Allagash - Eagle Lake 3-day

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Guest

Guest
Hey all-

Just found this website, it's been hard finding information around Eagle Lake in the Allagash wilderness. I have a bunch of question of the are and would appreciate any advice. I have been researching a ton and just want to know everything I need to know before going out there.

First off I want to say that a buddy and I will be going up there eiter the weekend after memorial weekend or during the week after memorial day. Are purpose is to explore in he vast wilderness we are both photographers and really want to check out the locomotives and the surrouning wildlife. I have hiked/camped in the Whites and the Glades and I have paddled Key We and the Ipswich river/Charles river so we are not going in raw.

My first thought was to drive, park and venture on foot from camp site to camp site around Eagle Lake so my next few questions are in regards to that....

-Can I drive the car to Eagle Lake(Telos road?) and is there parking near Eagle Lake or would I have to park at the Chamberlain Bridge and hike to Eagle Lake?

-Are there hiking trails/foot paths (official or unofficial) to get to the surrounding lakes and to walk around the lakes(especially Eagle) itself or is it all back country bushwack....Is it bushwack-able?

-If I were driving around Golden and Telos Road can I just pull off to the side of the road and hike? How long can I leave the car there if I can(multi-days or just hours)?

-Are the campsites crowded or is there privacy? Is it safe to leave the tent and explore via foot/canoe and come back?

My next set of question revolves around the idea that hiking in is not the option and instead getting an outfitter to drop a canoe and us at Eagle Lake and then pick us up in the same spot 3-days later. I have done plenty of canoeing but never in any sort of rapids which is why I would stay in Eagle Lake but wouldn't mind getting my beak wet.

- I have seen videos of Chase Rapids were the canoe tips over. What of my gear? I figure to have a bag with 3-days worth of provisions and change of clothes, last thing I need is that and my camera going over into the water. How is Indian Stream that goes into Eagle Lake? I would like to check out ome of these streams that go into or branch off just worry about the gear.

-Is it better to do 2 solo canoes or 1 canoe with 2 people with our bags in the middle? Figure to explore all of Eagle Lake, Round Pond, Churchhill but not go down to Chase Rapids and stay at different campsites both nights.

-Are there any other streams or lazy rivers that go into or branch off of Eagle Lake without going upstream? How long does it take to explore Eagle? Should I incorporate more?

-What about from Allagash stream to Allagash lake to Chamberlain Lake to Eagle Lake?

Thanks all for any help you can be
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
596
Location
Aberdeen, MD
Is it better to do 2 solo canoes or 1 canoe with 2 people with our bags in the middle? Figure to explore all of Eagle Lake, Round Pond, Churchhill but not go down to Chase Rapids and stay at different campsites both nights.

I can't answer your other questions, but this one made me laugh... It depends on how well you and your partner get along. The best trip I ever took with my youngest daughter (then 16) was one where I rented two solo canoes and let her do all her own work... I did all the cooking, as usual, but she did all her own schlepping... pack/unpack her stuff, set up her own tent (I hammock), put her canoe to bed, look after her own paddle and PFD... She'd been helping me do it for years, but that particular year and trip, I wanted to see what would happen... the next year, when we went in a tandem canoe again, she seemed much more willing to paddle full time, vs dragging the paddle and letting me do the work... can't say what the long-term effect was, but I think she learned a lot more during that trip than she lets on... She seems to pack less now too, after having to paddle her own load. I hope that lesson sticks.

I don't know the exact nature of the area you're planning your trip in, but my tendency on 2-person trips would lean toward one canoe.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,474
Location
Raymond, ME
You can have an outfitter insert you at Johnson Pond. paddle to Allagash Lake, thence down Allagash Stream. cross Chamberlain and go the half mile carry cross to Eagle.

You should never consider parking along any logging road. Worse case your car could be totalled. Best case is broken windows from stones thrown by logging trucks. There is an insertion point for Eagle Lake at Indian Pond with some parking. I think there is parking. Most people get shuttled there.

Eagle Lake could take a day or up to a week. It depends on how much track you want to explore of the old logging railroad. Farm Island is very historic too. Scofield point and Cove has wonderful beaches.

Eagle Lake is also, early in the season,"sporting". Its a big nasty lake that probably will leave you windbound for two days a week.

Tipovers at Chase are not uncommon. To avoid the dreaded yard sale, the ranger will truck your gear from the dam to Bissonette Bridge (which is no longer there) for a very nominal fee. ( a few years ago it was ten bucks). Unloaded, the rapids are a hoot for those with a little river rock dodging experience.

When passing through Maine, stop in a Hannaford grocery store and pick up De Lorme's map of the Allagash and St John. Its waterproof, eight bucks, and shows all trails and campsites. I am not about to try and scan mine in here. Its in the revolving map display usually near the cash registers.

Early in the season, save for fishermen, you will probably be alone. Why? The blackflies will be hungry.

Finding the map on line is tricky.. Here is one ripoff from CA

http://www.amazon.com/Allagash-St-John-Map-Guide/dp/0899333575

And infuriatingly, DeLorme down the road from me in Yarmouth ME does not have the map! BTW when you go through a toll gate on any of the NMW access routes, you will be given an AWW map, but its paper. Allagash is also the last leg of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and you can order a map through them.

Now if you get put in at Indian Pond and do Eagle and Chase your next pickup is possible on Umsaskis. Pelletiers Campground and Lizottes are two of the most used shuttle services.

Here is a map for you to study if you like

http://www.northmainewoods.org/images/pdf/map.pdf
 
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Guest

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Thanks for the info

It looks like we will be doing Indian Pond to Umsaskis Lake with a gear drop off for Chase Rapids. Is 4 days plenty for that? What time should I get there? I live in Boston maybe leave at 4am to get there by noon time so I can make camp on the south end of Eagle Lake.

You know any good canoe rental/shuttle companies in Millinoicket or Medway?

I just picked up the Nat Geo map and the NFCT map
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,474
Location
Raymond, ME
None in Millinocket. Be advised that you need to camp near Chase as the dam is closed at noon. In the afternoon there is no water in Chase Rapids to run reliably.

Its 4 hours from my home to Millinocket. Its another two hours to Chamberlain Bridge on logging roads! They can be rough though the ones to the bridge are well used. Its three hours from my home to Boston. So far you have used nine hours.

You can try Katahdin Outfitters in Millinocket.

Four days ought to be adequate but won't allow you much poking in the woods time. For sure you will want to carry over the Tramway to travel the NW arm of Chamberlain (quite secluded) to see the eerie tracks suspended above the lake.

 
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