Over the years I have found that the Allagash is my true passion. The Allagash Wilderness Waterway(AWW) is the true gem of the North Maine Woods and one of the few remote wilderness areas left in the lower 48. The Allagash Wilderness Waterway was established in 1966 in order to protect the natural beauty and habitat of this remote wilderness. The Allagash consists of 92 (depending on where one starts) canoeable and fishable miles of lakes, ponds, and river. The area is a popular destination for canoes, fishermen and women, hunters, and trappers. The Allagash boasts a tremendous population of native brook trout, lake trout, and whitefish, and it is frequented by the coveted moose, as well as deer, lynx, and many smaller fur bearing animals.
The Allagash Wilderness Waterway begins at the aptly named Allagash Lake, the entire system’s true headwater. It is a large, deep, and cold lake with a great population of brook trout and lake trout. The lake has no road access and the use of any motorized vehicle, boat, or tool (such as a powered ice auger in the winter for ice fishing) are prohibited. Access is either through hiking trails or canoeing from Allagash stream. Allagash stream can be accessed via a very rough gravel logging road, or the easier way, across Johnson Pond and down its outlet and into Allagash stream. There are multiple state maintained campsites around Allagash Lake, all with picnic tables and fire rings. Aside from the lake’s natural beauty and great fishing, there are a set of accessible caves to explore that often hold ice year around.
To continue the Allagash journey, one would exit Allagash Lake through the outlet, Allagash stream. The stream empties into a small deadwater called Little Round Pond before a must portage around the beautiful Little Allagash Falls. From there it widens out into the 18 mile long north/northwest end of Chamberlain Lake. As you enter Chamberlain Lake, you will pass by the remnants of the old Eagle Lake and West Branch railroad bridge. Chamberlain is a long narrow lake with a handful of camps and a ranger station at its southern end and what is left of Chamberlain Farm from the early logging days. This is also where Henry David Thoreau would enter the Allagash via Mud Pond carry (an entirely different way to access the waterway and a week long trip in itself). Allagash trips often begin here at Chamberlain as there is an improved gravel road that takes you directly to a nice boat launch in the Chamberlain/Telos Lake thoroughfare.