Allagash Wilderness Waterway; Where Adventure Awaits

The Allagash Wilderness Waterway, a magnificent stretch of wilderness in Aroostook County, Maine, is a 92-mile ribbon of lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams extending from the state's northern border to the town of Allagash. The remarkable area is widely renowned for its exquisite natural beauty and is also a popular destination for outdoor fans eager to cast a line in pursuit of salmon and Native Maine Brook Trout.

From its roots in the history of Maine's Wabanaki Tribes to its role in the state's booming lumber industry, the Allagash is steeped in heritage and natural wonder. As you explore the waterway, you will come across many historical sites and artifacts that speak to the area's cultural and economic significance, such as the Ghost Trains on Eagle Lake or The Thoreau Campsite, which prolific American author Henry David Thoreau once enjoyed.

Explorers of the area can partake in recreational activities such as canoeing, fishing, and sightseeing - there are both tranquil stretches and high-octane whitewater rapids throughout the waterway. The full experience of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway will take you seven days to complete - you will camp in backcountry campsites and be many miles from cell service. The night sky above the river is considered one of New England's darkest skies, so be sure to venture away from the evening fire and layout on the river banks - you will have never felt so small under that big sky.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." - Henry David Thoreau

On July 19, 1970, Maine's Allagash Wilderness Waterway became the first state-administered river to be designated by the United States Department of the Interior as a component of the federal Wild and Scenic River Program. This means the river is forever in its natural state and undeveloped making it a wild and remote destination ripe for an Aroostook adventure.

Fly fishing at Rocky Brook Falls off Hewes Brook Road in the North Maine Woods

During the day, the popular activity other than paddling is fishing; a generous population of native Maine brook trout, lake trout, and landlocked salmon can be found, and many of them have great size to them. The waterway here is the backdrop to many tall tails for the local Registered Maine Guides, and their legendary stories are still being made in the pristine wilderness.

The best time to explore the Allagash is from May to mid-September, when the waterway comes alive with incredible wildlife sightings. Moose encounters are the most popular for visitors to the Allagash. The best time to spot a moose is half an hour after dusk and before dawn, and if you’re really looking to be impressed, the Bull Moose antlers are fully formed by the fall when rutting season begins.

The Darkest Sky is the Sight of the Night

Where to Stay?

If you want a cabin experience on your Allagash visit, check out the sporting camps on Eagle and Chamberlain Lake and take day trips to launch sites on the river. The camps offer activities like guided canoe excursions and allow anglers, paddlers, and hunters alike to experience the Allagash like never before. Campsites are where most overnight paddlers will stay - camping areas are on a first-come, first-served basis and restricted to 12 or fewer people. Sites designated along the water are plentiful but offer no amenities and are carry-in and carry-out, providing an authentic backcountry camping experience.

Allagash Wilderness Waterway Campsite Fees

  • All campsites are first come-first serve.
  • Group size is restricted to 12 or less people.

The 9% Maine Lodging Tax and North Maine Woods entrance fee is NOT included in the rates below;

  • Maine Resident: $6.00 per person per night
  • Non-resident: $12.00 per person per night
  • Children under 10 years of age - Free

PLUS:

  • 9% Maine Lodging Tax
  • North Maine Woods Fee

For More Information: Northern Region Office at (207) 941-4014 or view this website.

Back Channel Campsite on Round Pond in T12R13 - Photo by Master Maine Guide Dave Conely at Canoe The Wild

Map It and Get a Badge

We already think you're cool if you use Maine Trail Finder! Use your MTF account to keep track of all your paddles in Aroostook County and the Maine Trail Finder will automatically award you a digital CROWN COUNTY PADDLER badges as you complete any of the water trails here.

View the map and locate parking areas - there are seven parking areas on the waterway for motor vehicle access.

Enlist the Help of an Expert

Due to its challenging and remote character, the Allagash is best enjoyed by enlisting the help of a registered Maine Guide. For the outdoor adventurer seeking an authentic Maine wilderness experience, there is no better way to do so than with an experienced Registered Maine Guide.

With an experienced guide, you can encounter the magic of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in a safe and comfortable way. Whether you are a seasoned paddler or a beginner, they offer trips that cater to your needs and skill level. A Registered Maine Guides' expertise and guidance will ensure that you have a memorable and rewarding experience.

Cut through the noise of the world, turn off your phone, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Maine's Allagash Wilderness Waterway. It’s not just a destination; it is a journey that takes you back in time and connects you to nature. It is a place to unplug, unwind, and recharge your batteries. Whether you are an experienced canoeist or a rookie angler, you will surely savor this marvelous, remote corner of Maine.


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