2006 Spring

Just as warm spring days begin turning thoughts to the great outdoors, The Trading Post in New Milford, Connecticut is inviting everyone out for some unique outdoor fun. Canoeing and kayaking, family fun on Candlewood Lake and tasty barbecue will be on the menu at their Fifth Annual Paddle Days Festival, Friday May 12 to Sunday May 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lynn Deming Town Park in New Milford.

All it takes is $10 for the chance to try out a variety of canoes and kayaks on the picturesque North end of Candlewood Lake, and to attend seminars on a variety of topics and enjoy a barbecue lunch. A portion of the proceeds goes to local charities including conservation groups that help preserve the waterways in CT. No previous paddling experience is necessary to demo as many different brands of canoes and kayaks as you choose. Instructors will be on hand to help new boaters get comfortable in the water.

Seminars will include learning about paddling techniques, water safety, how to choose a canoe or kayak, fishing from a canoe or kayak, yoga for paddlers, and where to find scenic spots to canoe. Those who want can help to build a wooden kayak, learning about construction. Music, kids activities, and great deals on boats and paddling gear will round out the offerings.

Best of all, the fee includes tasty free barbecue, including pulled pork, spare ribs, and grilled chicken prepared by the Cookhouse of New Milford. Vegetarians are remembered with veggie burgers and salads. Comcast cable, along with Outdoor Life Network, and ESPN will be on hand and radio stations I95 and WEBE 108 will be broadcasting live. There will be lots of free giveaways, including a free kayak, paddle, vest, and car rack system offered each day.

The idea for Paddle Days came from the owners of the Trading Post, David and Roxanne Lord. The Lords have lived for years and raised two children in a simple cabin, nestled in the hills of New Milford. They love the outdoors and after years as paddling enthusiasts, decided six years ago to become canoe and kayak outfitters themselves. Rather than focus on whitewater and running rapids, they emphasize the quiet waters in the many lakes found in the Litchfield Hills and the gentler portions of the Housatonic River, waters that invite a leisurely paddle with time to enjoy nature.

Lynn Deming Town Park is located on Candlewood Lake Road, just off Route 7 in New Milford. For further information, phone the Trading Post at 860-354-3276, stop by the store at 314 Kent Road (Route 7), New Milford or visit the website at www.trading-post-ct.com

For information on other outdoor activities in the area and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the Litchfield Hills of Northwest Connecticut, contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (800) 663-1273 or check the Internet at or check the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.