· Location: Northern Maine
· Trip Length: 2-10 Days
· Difficulty: Class 1-3
Our Home River With Many Paddling Options
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One of the earliest written descriptions of the Aroostook is from an 1829 survey map by D. Coffin and G. Rose, where they called the Aroostook “The Beautiful River”. Although the rest of the world has changed, the Aroostook retains it’s beauty.
We’ve spent a lot of time exploring the Aroostook drainage over the years, most of which has been during our semester and expedition programs. The result of time spent on the water is an intimate knowledge of the area, fishing holes, camp sites, etc.
The Aroostook river begins in a pool where Munsungun Stream and Millinocket Stream come together. There are a few rips, but it’s a relatively gentle ride downstream to where Mooseleuk stream enters on river left. From there it wider and calmer for the ride to Oxbow, and on down to where St. Croix Stream enters on river right in Masardis, next to the boat ramp. From here it’s just a few miles downstream to our field school. Continuing downstream, the Big Machias enters on river left about a mile above the bridge in Ashland. From here it’s a big, wide river with a few rips scattered in as you go downstream to Washburn. Just above Washburn the banks start to be developed, but the river is still beautiful.
Millinocket Stream offers a put in on the Oxbow road, and you can pole upstream into Millimagasset Lake in a few hours. Coming downstream you have to navigate the Devil’s Elbow, and there can be tricky rips at high water and lots of rocks at low water.
Munsungun Stream offers the longest trip. We have put in at Chase Lake numerous times, poled down the stream to Munsungun lake, and down Munsungun Stream to the Aroostook headwaters. There is lots of quickwater and class 1 rips, as well as a carry around Munsungun Falls.
Mooseleuk Lake is a great spot to see moose, and the stream offers some lively poling at high water.
St. Croix Stream is a great overnight trip. There are several spots to line or carry, but the middle section of the stream passes through a giant marsh.
The Blackwater River enters St. Croix Stream on river right a few miles above Masardis. We’re on it every year as it’s one of our favorite runs for teaching poling and paddling in fast water.
The Big Machias is a fantastic whitewater trip during high water. We’ve put in both above Big Machias Lake and at the outlet of the lake for multi-day trips. It’s one of our favorite trips. A shorter trip is available with a put in on the Pinkam Road, making it a day trip in high water.
We also spend a lot of time on Scopan Lake, which drains into the Aroostook by the stream of the same name.
There are countless opportunities to get out on the water on and around the Aroostook River, our home waterway.