Allagash - June 2015

Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
19
attention maine trippers,
we are 2 couples with 30 years experience experience paddling and canoe camping. we are planning a 7-10 day trip @ june 8 - 17. 2015. we'd like to make a maine trip, and are thinking the allagash unless you know of something else we should consider. the st john has also been suggested to us.

we prefer solitude and mostly quiet water, but are competent in class II-III if necessary. any and all suggestions (where to stay, shuttle service, etc) and advice are welcome.
thanks!
 
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Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,389
Location
Raymond, ME
You might be late for a St John trip as that is a snowmelt dependent flow. We will see come spring. I take it that you are not scared off by bugs.. The blackflies and no seeums will be out.

What water levels will be on the Allagash is unknown at this time. 1500 cfs is nice..Above 3000 is too fast.You wont be able to stop easily at some river campsites.

You did not specify where you want to start your trip. Chamberlain Bridge or Churchill Dam... If you are travelling Chamberlain Lake or Eagle you might want to add in more days to allow for wind days. In June there will be wind.

There are quite a few threads referring to Pelletiers Campground and shuttle services. Where you stay can depend on what direction you come from and if you want your car moved from either access point to the end or you want to leave your car at the end and be shuttled to the insertion point.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2013
Messages
2,435
Location
Colrain MA
There are a few books you can pick up to plan your trip

Allagash by Gil Gilpatrick

The Allagash by Lew Dietz

Northern Forest Canoe Trail Guide.

2nd on Pelletier's
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
19
thanks. we know about the blackflies and no seeums from our june Algonquin trips. its just the time that will work for us next year. i'll look for those threads and books.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,389
Location
Raymond, ME
There is no place fancy to stay before or after your trip, though there are a few places. Where depends on where you are coming from. If its Canada you most likely will want to shuttle from the end of the trip in Allagash Village. There are a few motels in Fort Kent ME Or you can camp in Pelletier open grassy campground. He starts shuttling early.. about six am so that is most convenient.

The shuttle to Chamberlain Bridge takes about four hours.

What sort of boats will you bring? If the water is high, Kevlar is OK except for Chase. If you want to run that.. no Kevlar. If the water is low under 1500 cfs you will want a Royalex boat

Trails Illustrated has come out with two good maps. 401 and 400 are what you need. You really do not need anything else.

http://www.natgeomaps.com/ti_maine

I also have a copy of "the Allagash" by Gil Gilpatrick and his other book "the Allagash Guide"

The former is out of print and expensive. And not a guidebook but more of a history book. The second can be ordered on Gils website through Pay pal and gives you the lowdown on a good trip and points you to the best campsites.

http://gilgilpatrick.com/self-guide.html

You might as well stop at Maine Canoe Symposium on the way and talk to Gil in person. It ends on Sunday early enough for you to make a run for Ft Kent.
http://mainecanoesymposium.org/
 
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
14
Location
New Jersey
My wife and I paddled the Allagash last fall and used Norman L'italian at Pelletier's Campground 207-398-3187 and as Gil mentions in his book he is reliable and a great guy to deal with. They shuttled our vehicle from Chamberlain bridge Ranger station to take out @ Allagash Village for around $160.00 US. They will do shuttles as well. The Allagash had 1150 groups last season according to the Rangers we met though we only saw 2 other canoes all week in the fall and basically had the waterway all to ourselves. We did have to walk a few hundred yards of the river towards the end as the gravel bars were exposed, still a fantastic trip. Gil's book was great for us, having never been trough there, and we were able to locate all of the natural springs for water though 1 or 2 were spotty due to being later in the season.
For maps we used the Northern Forest Canoe Trail maps 12 & 13 along with Nat Geo Allagash Wilderness Waterway too map and had zero issues navigating. Campsites were extremely clean and nice privy's (actually felt spoiled) the rangers do a fantastic job on the sites.
If setting in at Chamberlain Bridge later in the day paddle to High Bank campsite we did and will do it again when we go back. The only part of our trip that was a concern (due to our skill level) was crossing Chamberlain lake on day 3 the wind increased steadily and before we know it we were in 3-4 foot waves/chop and had to take the longer way up the lake keeping the bow into the chop. Again it was a concern due to our skill level.
Enjoy your trip!
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
48
Location
New Brunswick
Hi Guys,

I only became aware of this waterway last year and I'm nearby in New Brunswick. I'm wondering what it's like? Is it the Algonquin park of Maine (I'm from Southern Ontario originally)? I'm going to acquire the maps suggested above and spend some time this winter dreaming of the Allagash.

Side note, being from NB it's wild to think that the St. John River wouldn't have enough water! Here she flows all year, I paddled it yesterday!
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2015
Messages
132
Location
Fredericton, NB
Hi Guys,

I only became aware of this waterway last year and I'm nearby in New Brunswick. I'm wondering what it's like? Is it the Algonquin park of Maine (I'm from Southern Ontario originally)? I'm going to acquire the maps suggested above and spend some time this winter dreaming of the Allagash.

Side note, being from NB it's wild to think that the St. John River wouldn't have enough water! Here she flows all year, I paddled it yesterday!

The upper Saint John River is much different then what you see here in Fredericton. Way less water and likely pretty shallow in some spots.

Grant if you ever think of heading to Maine for a trip let me know, I'd like to get out of NB for a change :)
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,389
Location
Raymond, ME
the Upper St John is entirely dependent on snowmelt. Sometimes it is possible to run some of it after heavy rain but its a pretty small watershed way up there. So we only run it in May and possibly early June.

The Allagash is rarely crowded so it is not like Algonquin.. and some of Algonquin is not like some other of Algonquin. However 2016 is its 50th anniversary and Tim Caverly a former super says there will be some special events. Regardless there will be room for all.
in 1967 visitation was 50,000. Yep a stampede. Now its less than 7000.
 
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