which will be delivered to and from the race location on race day. Those interested should call Shaker Hill at 998-5390 to reserve a boat as far in advance as possible. Also new this year, preceding the awards ceremony in Festival Plaza there will be live music by Chris Robley and concessions available for purchase from Tripp’s Farmhouse Cafe. As in past years, registrants for the race who are ages 21 and over will receive a code for a 15% discount to the Brewfest while tickets are still available.

Registration and check-in will be from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Participants should arrive in time to check in and unload boats in advance of the 9 a.m. start time. The cost is $30 for a single canoe or kayak and $40 for a double canoe or kayak; all proceeds will support the conservation, stewardship, outdoor education, and events of ALT.

The race will take place rain or shine. Prizes will be awarded at Festival Plaza to the top finishers in each category and an additional prize will be awarded to the boat or paddler with the best costume. To register, or for race rules, safety tips, and more information, call 782-2302, email info@androscogginlandtrust.org, or see androscogginlandtrust.org.

The Androscoggin Land Trust is a membership-supported organization that promotes stewardship and supports a network of public and privately owned land to protect over 5,000 acres of important natural areas and traditional landscapes in the Androscoggin watershed from Jay to Lisbon.

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