Myself and 4 buddies are doing Churchill Dam to Allagash Village, starting 6/20. I’ll be soloing my 14’ Slipstream Sacandaga and they’ll be renting 17’ OT’s from Peletier’s Campground. He’ll be shuttling us down to the put in as well.
Any tips on great places to stop for camp along the way?
We’ll be ready for the mosquitos and flies and this isnt our first multi day trip, so we have good gear and some experience.
You aren’t going to like this. There are size ratios on the Waterway. Your canoe is outside permitted limits for size. 14 foot boats have to be a max of 34 inches wide. Over and the craft is not allowed to be used.
I didn’t make the rules so don’t get mad at me. Yes people have been denied access using watercraft that they have traveled the rest of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail with.
Even if you could bring it the canoes that Norm rents are probably old Trippers and those are relatively speedy boats. You would have to get earlier starts on Umsaskis and Long Lakes. Mixed solo tandem groups have some difficulties here ( as the solo paddler in our group kept getting left behind and complained loudly. It might have been better had he actually known how to paddle)
But let’s hope you can solve that little knot. Chisholm Brook is the best for moose watching evening and early morning. Long Pond is nice and scenic and good swimming. Inlet on Round Pond nice roomy and well ventilated… No seeums will be out and you would probably be happiest in a breezier location.
There really isn’t a bad site anywhere on the Waterway. Bring an oversize tarp as the ridgepoles over the picnic tables are high up: five feet above the table top ( do deter moose damaging them). A little 9x 9 tarp will protect you like a hanky
Ask Norm if he has a kayak… Chase Rapids should be run empty so you can hitch a ride in one of the tandems and have run in the drops. The solo kayak can ride the truck with your gear to the landing at where Bissonette Bridge used to be.
Well that stinks… I appreciate what the rules are in place to prevent, but this is frustrating. My canoe is obviously a canoe, just beamer than normal.
I could take my wife’s wee lassie, but I’m 215lbs and will have 5 days of gear with me. Not sure how well that would handle the weight. Edit: this rule is stupid. Even the wee lassie is “too wide” at a whopping 27".
I’m 6’5"…rental kayaks don’t sound like a lot of fun. I’d rather move a little slower and solo a canoe. I solo’d my OT Carelton on a similar length trip on the Raquette with the same group of guys.
I use a 9’ Noah’s tarp for my hammock and have a 16’ that I can bring for a larger rain cover.
It’s been 40+ yrs since I did the Allagash.
Good luck, and have a great time. I loved it!
oh… hammock. Yes it will work but some of the nicer campsites have more of a challenge to find trees that are suitably spaced and supportive trunks in the woods… The no seeums are fierce there. The campsites are essentially open areas … The rangers actually have lawnmowers. I had a hammock and this area was one where I never used it as a tent was way more convenient. Back in the woods the predominant trees are black spruce and they have small branches to the ground.
The guys in the Trippers ought to have a lot of room for you to subdivide your gear. Five days is not a long time. Pretty much you pack as much for one day as five save for liquid refreshments of the adult kind .
I would call Norm and ask him if he has any solo… rec boats . I say kayak simply because I am not aware he has solo canoes or pack canoes for rent.
Water levels are critical if you want to bring a composite craft. Below 1500 there are enough rocks that are a concern . We had a lovely trip once in a Kevlar Wenonah above 1500… did not hit a thing. June river levels are usually pretty good.
RIght now the water is high as ice out just happened
I appreciate the insight. I’d really prefer a hammock, but if it doesn’t work,it doesn’t work.
The wee lassie is cut to 10", which gives it a weight capacity of about my weight. I’ll need to get out in it to see if it might work.
I did email Norm to get his thoughts and see what other boats he has.
Who does the checking of dimensions?
Reading the state’s web page, their definitions of canoes and kayaks are very broad…enough that I could call my boat a kayak, which are allowed up to 25%, and would let me pass.
What kinds of stuff have you seen/heard of people getting turned back for?
You will be launching from Churchill Dam which is a ranger station too. There are several rangers who do show up to check on folks.( the dam, Umsaskis Lake, Michaud Farm) Likely you will see one every day. Very good guys and gals who will tell you trail tales if you are receptive. I always learn something new each trip.
At any rate if the north wind comes up and blows down river a wide canoe soloed is a windvane. Especially one that is a tandem that you have to paddle backward from the bow seat.
People like to camp at Allagash Falls too though the prospect of people tromping past my campsite has never appealed to me. It is a pretty location.
It’s a stupid rule and norm confirmed that is enforced too. He said he got pinched for one of his boats and had to narrow the thwart to squeeze it in.
He has the OT next, so I’ll plan to paddle that.
I’m really glad you posted. I would have dragged my brand new canoe all the way up there just to have to leave it on the roof of my car.
Now the fun begins… You will run Chase with freedom… My “expert” paddler who borrowed my Swift Raven wound up sitting in the bottom scared s***less in Chase and the boat just followed the current. Enjoy the ride… do use the portage service for your stuff ( there is a reason:too many “yahd sales” before the truck was available.
You still will be slower than the group but you can work that out… The plus is your boat will be easier to handle when you want to sneak off and fish or find moose in the coves of Round and Long and Umsaskis Lake.
Heed Norms warnings about the spikes in Long Lake Dam… it is so tempting to try and run the chute.
I also like Cunliffe Depot. Its not a prime campsite but the old artifacts there are fun to find.
You do not need an expensive map… The gate keepers have paper ones
or print out this and in a ziploc
did you get this book?
or Gils other book “the Allagash” more on history and Native stories.
Hadn’t bought a book yet,but I’ll order that one.
Noted on the gear transport.
I’ll gladly trade some speed for freedom and quiet when desired.
Gil’s book came in, looks like some useful info. Thanks for the recommendation
One guy dropped, so we will be doing two tandems. Should be easier going.
Water levels are looking great and the water is getting “warmer”.
Time to pack