Maine Canoe TripsAllagash River, St. John River & Big Black River
Allagash River & St. John River Canoe Trips
Northern Maine is renowned for its two major rivers flowing through the vast 3.5 million acre forestland referred to as North Maine Woods. Rugged and peaceful beauty is evident as soon as you arrive in the headwaters region of the Allagash river and St. John river watershed. Paddlers from all over the world travel to northern Maine to experience the splendor of the vast wilderness.
The Allagash River is a 92 mile waterway of interconnected lakes and river, know as the Allagsh Wilderness Waterway. The watershed covers nearly 1,500 square miles and provides ample water flow throughout the spring, summer and fall. The Waterway offers approximately 90 primitive campsites that are located throughout the length of the river, from Chamberlain Lake or Allagash Lake all the way down river to Allagash Village.
Guided and unguided Allagash river trips are easy to organize with the help of an outfitter with experience guiding and organizing trips. Many self-guided paddlers choose our Shuttle & Transportation services to help them transport their gear or drive their car to the take out point in Allagash Village.
Allagash river canoe trips are very popular with those looking for a peaceful vacation, it is a great place for families, scout groups, church groups and summer camps. Mid to late May offers great water conditions and the beginning of spring trout fishing. In June water levels are still great with good trout fishing and not many paddlers on the river but it is the height of black flies. July and August are the height of paddler volumes and can be the lowest water levels. In September and October Allagash canoe trips are consider the most enjoyable due to beautiful weather, fewer bugs and very few paddlers. So, no matter what time of the paddling season you can find a time to enjoy an Allagash river canoe trip.
It is best to paddle the St. John early in the season, before June. Water levels on the river are not controlled by dams and can become very low later in the summer, making paddling impossible.
The Big Black River provides an exciting wilderness canoeing adventure for experienced canoeists. This canoe trip offers early season Class II whitewater mixed with two large deadwaters. There are several primitive, unmaintained campsites found along the length of the river. These sites are very remote and provide no amenities found on the Allagash and St. John, such as fire ring, picnic table or outhouse.
It is best to paddle the Big Black early in the season, mid to late May. Like the St. John, water levels on the river are not controlled by dams and can become very low later in the summer, making paddling impossible.