Maine Trip - West Penobscot or St. Croix or

I am planning a 4 ish day trip in Maine canoeing with my wife. We are pretty avid canoeists but not experience at whitewater canoeing.
I have been looking and calling about options about would love any feedback

  1. First choice was West Penobscot from Roll Dam or Lobster Lake to Chesuncook Lake or Launch
    The shuttles are suprisingly expensive (250 or more). One company reccomended just starting at Chesuncook ranger and going up to Lobster lake and back. I was confused by this because I would think the current flow from river would make it very hard to go up and back.

  2. Second choice was to do St. Croix From Vanceboro and go down for a few days. Much cheaper shuttle, seems like a chill option with no major rapids.

Has anyone done both or either of these trips and have any reccomendations or advice??
Would love any input. Could be open to other 3-5 day Maine trips but need to nail down details soon. We have a canoe but its an aluminum beast and we may just rent one.

Thanks for any advice!!

Welcome to!

I have done neither of those rivers…yet. The Penobscot is on the bucket list though.

Another option might be the Moose River Bow trip out of Jackman, ME. A 34 mile wilderness loop trip (no shuttles). I have done this 3 times, twice with kids. There is lake paddling, quick water and some short rapids. There are also two portages. First is between the two ponds (Attean to Holeb) and then a short portage around Holeb Falls. Plenty of wildlife to be seen as well.

A lot of people do this trip over the weekend. We took 4 days each time and enjoyed every minute.

There are many websites and youtube videos describing this trip. Here’s one to get you started.
Moose River Bow Trip - Maine Trail Finder

I would love to know what company recommended going from the south end of Chesuncook Lake up the lake up the river to Lobster and return in four days. Not only is it not done you can’t make that trip in that time frame. A round trip would be 100 miles. We have done one way from Burbank to the ranger station in 17 hours but that was w

We self shuttle now but when Allagash Gateway Campground was doing shuttles the shuttle was about 40 minutes and cost $75 . this was two years ago. This cost did NOT Include the camping fees nor any road tolls.

If Lake House is doing the shuttle it can be expensive as the road from Chesuncook Village is long to Lobster Trip parking lot, A vehicle shuttle can take three hours round trip.

We did Burbank to the ranger station once in 1.5 days when Seboomook Dam was releasing. Stopping was an issue! ( wouldn’t think of going against that) , This year we hung on Lobster Lake a day poking around for moose and two days later were out at the ranger station but we self shuttle as we are of an age where there are no road fees.

For your time frame the Moose River trip is perfect. Done that several times as it is close to home. Shuttle=0 but the portage is 1.25 miles long so think light or drive a high clearance vehicle to Holeb and put that walk at the end of the trip. It is a free trip but if you are going to have a campfire you must obtain a burn permit in Jackman.

You may be getting a bit of ww experience on all your trips. Pine Stream Rapids has poked its head up on the West Branch below Big Island. ( notable because Thoreau noted it though it is usually washed out at higher water) Moose trip has Mosquito Rips and Spencer Rips and some optional falls runs… Attean Falls is kind of fun at the end as it empties into the pond. But there is a portage