Looking for a week around Moosehead Lake

Looking to do a week trip at the beginning of July in or around Moosehead Lake in Maine.

I’ve never been up there before, so I don’t know too much about it. Anyone have any advice or any resources to help nail down a route?

There will be two of us, one car, and one canoe. Doing some portages will be no problem. I’d love a lift from our car to the start if there’s a reliable one up there.

Any and all suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!

On Moosehead
or something on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail?

You could start on Attean Pond and then do the Bow trip…three days several portages, then by pass your car and continue down the Moose River to Moosehead Lake…up to NE carry or NW carry and along the W Branch of the Penobscot. Going all the way to the foot of Chesuncook Lake would take at least a week with the Bow River loop. Some of the portages are long.

I do not know if the

Allagash Gateway campground could shuttle you all the way back to Jackman…its an all day affair for them and would be pretty pricey. Its about a hundred miles some over logging roads. There is no direct route…having to loop under Moosehead to get back to Rockwood.

A tighter alternative might be to put in at Lily Bay on Moosehead…paddle up the east shore to NE carry go down the West Branch of the Penobscot,side trip to Lobster Lake…continue on to Chesuncook and do the Mud Pond Route to Chamberlain where you can do a take out at Chamberlain Bridge. That still is extensive for a shuttle. Because of the cost of a shuttle I have always done it on my own with friends but I live within three hours of the area.

Norther Forest Canoe Trail maps 11 and 12 are for you.

Moosehead is good for a week
I’ve made a couple of trips on Moosehead.

Last fall we paddled from the south end of the lake around to Chesuncook, via West Branch and Lobster. See http://web.me.com/chipwalsh/Site/Thoreaus_Wake.html if you want details.

A few years ago I spent some time paddling out of Farm Island on Moosehead, including a loop through Indian Pond via the outlets, which I guess are technically part of the the Kennebec. http://home.comcast.net/~chipwalsh/Moosehead/MP2.html

Moosehead is a big lake. My advice is forget about portages and other waterways and just spend the whole week on Moosehead. Keep it simple. You can paddle the lake end to end in one or two days if you just want to pass through. But you’ll spend all your time straight-lining across miles of open water and miss the interesting stuff along the way. I suggest you decide how far you want to paddle each day and plot courses back into the bays and explore the nooks and crannys of the lake. The camping is free. You can park on the town dock in Greenville and return to your car in a week. No shuttle worries. Hike Kineo and maybe find another hike or two for some variety.


Did you make it up above Greenville?
Did you make it up there at all? Our always stable and predictable weather sure took a turn for the wettest…eh’!..:wink:

my floating dock is floating
the wrong way…LOL.

What a week it would have been on the Allagash and I wonder if the St John is running…

Yep, High Water on St. John

I was on the Allagash last summer
when it peaked at 25,000 cfs

The river was CLOSED then
how did you manage that? And why? What were you thinking?

Above 3500 its difficult to stop.

it was at 2500 cfs when we started

– Last Updated: Jul-11-09 9:32 PM EST –

at the bottom of Eagle Lake (I think that was 7/31/08), so the river wasn't closed until the end of our trip. during the days was nice paddling weather (Chase Rapids was fabulous) but it rained every night, and the 3rd night at Long Lake dam I think it rained 3+ inches. the next night we got chased out at about 4 am by rising waters at Five Fingers. at one point that morning we clocked 8 mph on the GPS. we took out at the flooded landing at Michaud Farm where the ranger said the river was now closed, so we didn't get to see the falls; but the sun came out as the river crested and we spent a whole day there just hanging out, until the waters started to recede and we could make arrangements to get picked up.

I would love to go back someday and do the Moosehead/West Branch/Chesuncook trip you described above.