Allagash Wilderness Waterway - The Falls

Cunliffe Island and the accompanying campsite sit just a bit below the old Long Lake dam, a beautiful spot to camp and fish on the Allagash! From there it is about a 10 mile leisurely paddle down the meandering Allagash river into picturesque Round Pond. Round Pond (one of three Round Ponds along the waterway) is a small pond full of brook trout. On the north end of the pond there is a campsite and trail up to an old fire watch tower with amazing views of the surrounding area. My favorite spot to camp here is at the outlet where the river picks back up in a shallow stretch of small rapids. This is a great spot to catch a meal of brook trout.

From the Round Pond outlet, it is a 15 mile paddle down the Allagash River to Michaud Farm, an access point and ranger station. This section of river meanders back and forth through natural pine forests.  It consists of small rapids down through the Musquacook Deadwater where Musquacook Stream enters. From the stream inlet down to Rosie’s Rock, named after the wife of Willard Jalbert of Jalbert camps, the brook trout fishing can be outstanding. 

Michaud Farm is often the final stop of the trip during low water as the river below the farm can be very low and difficult to navigate during the warm summer months. The numerous gravel bars are often inches below the surface or protrude all across the river. For those who wish to power on, it is well worth the extra effort to view the 40 foot drop of Allagash Falls. This is a river right must portage with good signage warning canoers of the danger ahead. There are numerous campsites along the falls and portage trail. There are still large metal rings mounted to the rocks along the trail from where old loggers would drag their 20 foot wooden bateaus up the rock face around the falls. Using horses and pulleys, the horses would walk down the rock face, pulling the loaded boats up the rock face and around the falls.

The large pool below the falls is as far up the Allagash river landlocked salmon and muskie can swim, as the falls are impassable to fish. However, it can be good fishing for salmon and brook trout in the spring before the muskie move in. This is the final stretch of the Allagash down to Twin Brook, the official end of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway and on Allagash Village, where the Allagash river enters the St. John River, the northern border of Maine and Canada.

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