· Length: 5-14 days
· Tuition: Variable
The Classic Maine Trip
The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is one of North America’s best known paddling destinations, and for good reason. Located in remote northern Maine, it winds its way north to its confluence with the St. John at Allagash village near the Canadian border. The headwaters are a series of large lakes, but after you pass Churchill dam it is mostly river for the remaining 2/3 of the trip.
We’ve been running the Allagash for two decades and it’s one of our favorite places in the world.
The heaviest water on the river is just below Churchill Dam in Chase Rapids. Generally rated a class II, there are several drops that are class II+. Depending on the experience of the party, we can arrange for a mechanical portage on the back of a ranger’s truck, putting back in the river below the rapids in the smoother water above Umsaskis Lake.
One other section of tricky water is located just below Round Pond and is known as the Round Pond Rips. On a low-water trip in early September, I saw a canoe get broached on a rock here, which we later did some bush-repairs on in order to paddle it to Allagash Village. It is a short section, and is trickiest at low water.
With the exception of these two sections, the rest of the river is made up of smoothwater, quickwater, and easy class I rapids, and is suitable for novice canoeists.
Trips can be easily customized, as there are several put-in and take-out points. A highlight of the trip is seeing beautiful Allagash falls, a 35-foot drop that we carry around.