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
Your questions are very broad in scope
– Last Updated: May-09-13 7:29 PM EST –
My 2 cents. By far the best way to experience that country is on a canoe trip. How much time do you have?
Be aware that it is looking like this year is going to be dry. Don't count on Allagash Stream having enough water to float a canoe. Lakes might be the best bet. The Allagash folks will drive you around Chase if you want so that works well. But I would be a little concerned this year that you might be dragging your boats downstream from Michaud Farm. But you could get a shuttle from there. Try Norm L'Italiene for a shuttle pretty much anywhere in that country. There are others. Norm is a great guy and in my experience very reliable. That country is owned and managed by an organization called North Maine Woods so you should google them and go to their web site or call them about rules re parking and hiking etc. The lakes, Chamberlain and Eagle especially, are big and you need to be a reasonably competent paddler to avoid trouble if weather turns bad. Flies can be an issue but you might beat them. Its beautiful country. Many folks here are familiar with the area and you should get some good ideas and help here.
I see now you are talking about 3 days. I would talk to Norm for suggestions - that is not much time. Might consider driving to Churchill dam and paddling up the lakes into Eagle and then back out to your truck. Be careful on Eagle not to get wind bound which can happen to the best of us. Usually the wind will die down at night and if you have a moon you can get out that way in a pinch.
That’s what I would do if I only had three days . . . put in at Churchill and paddle into Eagle then back.
I would insert at Indian Pond
some guided trips do that for access. You are on Eagle almost immediately.
Three days is a bit of a stretch to get from Chamberlain Bridge up to Lock Dam and down the stream to Eagle to the trains and Farm Island… and back. And there is not enough time to get to Scofield Point.
Done that several times…and it almost always require expertise handling a canoe in twenty mph winds and two to three foot seas.
Chamberlain early in the season catches the prevailing winds and makes a perfect wind funnel. Its not till July that winds are more cooperative.
Remember if you put in a Chamberlain
Bridge and paddle down into Eagle that you will have to deal with getting back up into Chamberlain which is certainly doable but it is a chore and chews up time. Also, I agree that a put in at Chamberlain Bridge and then down into Eagle and back out is too much for 3 days. You would be doing nothing but paddling and then the carry back into Chamberlain the entire time and might not make it at that. Not my idea of the best way to sample the area.
Some More Questions
Are there any good outfitters in Medway or Millinocket to rent a canoe and have them shuttle to one area and pick us up in another.
I can make it 4 days to extend our time.
Is Churchill Dam the only put in? Or can I get dropped off on the south east side of eagle or even Indian Pond to take the stream to Eagle lake.
Someone told me that at Churchill Dam you can give the ranger your gear and they will bring it to the site of the former Bissonnette Bridge, that way you can do Chase Rapids gear free.
Is it possible to do Eagle Lake to Umsaskis Lake and have the outfitters pick us up at that ranger station?
I answered the gear shuttle q
elsewhere but the rest of your questions best need be directed to specific outfitters.
That would be Katahdin Outfittters in Millinocket/Medway.
Pelletiers and Sean Lizotte are at the end of the Allagash.
You might also try Allagash Gateway Campground, which is near the junction of the Golden and Telos Roads.
was how I used to access Eagle Lake. You got a nice contrast from a small brook to a large lake. The brook itself is seasonal but usually ran in June. Don’t know how the roads are- haven’t done it in almost 30 years. Assuming you have fair weather, the prevailing winds are usually at your back as you travel up the lake. You can check the locomotives without having to actually do portage. You can take out on Churchill after running chase rapids empty and carrying back to the dam. Three or four leisurely days would be about right.
I found 1 outfitters in Medway called Nicatou Outfitters and they charged 25 a day for canoe which is fine wit me but the shuttle to drop off at Indian Pond and pick up at Umsaskis Lake is 375 dollars. Is that right or is that high? I wasn’t thinking it would be that much to shuttle.
Might have to delay the canoe part of the trip until september then. But I still want to check out the area.
Is is posible to park the car at Chamberlin Bridge and hike in or even drive and park near Eagle Lake/Indian Pond just to hike the area
– Last Updated: May-13-13 6:11 PM EST –
Norm L'Italiene. I believe he is in St. Francis. He will set you up for fair prices or direct you to someone who can. Great guy. He is an old town dealer I believe.
Maybe some people hike the area but honestly I have never known anyone to do that. Maybe I've been leading a narrowed sheltered life? Many people enjoy short hikes while on canoe trips in the area. Some people do travel in the winter on foot in the area.
Also, you don't really need a shuttle. Just rent a canoe, drive to a put in on the lakes, paddle for a few days, and return. You can park at Chamberlain Bridge or at Churchill Dam or other spots as well.
– Last Updated: May-13-13 8:53 PM EST –
So can I rent a canoe that is alread on sight? Where are these and is there a website of these places?
So I would get a canoe at one of these spots? Do I have to return it to the exact same part?
Check with Norm and see
what he will do. He might drop a boat at a put in spot and then pick it up later when you are done. Not sure, you have to check with him. Or, you could rent a boat maybe from someone in Millinocket and put it on your car, drive to a put in on the waterway, park your car and then return to the same spot.
Sounds about right
if that price includes both drop off and pick up.
Norm usually charges about 300 for just shuttle to Chamberlain Bridge.
You have to realize that there is NO direct route to either put in or take out that you are contemplating. Logging roads are slow dusty and hard on vehicles. Average speed is about 30 mph… The shuttle from Allagash village to Chamberlain takes four hours… Medway of course is closer but you are looking at two hours ride time both on insertion and extraction… And the driver has to come get you on extraction and drive a van out once you are inserted.
Will try him
I will email him to see wha it would cost around. I can’t carry any canoe with my car with it being a Scion TC.
I will see how much for having one dropped off and pick up at Chuchill Dam…there is overnight parking there correct?
but careful with your car… Four years ago the road was in awful shape.
All true - and remember
you will have to pay a daily fee when you drive in. Make sure you have a good spare tire.
How bad are these roads
So Norm got back to me and he can leave a canoe for me at Churchill Dam for no shuttle fee so now canoeing Churchill/Round/Eagle are back on
What kind of condition am I looking at driving out to Churchill dam, I have a Scion TC
How much parking is at Churchill Dam, would it fill up in the morning quickly? I got a 9 hr drive so I need to plan ahead
Dont worry about the parking space - but
– Last Updated: May-14-13 9:49 PM EST –
call Norm again and ask him about the roads. He drives the roads regularly. Norm is your friend. I recall one time he shuttled my rig for me. The roads were freshly oiled on the way in and the car was a mess when I left it. When I got back to pick up the car at the end my rig was all clean and shiny. Norm washed it - and it was bad when he got it. He did it just to be a good guy. I have been using him every since and never once had a problem in more than 20 years.
So on Churchill there are some camp sites just on the other side of the dam. Also, there is a nice site up a short distance on the right and there is a really nice large group site up at the other end of the lake on the right called Scofield Pointor somehting like that I believe. It is a really nice spot but only if you have it to your self. Then up on Little Eagle there is a nice site again on the right side - can't remember the name but it is nice. Then on Eagle there are many nice sites. Pump Handle is a big group site but it is really nice if you get it to yourself. Lots of other sites. Be aware that Eagle can get angry and difficult in wind. Be careful and cautious if you attempt a long crossing. The lake will look fine from shore and then when you get out there you will be in big waves. Bring binos to survey the lake condition - don't assume it will be just like it is along shore. This will be a real adventure. Be careful about cold water - stay close to shore. If you dump in the middle of the lake this time of year you are not likely to survive.
Thanks for the great info, I have a map with all the campsites all across Eagle and the others. Im worried about parking the car around churchill Dam, what time should I try to be there to secure a parking spot near the ranger station
Thanks for the heads up, what kind of waces we looking at, I have done the Florida Keys saltwater kayaking but never such a large lake, I have read about the winds and was expecting to stay close to the shore and which is why I am not bother with Chamberlain.
How bad is it going over in a canoe, it happens in the nearby rapids, I realize it would be cold with currents
Capsizing in Eagle can be fatal
Its unlikely there will be anyone else around. Its a big deep lake. If the Ranger warns you about conditions, pay attention. Let him know of your plans.
Same for parking. Its decidedly non competitive. Most folks use a shuttle service anyway as the log road driving is sometimes daunting.
When you get on the logging roads, remember the trucks have the right of way. ALWAYS. And they do not always move over. Some of them are hauling quarter of a million lb loads at speeds that are supposed to be limited to 45 but rarely are. Sometimes they cannot see you. If you see an approaching dust cloud, try to get onto a twitch road for a minute.
I like Scofield Cove and Scofield Point and Farm Island down near the trains.