In a Maine wilderness

Last week, we got together on our annual paddling trip to Lake Umbagog in Maine/NH. All the others got to the campsite the day before. On my solo paddle in, 8 miles to campsite. 3 miles upstream on the Androscoggin, 3 miles across the lake and 2 miles upstream on the Rapid river.

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Looks beautiful!
Reminds me of the stretch between a couple lakes where I’ve gone camping a couple times.

I hear the Rapid is quite the trout fishery, Sure is one heck of a beautiful area thanks Andy


I love Umbagog (wish I was there NOW). It’s stunning when it’s just green. I can’t imagine in full color. I thought that might be Umbagog in your other pic ( I asked).

We try to spend a week there setting up at basecamp and adventuring around the lake. We liked the put in that’s way up 16 just before going over the Maine border. Next year we’re going to try to explore more of the eastern side as we’ve only made it about 4 miles up the east side from base camp.

Over the years, I think we stayed at every campsite on the lake. For the last few years we stay at the Cedar Swamp campsites that are on the Rapid River. Umbagog is just a two mile paddle down stream. We put in from the same spot that you did.

I am a Minnesota and Ontario paddler (currently tragically lost in the Southeast after a job transfer…) who will be wandering over to Maine in late July for a wood work class over Bristol way and will be taking some extra time enjoy a few days paddling before I have to head back to the working world. Will be meeting a fellow canoe-fool from Bemidji, MN and looking for some sort of single-blade flatwater adventure in a place where we stand a decent chance of landing a basecamp campsite or even moving from site to site. Is Umbagog/Androscoggin/Rapid River country a likely candidate or will it be too busy in late July…just like north country water access points tend to further west? I realize the timing is imperfect, this time it’s based on the class schedule but that can be fixed on the next trip…

Make a reservation, if memory serves me correct, you can stay at each campsite on Umbagog for 2 days, you must then move on. Rapid river site is handled by another outfit and that can be used as a base camp. Northern waters handles the Rapid River site. They are located in Eroll, NH

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Umbagog is busy in late July. As there is a highway on the west edge and the very busy State Park Campground with a Marina it is easy to get to. You likely will get a campsite as the RVers stay at the park but there is a lot of boat traffic on the lower lake. Up toward Rapid river a little less
Better to go to Richardson or Mooselookmeguntic a little further east. The roads to get there are not so smooth. You have to reserve at Richardson through South Arm Campground
Flagstaff Lake is huge and no reservations required , It is near BIgelow Mountain. Great for base camping.

A very nice motorboat free trip is the Moose RIver Bow trip. It is a lake and river trip and actually a loop. And it is free non reservable.

Just as in the BWCA timing is everything. Andys fall Umbagog is not the summer Umbagog. I live about an hour and a half away and each July we do a Androscoggin Source to Sea Water trek over a month… The beginning is at Umbagog

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as with many out-ofstaters, I will choose not to cross the border any time soon due to the wise policy I see the state management has adopted with regards to visitors from elsewhere. Had wondered how the eastern sttes and provinces would handle that and see they are all in pretty much the same mode. No disagreement with the details I have seen, just don’t have the time and the other work I had scheduled up there got canceled up there as well for this year. Will see how 2021 looks then. Actually similar story playing out for travel due north as well even where they have asked me to come up and help with stuff that is technically ‘essential’ - outside folks in small towns still present problems, whether we are ‘essential’ or not and I am not yet convinced I am a 2020 kind of essential… altho some days I like to think so… Shouldn’t have transferred south I s’pose… Maine Canoe ‘Symposium’ in the spring (June?) worth a run if I can cut a week or two out?

MCS is definitely a fun informative weekend in June
Still go even after 24 years
There may be a lightening of the quarantine for out of staters as cases decline
So far no hospital has been overwhelmed and cases mostly in congregate and urban living
My area has none in most towns
Medway is an outlier. High rate for tiny town

Saw a quick video on the MCS from Kevin Callan, an old friend from various cross-border forays and still a fun guy to track on the internet - sounded like one of the best canoe events I’ve heard about from my perspective. Hopefully it is able to come off cleanly in 2021…