Just back from the Allagash

Just back from the Allagash

6-days, 5 nights on the river. We did the section from Churchill Dam to Michaud Farm with a layover day on Churchill Lake. The weather was nice (maybe a little chilly at night) and the river was at a great level – 5,000 cfs when we started, but it dropped to about 2,500 cfs by the end of the week. With this crew it was more a camping trip than a paddling trip - we didn’t work ourselves very hard. Three of us did run Chase Rapids though. What a beautiful place.

If you are interested you can read the trip report here:

Pictures are here (lots of pictures):


Looks like a great trip!

It was a great trip - if you would rather see the video version - six days in four minutes.

Music by Jerry Vandiver.


Nice. Thanks for sharing that. (Love the song.)


thanks for sharing, someday if I decide to finish the Northern Forest Canoe Trail I’ll see what lies below chase rapids and on to Fort Kent. Most of Maine paddling was courtesy of the boyscouts- they kept sending me from the Allagash Lakes south down Webster brook and sometimes on down the East Branch. I’m not complaining. I had a lot of fun there.

“Manicured” is the word I would use to describe the campsites on the lakes. You pay for it though. As a college kid we used to call it the w-Allet-Gash. You picked a neat time of year to go- post bugs and still had good flow! Thanks again for sharing and enjoyed both reading about it and also the video.

I asked my kids to launch my ashes into the Edisto when the time comes, then go get a Seafood dinner in Charleston.
Great song.

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So, I told my wife and kids that I didn’t want the customary funeral and burial. Rather, Have my body cremated and the spread some of my ashes on the land of our camp in Maine and pour the reast into the stream in the back. That stream makes it way to a larger river – the Androscoggin – that courses through western ME to coastal ME, and the out to the ocean.

My (then teen) son laughingly asked, "Why don’t we just roll you body into the river when the time comes…? That’ll save the bother of a cremation.


My first requested location was the summit of Mt. Leconte, Tn.
I had just hiked it with my 2 teenage daughters. My older daughter said " Dad, the closest you’ll get is along the road to the trailhead".
I’m reasonably sure I won’t care.

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I’ve never gone below Michaud Farm. With all the water, this would have been a great time to go down past Allagash Falls, but we were lazy and didn’t want to do the portage.

The camp sites are really well maintained, and folks do a good job keeping them that way. We were a group of 5 with 4 tents, so we tended toward the open grassy sites. If you prefer more wooded sites, there are plenty of those too.

Lots of people complain about the cost - especially for non-residents. To me it is just the price you pay.

We actually had a great week with day temps in the 70’s (nights in the 30’s). The warmer days did bring out the bugs. I am still scratching the bug bites.

Definitely not crowded this time of year. We saw 3 other groups on this section of the river. We would pass them occasionally (or vice versa), but fortunately we never competed for campsites.

It’s an amazing place.

How much is the cost to camp? I wouldn’t expect it to be significant compared to the cost of your consumables and the fuel to get up there. Not to mention the cost of shuttling.

Great pics as always. Thanks.

For me for this trip (5-nights, in and out at Allagash Checkpoint) the camping fee/day use fees/shuttle were around $200. Camping ($13/night) and the day-use fees ($16/day) was about $100. My share of the shuttle from Allagash Village to Churchill Dam was $100.

My share for gas was another $100. We had two nights in hotels at the start and finish. We all took turns with meals. My total cost for the week was around $600. Not many places you can go for vacation for a week for that.

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Thanks. I paid $22/night for a remote site in Vermont this summer, so that’s about what I expected. A week’s vacation in Maine doesn’t get much cheaper.

A classic canoe run worth traveling for. Thanks for the TR.
Chase Rapids looks dead simple.

Chase Rapids are pretty easy. The first two are class II, the rest are class I. Nice that the ranger will shuttle your gear so you can run it empty. We had the cooler and kitchen kit, so we had gear well over the gunwales in our boat.

It is a beautiful trip, and well worth all the aggravation getting there. We met a group of 5 from PA and group of 2 from VA.

My request was ashes in the back yard (not in the river, too much phosphate), a bagpiper playing Joe Satriani on the dock, and scotch - Balvenie Doublewood - for a toast.

Probably won’t happen but nice to imagine anyway.

Nice! I haven’t thought about music. Something to consider, seriously! My older son would agree with Scotch. He saids he likes “peaty” whisky, preferably from the British Isles. I drink Bullit, Knob Creek and an occaisonal Jameson. Apparently, for him, this is like drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon (college standby) rather than local micro brewery ales.

Back to the original trip report, I do appreciate a flask of (decent) whisky when out in the backcountry for multiple days. It’s nice to savor a shot while watching a sunset or a campfire!


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PBR was THE beer at Clemson when I was there. My favorite drink now is water.
Never developed a taste for the hard stuff , not for lack of trying.
My Dad always had a bottle of 4 Roses around but my exposure was when I had a nasty cold. A tablespoon of that mixed with honey made me feel better. My Mother’s remedy.

This trip was with a Brit, so it was Gin & Tonic at 6:00. My RI crew is more for beer and Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum.

So, I think tripping with the canoe affords the “luxury” of bringing along refreshing brews!

I love watching this particular Japanese Tenkara channel, GENRYU IZAKAYA. They backpack and flyfish these crazily steep mountain streams in Japan. But, more impressive (and enviable for me) is that when they set up camp, they always cook fresh food, accompanied by large cans of Japanese pale ale, cooled off in the mountain stream. I want to sit in on their camp dinners!


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A thought: Saeta - Miles Davis from Sketches of Spain:

A SciFi short story ( I don’t recall the author) has this recommended as the appropriate music by a time travelling tourist who was visiting to watch the end of Earth.

Yes, I’ll take along some Jameson for an evening shot and to share. I do appreciate the single malts including the strong peaty ones but am generally unwilling to pay that piper. I did have a can of cold PBR the other day and really enjoyed it although I do usually buy Michigan craft beers.

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