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CANOE The ALLAGASH

What’s an Allagash? It’s a few things, all of them located north of katahdin deep in the North Maine Woods, lhere’s the 65 mile long Allagash River. There’s also Allagash Stream, Allagash Lake, Allagash Falls, Allagash Village, and Allagash Mountain.

Allagash is most often used to refer to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, a 92 mile stretch of water that includes lakes, ponds, and the entire Allagash River. It is one of the country’s best canoeing experiences. No humans inhabit this remote and pristine region, so it’s a true wilderness adventure. Ihis also means it’s not a day trip. You should plan carefully and thoroughly, but the reward w ill be worth it.

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A canoe trip down the Allagash is not considered a high risk venture, so it can be a good family adventure except for one 9 mile stretch of rips at Chase Rapids, but portage service is available for those wishing to avoid the whitewater. You can do the entire 92 miles or just a portion of it. although waterway access is limited to a few sites. Camping is permitted at designated campsites only, on a first come, first-serve basis, tor parties up to twelve.

There are no stores or service stations in this wilderness area, and you can leave your cell phone at home because there’s no coverage. It’s the perfect antidote to modern society’s noise and dependence on electronics. When you enter the North Maine Woods, there’s a one time Bureau of Parks and Lands access fee of $12 for

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

The meaning of Allagash is not perfectly dear, but probably derives from the language of the original Algonquin people who lived here or one of their Wabanaki descendants. It either means “hemlock bark,” “bark camp,” or “bark cabin lake.” Clearly, bark is involved.

THE TRAMWAY, a table tramway dating from the early 20th century and used to transport logs.

ALLAGASH FALLS, a 40-foot drop, about

13 miles from where the Allagash joins the St. John River at the Canadian border.

Camping fees are similar at $12 and $6. Another $10 fee gets a ranger to move your canoe to avoid Chase Falls. There are also size restrictions on canoes and kayaks. Unw illing to chal lenge the waterway on your own? There areal least seven outfitter/guide services available. Much information for planninga trip down The Allagash may be found on the web. but two books will help a lot. Novice campers will benefit from The Allansh Guide

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