When you paddle, you go places; and that’s exactly what Nate Harvey, Program Director and Retail Manager at Great Glen Trails, loves about the sport.
Having just returned from a private eighteen-day Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking trip in the Grand Canyon at the time of this conversation, Nate’s affinity for paddling has to do with the places it takes him, and the people he meets.
“Fellow kayakers - they’re the nicest people. They are the type of people that would have your back in easy, ‘go-with-the-flow times,’ and in times of crisis. There’s a strong density of boaters - people who appreciate the flow of the river, and it’s nice to come together in a community that respects the value in that.”
That value is a huge piece of what Nate wants to pass onto the guests who schedule a kayak tour at Great Glen Trails, (GGT).
Great Glen Trails offers three different types of adventures for those looking to kayak in Mt. Washington Valley; A Guided Wildlife Kayaking Tour, Sunset Kayaking Tour, and Whitewater Kayaking Clinic.
The Guided Wildlife Kayaking Tour is offered in a half-day and full-day form, and is perfect for families. The half-day tour is an activity that offers a lot of opportunity for families to plan a well-rounded day during their family vacation in Mt. Washington Valley. Due to the length of the trip, a half-day kayaking excursion leaves a family plenty of time to take a drive up the Mt. Washington Auto Road or spend a half-day playing at Story Land. For more trip details, click here.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Great Glen Trails guided Whitewater Kayaking Clinic is a more advanced course that teaches you skills that will allow you to continue in the sport. You will learn paddling basics and safety, how to wet exit, perform aggressive self rescues, paddle your boat in every direction, read river hydrology, practice eddy turns and peel outs, ferrying across the river, surfing, braces and more.
Clinics are offered in beginner, private, and semi-private form; and last an entire day, from 8:00am to 5:00pm. For more clinic details, click here.
Great Glen Trails also offers customized overnights on Lake Umbagog. Offering what Nate called the “White Glove” service, all you have to do is relax and enjoy the trip, while GGT supplies the camping and cooking gear; teaches you how to maneuver a boat and navigate a course; as well as brings you to notable scenic views where wildlife is known to be viewed. For more information on all courses, click here.
Nate loves to guide in the Mt. Washington and Androscoggin Valleys, because of the breadth of what he finds throughout the White Mountain National Forest, and Great North Woods. He grew up hiking and skiing in the White Mountains, and even after all of these years, the mountains and rivers continue to deliver for him.
Nate even interned at Great Glen Trails in 1997, while he was earning a degree in Adventure Based Management from Lyndon State College. His summer job was spent demoing the new-to-Great Glen Trails fleet of Mad River canoes. Which meant he learned a lot about canoes. And when Great Glen Trails decided to include canoe and kayak trips to its services, it meant he had to learn how to put all his canoe knowledge to work.
Nate has dedicated a lot of years to an outdoor hobby he loves, and he’s done it in one of the most historic places in Mt. Washington Valley. Great Glen Trails, and it’s sister attraction, Mt. Washington Auto Road are fixtures of the area, and dedicated to the culture of outdoor recreation in New Hampshire. Part of what Nate enjoys about his work, is the ability to pass on his expertise and educate guests on the natural resources in the valley, and how best to sustain them.
Nate’s been paddling in the White Mountains for over twenty five years, and no matter where else kayaking takes him, he always makes his way back to its lakes and rivers.
The Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce highly recommends the hiring of a guide for any outdoor adventure that leads you into the woods. Not only will you be supporting the Valley's local economy, which is substantially made up of those dedicated to outdoor recreation, but you'll also be ensuring a successful trip through safety, and technical training. Click the link for a list of guiding outfitters.
For complete trip planning resources and information, explore this site, visitmwv.com, or call 800-367-3364 (800-DO-SEE-NH) to talk to a Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce rep. To learn more about New Hampshire vacations, go to www.VisitNH.gov.