I’m looking for a new Maine river to run this spring. I’ve done some reading on the E. branch of the Penobscot. I like to paddle before the black flies make it unbearable what is the earliest anyone has done the upper river. Any advice appreciated. I’m an experienced class 3 river tripper.
well obviously you want to avoid
ice out, the east branch can run pretty high toward the end of may, I’ve gotten chewed as early as the beginning of June. Wear lots of old woodsman. East Branch not as bad for bugs as West Branch. Bugs really drop off after first week in July.
I paddled it last fall and there were no bugs. There’s a map available here: http://umaine.edu/umpress/recently-published/thoreau-wabanaki-trail-map-and-guide-east-branch-of-the-penobscot/
The carrys are marked and you don’t want to miss them.