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Photos of Portage / Canoe Carry Signs

In my experience of the parts of Maine I travel, there isn’t much in the way of consistent portage signage. In fact unless it is a heavily travelled route (I.e. allagash falls) a portage sign is rare. Those that do exist seem mostly rudimentary text. However I did discover this portage sign on the Gassabias Portage in 2014… perhaps placed by Mike Krepner himself a decode or two before. It’s position befits the joys and wonders of the Gassabias portage.

Should you wish to visit, and get the full experience… You can find it here.


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Old portage marker found in the woods at one of my favorite canoeing spots - Sylvania Wilderness in the Ottawa NF in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. When the area was designated a wilderness in the late 1980’s the USFS removed the markers and discarded them in the woods. This one was found while answering the call of nature near this portage.


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Sign on Raquette River in the ADK

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This sign marks a trail around Gilman Falls in Old Town, ME. I don't believe the dam here is doing any generation but it holds back the same impoundment as the Milford Dam, so it's all part of a hydro project and apparently the license requires the company to maintain portage trails. The company isn't PPL anymore, but those Pennsylvania people installed some sturdy signs.

Neat that this thread is still going. Very much like seeing all the different ways to mark a portage trail.

Also recently found out a tidbit regarding historic portage signs in Algonquin Park. By the 1940s, many of the more established routes were marked by large wooden signs, painted yellow and red.

Source Link: https://algonquinpark.catalogaccess.com/photos/5986

Source Link: https://algonquinpark.catalogaccess.com/photos/7004

These signs also appear on the official park map from the era. Here's a portion of the map sent to me by the Park Archivist...

Algonquin Map 37-57 Portage Sign.jpeg
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This is my nomination for the "most-in-need-of-replacing" portage sign in the St Regis Canoe Wilderness... it's facing west on Lydia Pond, marking the portage trail back to Little Long Pond, which explains why it's so weathered (and you can't really see it from where you stand on the shore... but it's very apparent when you try to land there.)

It should look more like this:
We were glad we didn't meet this guy.


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We were glad we didn't meet this guy.
It's merely speculation without calling to ask (which I'm not going to do) but it sounds to me like he may have had bad experiences with people in his gardens & otherwise using his property without permission. What's unfortunate is that he needed to post such a sign in the first place and, while I think the amount of detail is a bit extreme, I think it's decent of him to continue allowing access through his land.

I've recently acquired permission to establish a permanent campsite along a hiking trail in central PA. The site is on private land and is necessary in order to break up a 20 mile hiking day (which causes many to camp illegally in game lands). The sign posted there will be far more simple. Something like: "This is private property and the owner generously allows hikers to camp here. Please treat this area with respect and leave no trace of your presence so that future hikers may also enjoy the use of this site. Abusing landowner generosity will result in closure"

Unfortunately, I suppose it should include some lawyer speak fine print about "use at your own risk" also... Common sense is not so common any more. :rolleyes: