Allagash River Headwaters, Maine

Practicalities
Gorp.com

The information outlined here is by no means all you'll need to know before heading out into the wilderness, but it will get you well on your way. For further information about the area, write or call the Maine Bureau of Parks and Recreation, State House Station 22, Augusta, Maine 04333. (207) 287-3821

The Journey

Canoe routes in northern Maine are virtually unlimited, and the tour described is but one of many variations. The classic Allagash Wilderness Waterway trip begins at Chamberlain Lake and continues for nearly one hundred miles to the village of Allagash near the Canadian border.

Best Time to Go

Late summer through early fall is the best time for a canoe trip in the Maine Woods. In late August and September the days are warm and the nights are cool, the bugs are gone, and the snows of winter are still a few weeks away.

Essential Clothing and Equipment

Be prepared for cool, wet weather. A basic late-summer outfit includes: a broad-brimmed hat, long-sleeved cotton or light wool shirt, light cotton or wool pants, and rubber-bottom, leather-top boots. Be sure to bring shorts and T-shirts for pleasant days. Pack extra warm wool or fleece layers and a complete set of raingear. For trips early in the season, bring a headnet for those times when the biting insects are especially active.

As a general rule on all canoe trips, put together a small daypack with useful personal items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, a camera and plenty of film, a notepad, binoculars, maps and a compass, matches, a water bottle, and a basic first-aid kit. This daypack will be indispensable while in the canoe and on day hikes and side trips.

Special Attractions

The Allagash River drains one of the most remote, expansive, and undeveloped regions in the United States. A canoe trip in the Maine Woods offers an excellent opportunity for viewing wildlife — including moose, deer, black bear, beaver, pine marten, bald eagles, osprey, and many other species. In addition, the native brook trout and lake trout fishing is superb.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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