I began by participating in a River Pilgrimage from Source to Sound, sponsored by the Episcopal Dioceses of New England. The leaders went the whole way. I spent six days paddling in middle Vermont with them, and I knew I wanted to do more.

For the rest of the paddling season in 2017, I did day paddles in southern Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Mostly those were alone in a kayak. A few, including two overnights, were with my wife or else with a friend in a canoe. Finally I made it to the Sound.

Last year, I did the section immediately north of White River Junction with a friend in a canoe over three days. In 2019, I did two long trips (by my standards), alone in a kayak, camping beside the River. For both, I dropped my kayak at the beginning, dropped my car at the end, and biked back to the beginning. Those trips together covered 115 river miles.

I also biked alongside the river between Canaan and Pittsburg, since it was too low to paddle there in mid-summer. I completed my Connecticut River pilgrimage with a three day hike from the Fourth Connecticut Lake to the Lake Francis Dam on the Cohos Trail with my brother. The whole thing was challenging and wonderfully rewarding!

Story submitted by Harvey Hill. Paddled, biked and walked in sections from 2017-2019. View more Source to Sea Paddlers’ Recognition Stories.