Allagash Trip Planning

Hi all! I am in the final planning stages of a solo trip down the Allagash (leaving in two weeks!) and had a question.

I have 6 days allotted, and really need to drive back to Boston on the 7th day. My initial plan was to begin at Indian Stream (Norm L’Italien is shuttling me there), and paddle all the way back to his campground, where I will have left my car.

But now I am concerned that 6 days is cutting it close for that trip. What do you think? I could certainly start at Churchill Dam instead, but then I would miss the Tramway. I was also looking forward to the challenge of some lake paddling at the outset.

About me and the boat… I’m renting a sweet “Next” canoe from Norm. It’s a solo canoe that is meant to be paddled with a kayak paddle, and has footholds (for leverage!). I did a weeklong trip in the Boundary Waters last summer with a friend… with huge waves, huge portages… and it seems like this Allagash trip will be much easier, although I will be alone. I sea kayak pretty frequently in Boston Harbor, and feel pretty comfortable dealing with lake waves (stay near the shore and stay perpendicular to the waves! And find a shoreline and stop if it’s too much!)

What do you think? 6 days of moving pretty fast from Indian Stream? Or 6 days of taking my sweet time from Churchill Dam?

Did my first Allagash trip last fall, and it was a blast. I was with a group that had been there many times, and they did the planning. Initially we were going to do Indian Pond Stream to Allagash Village, but ended up doing Churchill Dam to Michaud Farm, with a side trip up to Eagle Lake and the Tramway. I think you’ve got it right - keep moving from Indian Stream or take your time from Churchill Dam. My trip:

Looks like you will have more water than we did,

So when I do solo trips I find I actually do more miles to keep myself occupied. That’s me but you may be different. Playing the odds, the prevailing winds are more likely to be with you than against. The Tramway is worth a stop. So if it was me I’d pick the longer trip and challenge myself a bit.

Five days from Churchill Dam is a pretty pokey pace. Two days from Indian Stream to Churchill is a pokey pace.

So if you are willling to paddle early ( always a good idea on Eagle Lake) and push a couple of days you will be fine.

2000 cfs is a good level even though it is dropping. Below 1000 and river progress won’t be as fast.3500 cfs and stopping is a challenge