Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW) Conditions & Alerts

Conditions

June 21, 2021 | The Allagash River at Allagash is flowing at 600 cfs. This is a good flow. Below 300 cfs is still passable, but there will be a few gravel bars to avoid. The headwater lakes are full. Use the following resource to check the river flow: <a href="https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?01011000">https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?01011000</a>

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COVID-19 Updates for Maine State Parks and Public Lands.

AWW Visiting Artist Program - 2021 Artist to be Announced March 31st

The Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW) has fueled the imagination of native Americans, rusticators, and artisans for centuries. When Henry David Thoreau made his journey to Pillsbury Island on Eagle Lake in the mid-1800s, he was inspired to write about his adventure in The Maine Woods. Since then, many visitors have attempted to capture the Allagash headwater lakes and lower river's beauty and solitude through stories, drawings, photography, and music.

To honor this history, the AWW is continuing its Visiting Artist Program. The program's goal is to immerse an artist in the exceptional AWW wilderness to interpret and share their experience through their art.

Application deadline was February 28.

Learn more about this program by:

  • Watching the conversation with Michael Vermette to hear about his experience on the AWW as the First Visiting Artist (2020). 
  • Review the AWW resources on this page.

Michael Vermette - 1st AWW Visiting Artist (2020) - Reflects on His Experience in the video above.

Allagash Explorer and Storied Lands & Waters

Allagash Anniversary Print Available allagash wilderness wateway 50 year commenorative print of paddlers on the river

  • Limited Edition; 24x20-inches.
    Signed and numbered by artist Mark McCollough. $50 each + tax, shipping and handling.
  • Call to order:
    (207) 695-3721 x3
  •  

      two paddlers and dog finish Chare Rapids on the Allagash

Allagash Overview

  • The 92-mile Allagash Wilderness Waterway in northern Maine is one of America's preeminent canoe trips.
  • Established by the Maine State Legislature in 1966 and designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1970 as the first state-administered component of the National Wild and Scenic River System.

Selected Highlights

  • Henry David Thoreau visited the Allagash region in 1857 guided by two natives of the Penobscot Tribe, Joseph Aitteon and Joe Polis. They made camp on Pillsbury Island in Eagle Lake near what is now the Thoreau campsite.
  • The Waterway's Native American heritage is found in the names of its places, such as Umsaskis Lake and Musquacook Stream.
  • AWW's logging history is tied to the river and locomotives. Remnants of the logging era can still be found by visitors.

Paddling the Allagash - Be Prepared

  • Call (207) 941-4014 for more information.
  • Northward flow of the AWW often surprises first-time visitors.
  • Whitewater on the AWW - the most well know section is Chase Rapids, a class II stretch just downstream of Churchill Dam.
  • Communication contingency plans are a must as cell phone coverage is spotty and can go down unexpectedly.
  • Self-rescue preparedness is a must. Carry a first aid kit.
  • Plan your trip carefully and add extra days for unexpected weather when you may need to stay off the water. Suggested book: The Allagash Guide: What You Need to Know to Canoe this Famous Waterway by Gil Gilpatrick.
  • Launch sites:
    • Are often remote and require travel over a network of private logging roads.
    • Trailerable and hand-carry boat launches are highly variable. Use the online sortable boat launch listing and the AWW Information Packet to plan your trip.