Canoeing & Kayaking
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Canoe & Kayak Trips in Northern Maine
The Moosehead Lake Region is the southern gateway to millions of acres of undeveloped forest land known as the North Maine Woods. Miles of unpaved private logging roads now crisscross these woods, but before the roads were built, waterways served as the primary human transportation routes. Though no longer true wilderness, these rivers and lakes remain undeveloped, and canoe trippers can paddle for days without encountering towns or paved roads, following the same water routes used by native travelers for thousands of years.
West Branch Penobscot River - The Upper West Branch of the Penobscot from Roll Dam Campsite, Lobster Stream, or Hannibal's Crossing to Chesuncook Lake makes a fine remote four- to six day canoe-camping trip. Rapids are few and easy Class I, campsites are primitive and well-managed, and a visit to historic Chesuncook Village makes an interesting stopover. Paddlers should carry all supplies necessary, and be prepared for hefty winds on the lakes. User fees are charged. Contact Bureau of Parks and Lands, 106 Hogan Road, Bangor ME 04401 (207) 941-4014 for maps and information about the Penobscot River Corridor.
Allagash Wilderness Waterway - Maine's most legendary canoe trip used to begin in Greenville, where paddlers stocked up on supplies, put their canoes into Moosehead Lake, and began a journey that would last several weeks or more. Now the Allagash Wilderness Waterway is a managed state park that is accessible from Greenville by logging road, and most trippers spend a week paddling the Allagash from Chamberlain Lake to the river's confluence with the St. John one hundred miles further north. The Allagash can be paddled from May to October and offers a trip rich in wildlife, history, and great variety. Trippers should bring all necessary supplies and be prepared for strong winds on the lakes, Class II white water, and several short portages. User fees are charged. Contact the Bureau of Parks and Lands, 106 Hogan Road, Bangor, ME 04401 (207) 941-4014 for maps, regulations, and information about the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.
St. John River - The Upper St.John can be run only in spring (May through mid-June) or after a stretch of heavy rain, but it is one of Maine's classic week-long canoe trips, with many class I-II rapids and two long Class III sections. Most paddlers start at Baker Lake and take out in Dickey, Allagash, or St Francis. Access from Greenville is by woods road or float plane. Campsites are primitive and user fees are charged. For more information and a map of the river showing campsites and distances contact North Maine Woods, PO Box 421, Ashland, ME 04732 (207) 435-6213.
Moose River Bow Trip - Located near Jackman, the upper Moose River makes a good three to four day trip that can be done as a loop, beginning and ending in the same place (a long portage from Attean Pond to Holeb Pond makes this possible). The river is mostly meandering flat water, with several short ledge drops runnable at certain water levels, and portages at Holeb and Attean Falls. Fire permits are required for campsites along the river.Back to top