One Square Mile of Hope: The Largest Raft of Canoes and Kayaks

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On September 13, 2014, a total of exactly 3,150 canoes and kayaks converged on Fourth Lake in the town of Inlet, in New York to set a new Guinness World Record for the world’s largest raft ever assembled. The event known as “One Square Mile of Hope” was organized by local kayak business owner Connie Perry, and the initiative helped raise over $150,000 towards Breast Cancer research. National Geographic photographer Nancie Battaglia flew overhead in a small plane to capture this fantastic image of what became Inlet’s third record-breaking event. 

One Square Mile of Hope was conceived by Connie Perry, owner of Frisky Otter Tours, and a small group of friends who had formed the Inlet Area Business Association to help promote tourism. Connie Perry had lost a close friend to breast cancer in 2007, and was looking for a way to commemorate her as well as raise funds to help eradicate the disease. Then someone came up with the idea of a Guinness Record attempt for the largest raft of canoes, kayaks and guide boats. The idea appealed to the entire group, and One Square Mile of Hope was born.


Photo credit: Nancie Battaglia

In 2008, the group put together a raft of 1,104 boats, beating the previous record of 776 boats set in Cleveland in 2001. Inlet’s record stood until 2010 when a group of 1,619 boats got together in the waters off Point State Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2011, Inlet regained the title with 1902 boats. That record was broken again in 2013 by a group from Sutton’s Bay by floating 2099 boats. The One Square Mile of Hope Committee reclaimed it in 2014 in an effort that included participants from 31 U.S. states, 2 Canadian Provinces, and even from Thailand and Belgium. The event has become some sort of a town favorite since it started seven years ago.


Photo credit: Nancie Battaglia


Photo credit


Photo credit


Photo credit


Photo credit: Nancie Battaglia


Photo credit: Nancie Battaglia

Sources: / Adirondack Outdoors Magazine /

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