Monkman VTNFS D30165Like many parts of the Northern Forest, Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom (NEK) depends on tourism for a significant part of its economy. The region has a lot to offer those who find it: premier multi-use outdoor recreation options, delicious local food (and beer!) and charming inns. Yet standing out in a crowded Northeast tourism market is a challenge, one that requires expertise and digital marketing savvy that is often beyond what individual communities and businesses can muster on their own.

The Center has helped the Northern Gateway Chamber of Commerce create a map and brochure to promote its new hiking challenge program, which the Chamber will formally launch at its annual meeting March 21. 

N Gateway Challenge brochure picture copyThe Northern Gateway Hiking Challenge is a collection of hikes in or near Lancaster, N.H., designed to highlight the town’s special location at the edge of the White Mountains and to encourage outdoor recreation. Download a PDF of the map and brochure.

"We hope that the Challenge will get visitors and locals exploring the beauty in and around Lancaster," said Beth Cape of the Northern Gateway Challenge.  "The hike is to encourage friends, families, and organizations to explore the Great North Woods by promoting achievable hikes. When they complete the Challenge, we'll recognize them on social media and send a certificate from the chamber."

Wood Heat Leadership SummitThe Center and the University of Vermont (UVM) convened the first Northeast Wood Heat Leadership Summit Jan. 7 – 8 to release new research findings, address challenges and opportunities for the sector, and learn from the experiences of the wood heat markets in the United Kingdom and Europe. More than 55 leaders from the wood heat, education, public and nonprofit sectors attended the event, which was funded by the Northeastern States Research Cooperative

Greenville Boardwalk In ProcessThe first-ever Community Destination Academy in Maine’s Moosehead Lake region demonstrated a new approach to building the capacity of business, municipal and non-profit leaders to expand local economic opportunity through Rural Destination Development. The program combined a series of targeted skills training workshops with financial and technical assistance for local projects including rebuilding the boardwalk along Moosehead Lake in downtown Greenville and developing plans to increase the economic impact of 10 local events in 2019.

The Northern Forest Center worked with its partners in the Maine Woods Consortium to bring this program to the Moosehead region. Additional partners include the Maine Office of Tourism, Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, and Destination Moosehead Lake.