Bold Paths Adventure Travel


Bold Paths Kayaks Shorefall on the riverMtns to Rivers teens 2016art with wood

Welcome to a Lifetime of Adventure

Bold Paths specializes in customizing and personalizing trips to meet the needs of the participants (TLC). We are a small company with American Canoe Association (ACA) certified Essentials Kayak Instructors dedicated to taking very special trips with very special people. Are you meant to travel with us? We have years of experience taking people on the water and running camps for children. Now we are putting this happy experience to a new use in our family travel, women’s travel and kayaking adventures. Our trips are small, intimate, and personal. This year we are offering a few very special opportunities.

heron omp river

Heron on Ompompanoosuc River

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KayakingOpportunities                                                                                                                          Youth Kayaking summer 2017 —  National Park Service Boots to Boats Centennial project connecting VT and NH National Parks.                                                                                    VacationCamps                                                                                                                                                   After School Programming                                                                                                   Tours                                                                                                                                                      Gear list                                                                                                                                                     Protecting yourself from Deer ticks and Lyme Disease     Tips                                                                                                                                                                                       Cold Weather Paddling                                                                                                                Release of Liability Waiver



Teen kayaking       teensBoots to Boats (National Park Service 2016 project).  Kayak trips on the Connecticut River for 100+ youth this summer  (we made it to 220 kids 2016!)                                                                                                                                  For more information and to pre-register:   contact <>  or call 802-333-3549

  • Public Kayaking Dates June 25 and August 5, at Wilder Picnic Area. Please pre-register to reserve your spot and a boat
  • Camp groups instruction and tours

KAYAKING for all

We offer paddling half-day, full-day, and overnight trips on the Connecticut for up to 12 people, trips may be scheduled at your convenience. We provide all the necessary equipment and a certified guide/instructor. We particularly welcome groups of scouts, and other organizations for young people. We can arrange luxury trips based at a beautiful bed and breakfast, or inexpensive trips based at local camps. Our boats accommodate a variety of experience levels and body types.

kayaks on CT River near Mink Brook

Our trips feature:

  • individual attention
  • flexible teaching to suit your needs and experience
  • kayaks suited for your ability level
  • kayak instruction and coaching
  • outdoor survival and camping skills

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SPRING PADDLING:  Late April (when the ice is out), May and June–Perhaps your reunion paddling opportunities, new paddler opportunities, and half or full day trips, instruction and tips.  Weather dependent, of course!

SUMMER PADDLING with the National Park Service:  For 2017, we are again offering Boots to Boats programming for 100+ youth.

Most of 2016 was spent taking youth ages 8-16 years old kayaking on the Connecticut River, mostly above Wilder Dam, for the National Park Service (NPS) Centennial project Boots to Boats.  In addition to camp groups, there were three free public days.  We took out 152 youth, plus 68 of them went out for a second time, plus 73 adult trips either supporting the youth trips or on the free public days.  This was a marvelous opportunity for so many, and we all appreciate the National Park Foundation and all the work that the National Park Service has done to help facilitate the program.

for more information, contact <> 802-333-3549

from-the-bow getting-ready-to-launch



SEASONAL KAYAKING, from May through October:                               *Bold Paths Guided tours and instruction are available.                                                               * * *Rentals are available with initial instruction.


  • $50/person for two hours of kayak paddling instruction and guiding with all equipment.
  • Group rates $30/person for 4 or more people.
  • $35/day kayak rental, $25 half day

On Lake Fairlee, there are wonderful wetlands to explore, long stretches to paddle on the 6-mile perimeter lake, an inlet to go up on the far south end, and a peaceful feeder stream to explore.

On the Connecticut River in the upper valley, many locations.                                                                                                                          For distances / trip lengths, and locations of boat launches see                                        _-CT River Distances

OSHER at DARTMOUTH trips:  Osher Kayakers who have taken a course with Bold Paths are invited to join us this summer.  Spring, Summer, Fall classes, beginner and intermediate, please find out more and sign up at          Osher at Dartmouth College

ALL TRIPS:  Pre-registration required.  Contact <> 802-333-3549


February & April School Vacation Camps  Beaver at Houghton Rd wetland

February vacation camp Feb 20-24, 2017

Partnering with Ravens Wood Outdoor School in Thetford Center,  with our Touching the Earth & Natural Arts Camp, are together offering our February vacation camp.  It  will be based at Ravens Wood Outdoor School in Thetford Center, with indoor space and outdoor basecamp up in the woods at a 16×20′ winter tent, complete with insulated deck, covered outdoor space, woodstove.  Vacation camp will be wonderful having a winter tentsite.

February 20-24, 2017                                                                                                                          Location: Raven’s Wood Outdoor School for Renegades,                                                                   1046 Poor Farm Rd., Thetford Center, VT                                                                                     8:00am-4:00pm, with extended day options available                                                                  3-day option is available

This camp focuses on outdoor skills, including fire-building, campfire cooking, cross country skiing (gear provided), exploration, snow forts (if we get enough snow!), and natural arts. We do come indoors during this camp, but spend a good amount of time outdoors if the weather is fair.

Volunteer High School Counselors-in-Training are welcome to apply if space allows.    Please contact <> 802-333-3549

Want to learn more?       



ravens_wood_medical_form                                                                          ravens_wood_safety_release_form

April vacation camp April 17-21 week

group pic 2017 camp

3 days for your 4-15 year-olds, located at Bold Paths land in S. Strafford VT, 8am-4pm, extended day available.   Outdoor adventure and primitive camping skills, fun,  natural arts and explorations.

Summer Camps   lily pads

June 26-30, 2017: ages 8-15

3 days of day camp plus a Connecticut River kayak overnight camping trip in the upper valley.  Learn skills, have fun, expand your knowledge and ideas.

** The cornerstone of our kid-friendly offerings is our Touching Earth and Arts Camp that teaches children technical outdoor skills, leadership, and environmental ethics along with a deep appreciation of and connection with the world we inhabit. Visit our Camp page to learn more.

Kayaking with National Park Service

This summer, Bold Paths is working with National Park Service Centennial for the second year, to offer kayaking to 100+ youth on the Connecticut River, working with non-profits and town recreation programs.  We also will offer three weekend days of kayaking sessions to the public for families. Pre-registration is necessary, so we don’t over-commit the boats for the two sessions each of the days, 10-12:30, and 1-3:30pm, launching from Wilder Picnic Area, Kilowatt North, in Wilder, VT. Dates tbd.  These sessions will be free for the public, donations are welcome.

contact <>

Touching the Earth and Arts Camp

Session One 2017: June 26-30

Age8-14 year olds. Based at our home campsite in S. Strafford, VT, this camp focuses on fiber arts and other natural arts, outdoor exploration, and gentle waters kayaking adventures with instruction. Kids may participate in one overnight primitive camping/kayaking trip on the Connecticut River. Gear provided. Transportation can be arranged from the Hanover area to camp in S. Strafford.

Teen trips


Outdoor Adventure After School Program – Mondays   after school hike in field

Outdoor skills education and natural arts program at the Open Fields School in Thetford, VT. To learn more, please call 802-333-3549 or email us. To register, please print this ofs-afterschool-2016-17-registration and mail it to Bold Paths with payment.  We have some great activities planned for this year.

 June 2-4 Kayaking trip with AMC

AMC June 3-4, 2017 kayak trip on Connecticut River.

LOCATION:  Connecticut River between Orford boat launch, NH, and Lyme, NH / or Norwich, VT boat launch.  About 6 miles each day Saturday and Sunday.

REGISTRATION:  Registration is required for this activity.  Please contact Registrar: Bonna Wieler,                                                                                                 802-333-3549 home office, Cell on the water 802-274-0810   

REGISTER FIRST before making your Inn reservations.                  

OVERVIEW:  In Central Vermont, join our Saturday and Sunday Connecticut River calm-water paddle on flat gently moving waters, delightful for a relaxing paddle or to stretch your muscles.  Kayak rentals are available, with paddle, pfd and dry

Instruction in paddling fundamentals for participants with a range of abilities, from the wary new paddler to those seeking to refine their technique. We aim to keep participants comfortable while teaching them to become more efficient, capable and confident paddlers. Flat-water lessons by ACA Flat-water, Sea Kayak, and White Water certified instructor Bonna Wieler and co-leader Debra Weisenstein.

For Friday (optional) and Saturday night lodging you have the choice of the only B&B on the Connecticut River ($100 and up a night) or $25 a night camping.

Contact registrar for details and to sign up. Limited to 12 participants. Deadline May 20th.

Leader: David Elliott    kayak chair of Worcester Appalachian Mountain Club           Co-leader Bonna Wieler, 802-333-3549                                                 Co-leader Debra Weisenstein     <>


Accommodations: Folks may stay at the Breakfast on the Connecticut B&B’s main house (It is the only B&B on the entire Connecticut River, and is lovely, right on the water, and their breakfasts are great). For this option, you are responsible for your own reservations directly with Breakfast on the Connecticut, Lyme NH 03768. 603-353-4444.

Or you could camp overnight at my place in S. Strafford ($25/night normal rates) and use the covered tent platform for group space.  Firepit, stream, outhouse, nearby house.  We can provide tents, groundcloths, sleeping pads, even sleeping bags if you need them.

Or you could commute:  Join us for one day or two days of paddling.

Saturday: 11:00am start from Breakfast on the Connecticut. Shuttle boats to starting point at Orford NH boat launch. We leave a car at the B&B for the return drive that night to pick up the cars. Paddling fundamentals taught.                                                                6 miles paddle from Orford to B&B in Lyme. We count on 2 mph, which includes exploring the river, wetlands, estuaries.                                                                                  Bring your Saturday lunches and snacks.                                                                             Dinner at B&B: campfire dinner provided if weather permits, or we may eat out (individuals’ cost). Relaxing evening together.

Sunday: 9:30 meet and launch from the B&B, paddling fundamentals review lessons and further skills. Paddle 5 ½ miles to Lyme Hewes Brook boat launch for picnic lunch. You may take out there or continue downriver 3 miles more to Thetford VT launch. We will pre-set the cars where you plan to finish your trip.

COST: $30 for food, includes Saturday dinner, Sunday lunch                                            $20/day kayak rentals, includes choice of kayak, pfd, paddle, dry bag if needed.   $25/night camping fees, or stay at the B&B (you make the reservations).

ACTIVITY:   12-15 miles on a 2-day kayaking trip on the calm Connecticut River in central Vermont.  Instruction in paddling fundamentals for participants with a range of abilities, from the wary new paddler to those seeking to refine their technique. We aim to keep participants comfortable while teaching them to become more efficient, capable and confident paddlers.

OFFERED BY: David Elliott, Worcester AMC paddling chair,

Debra Weisenstein co-leader,  Bonna Wieler, co-leader–Bold Paths Adventure          802-333-3549, 802-274-0810 cell

AUDIENCE:  Novice or seasoned paddlers looking for a 2 day flat-water adventure and technique review.

Other Tours

Our tours are designed to meet your needs and wishes. We like to serve you in a personal manner, so that you can get the most from your time on your trip.
We offer tailor-made trips for women, families with or without children, children with or without parents, and businesses seeking corporate, team-building experiences. We also feature trip for you and your canine companion.

Some of the trips we offer are:

Just for Kids:

We also offer a tour just for kids during winter break traveling to Crystal River, Florida’s Nature Coast, to visit the manatees. The trip features snorkling with the manatees, kayaking, fishing, swimming, hiking, and more. Parents can come, too, if they wish. Watch for details.


    • We partner with a local tour company to bring your group the finest travel experience in the Mediterranean.

Women’s Kayak Trips: Allow yourself to enhance your energies and focus, recharging your self for the work ahead.

ALASKA:   A trip to Southeast Alaska, with plenty of explorations, kayaking between islands, camping or town apartment stay.

Winter Excursions: Our winter trips let you experience the pristine beauty of snow swept frozen lakes as well as the gentle caress of lapping waters on your feet.

    • Crystal River, FL
    • Lake Champlain
    • Annual Women’s Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing Excursion in Vermont

Gear List:  kayak gear — day trips and overnight trips

Protecting yourself from Deer ticks and Lyme Disease:     

What is the best way/method/product to treat our clothes? how about our bodies–to protect from Lyme?
      From a Women Outdoors conversation:
     * I’ve talked to a lot of hikers about this. “effective” rarely means less toxic. That’s the dilemma and difficult-decision-making here for us. Permethrin treated clothing is popular, some treat their clothes themselves. I’m into barriers: wearing pants much of the time even in the heat and applying deet to shoes, socks, pantlegs. As for repellants not much works well like deet. I’ve seen a roll on deet that minimizes mess on the hands and inhalation from sprays.                                                                                * Permethrin is way more effective on ticks than DEET. Permethrin kills ticks on contact and once clothing is treated the effect lasts for weeks. DEET repels and the effectiveness lasts for hours.  I too wear long pants and sleeves, for bug and sun protection. Permethrin can’t be used on bare skin (an enzyme in our body deactivates it), and DEET shouldn’t be (my opinion). I treat my boots, socks, cuffs, and sleeves with a spray Permethrin.
I wear a limited number of hiking clothes, so it’s relatively easy to treat them once a month or so. What I’m struggling with is my exposure in my own yard, where I wear a wide variety of cloths. I tend to wear the same clothes gardening all the time, but I could be wearing anything when I run the compost out or walk with the dog.
                                                                                                                                     *  Permethrin is an insecticide, deet is a repellant. I see them as having separate but interlocking functions. And the health effects if exposure to pyrethroid insecticides is noteworthy. It’s just a big drag that we have to worry so much (and we do) when immersed in our favorite settings.


Winter Tips                                                                                                                                                           from the National  Park Service:                                                                                                            Ten essentials for skiing or snowshoeing on back country trails:                                               1. Navigation (map and compass)                                                                                                       2. Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)                                                                                 3. Insulation (extra clothing)                                                                                                                  4. Illumination (headlamp, flashlight, bulb and batteries)                                                           5. First-aid kit (with warming packs)                                                                                                   6. Fire (Waterproof matches and fire starters)                                                                                 7. Repair kit and tools (including knife or multi-tool)                                                                   8. Nutrition (extra food)                                                                                                                           9. Hydration (extra water)                                                                                                                     10. Emergency shelter.                                                                                                          (Backcountry Trail Patrol Association)

  • It is also a good idea to carry a cell phone to call 911 in case of emergency.

Cold Water Paddling from Eastern Mountain Sports

Paddling in cool waters is a blast. They key ingredient is “Know thyself.” Read on for our tips on how to be prepared and paddle safely.

Know the dangers:     Cool air and cold water cannot be overlooked. Even though the potential for getting capsized seems minimal, it is critical to be prepared should that happen. Anyone who decides to join the L Street Brownies for a swim on New Year’s Day in South Boston knows that water temps below 50°F will take your breath away. It is pretty much like being put in a cryogenic tank (no disrespect to Ted Williams.)

  • Beautiful places like Bar Harbor Maine have a high water temperature in July of only 59 degrees. Maybe the air temperature is in the high 70s, but if rough seas put you in the drink, the 59 degree water with just surf shorts, a PFD, and a cotton T-shirt will have most people approaching hypothermia in 30 minutes or so.

Know the location:      Choosing to paddle a narrow, quiet river to enjoy the trees is very different than paddling from the mainland of New Hampshire across open ocean to Smuttynose Island. If you are paddling a lazy river and capsize, ask yourself if you would you be able to get to shore, change clothes, and dump the water out of your boat before becoming hypothermic?

Know yourself and others:     Determine your personal ability level and the ability of your paddling partners. Ask yourself and your partners how confident they are at re-entering their boat unassisted if they capsize. Does each member of your party know how to Eskimo roll? Do any members of your party have physical issues that would prevent them from re-entering their boats?

Bring the right clothing and gear:    Staying dry is staying warm. The key is to know your individual tolerance level to cold air and water, then dress correctly. Knowing what to wear is a function of air/water temperature and your location and distance from the shore. If the water temp and air temp are both above 60 degrees but there is a possibility of capsize, a wetsuit is a safe choice. For the really cold-blooded people out there, a 3 mm farmer-john style wetsuit should do the trick, in tandem with a rash-guard shirt and maybe a splash top to keep the wind and spray off. For those warm-blooded people who put out the BTUs like a Midwest power plant, thinner neoprene (about 0.5 mm) may suffice.

Know why a wetsuit works:    How does a wetsuit work, you ask? The idea behind wetsuits is that a thin layer of water is trapped between the neoprene and your skin. Your body heats the water and the neoprene insulates (traps) the heat. Analogy: beer coolie insulates cold brewski.

Know when you need a wetsuit:    If the water is below 60 degrees and the prospect of swimming to shore is not easy, then definitely wear a wetsuit with light synthetic layers under it and have a waterproof jacket, gloves, and hat readily available if the air gets cold. By the way, readily available does not mean buried deep in the stern hatch.

Know when to wear a dry suit:    If the water is 50 degrees or below and the air is the same with a stiff wind, the safest choice is a waterproof, breathable dry suit. Dry suits have latex gaskets at the neck, wrist, and ankles. Dry suits are intended to keep you completely dry from outside elements. Like a wetsuit, you want synthetic layers next to your skin to wick and dry sweat as well as provide insulation. However, dry suits are a bit tricky when it comes time to make a bathroom stop. Most men’s suits have a front relief zipper and women’s models can be purchased with a drop seat.

Protect the extremities:   Headwear for really cold temperatures would be a neoprene hood or beanie. To protect your hands, Pogies are a nice choice if you do not want the bulk of neoprene gloves. Pogies are waterproof mittens that attach to the paddle shaft and provide an opening to slide your hands in and out of.

Don’t mess with the non-negotiables:    For cold weather paddling, you must have a spray skirt, paddle float, bilge pump, paddle leash, extra paddle, PFD with a whistle attached, first aid kit, basic repair items for your kayak, waterproof flashlight, and an emergency strobe light. If you are venturing out into big water bring a VHF radio, flares, dye marker and signal mirror, cell phone, compass, chart, and float plan. Always tell someone at home where you are going and when you expect to be back.

  • And regardless of the location, it is important to carry a complete change of clothes in a dry bag. What not to wear: cotton. Denim jeans and cotton T-shirts remain wet. In short, you will freeze your buns off. Not only are they cold but also really heavy.

Know when to call it a day:   Eat, drink, and be merry, but get out before you become too tired. Cold weather and wind exposure make you burn calories and use hydration stores. If you have not had the urge to go to the bathroom in several hours of chilly paddling, this is a bad sign. Stay well hydrated and stop for frequent snacks. (Beer and coffee do not count in the hydration category.)

JUST PLAIN SILLINESS:  NRS write up                                                                                                    (not at all about the flora and fauna you expect to see)                                                                     The Audubon Field Guide to Native Ramp Life