From Telos to the junction of the Allagash and the St. John it is a bit over a hundred miles. There are no hundred miles in America quite their equal. Certainly none has their distinctive quality. They will, I pray, be preserved for all time as a roadless primitive waterway.

– U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, My Wilderness: East to Katahdin, 1961

  • Our Purpose

    The Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation created to enhance the wilderness character of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, protect its environment, preserve its historic and cultural values and foster knowledge and understanding of the Waterway.
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  • Allagash History

    The Allagash region has a long and proud human history that reaches back 10,000 years. The Waterway was established in 1966 as one of the first Wild & Scenic Rivers in the country. We celebrate the rich legacy of the Allagash from its days as a principal travel and trade route for native people, through the early lumbering days of the 19th century, to its present status as a 90-mile ribbon of remote wilderness that weaves through the managed forest landscape.

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  • Our New Projects

    Storied Lands & Waters of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway is a new, first-of-its-kind assessment of the historic and cultural resources of the Allagash Waterway, and presents a thorough interpretation of the Waterway’s exceptional assets. Learn more about this exciting project, our youth engagement programs, and other ways you can support the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation.

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Meet Allagash Explorer!

The Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation is pleased to announce the release of the pocket-size Allagash Explorer, A Take-Along Companion For Maine’s Wilderness Waterway, created in collaboration with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.

Designed for use in all seasons, Allagash Explorer differs from other guides that offer paddling and camping tips, as well as from traditional narrative histories. Its intention is to provoke connections between the user and the abundant historic, cultural, and natural resources of the Waterway; and to encourage visitors to record their own thoughts and observations of the Waterway and its impact.

Guided by a schematic map of ...

AWWF Congratulates Al Cowperthwaite on Four Decades of Service to the Maine Woods

From left: Tom Pelletier, Bob McIntosh, Al Cowperthwaite
AWWF President, Bob McIntosh, visits North Maine Woods, Inc offices in Ashland ME to congratulate Al Cowperthwaite on his pending retirement and to meet the incoming Executive Director, Tom Pelletier. Photo: Rachel Pohl

Dear Al,

I write on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation, the “Friends of the Allagash,” to thank and congratulate you on more than four decades of ...

2021 Annual Message from Board President Bob McIntosh

A year ago I wrote that the future is full of uncertainties. While uncertainties still exist, regarding COVID-19, our country and we are now in a much better place. Each of us has faced multiple challenges over the last year, yet collectively the AWWF has weathered the storm well. The AWWF board has deepened its commitment, especially with our new members, and made strategic and tactical advances in our organization and major program areas.

First and foremost, I want to again express our collective thanks to Matt LaRoche for his 45 years of service in Maine’s Bureau of Parks and Lands, and especially for ...

AWWF Presents Board Resolution Honoring Matt and Ruth LaRoche

On Sunday, April 11, 2021, AWWF President Bob McIntosh and Board Member Jenny Ward presented Matt and Ruth LaRoche a Resolution adopted by the AWWF Board of Directors on the occasion of Matt's recent retirement as Superintendent of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.

From left: Jenny Ward, Bob McIntosh, Matt LaRoche, Ruth LaRoche (Photo credit: Rachel Pohl)


Whereas, Matt LaRoche as a youth in the town of Lisbon Falls sought recreation in woods and waters as he set a course for ...

Paddlin’ On

After 44 years of dedicated service managing two of Maine’s most iconic rivers, I am calling it a career. I began my profession as an Assistant Ranger right out of the University of Maine as green as they come. As I move into retirement, I see myself as the mentor, tutor and leader of a very dedicated group of waterway rangers. When I interviewed for this job as Superintendent, I told the panel that one of my goals was to leave the waterway on a high note, and Lord willing, I will accomplish that goal.

I started my career in May of 1976, working at ...

Best Job in the World

By: Kevin Brown, Chief Ranger of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway

“You have the best job in the world,” the paddlers would tell me as we chatted on a flat calm Eagle Lake in the middle of August. “How do you get a job like this?” they would ask. 

As I motored slowly away, I said to myself “They don’t know how tough it can be working here!” I thought about the time that I spent three of the hottest days of the summer climbing the seemingly endless trail to the fire tower on Round Pond Mountain with a chainsaw and a can ...

Help Fulfill the Promise of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway

Dear Friend of the Allagash,

I hope our Annual Appeal letter finds you, family, and friends safe and well. We live in a time of health and economic uncertainty, and if this has struck you or anyone close to you, the board of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation (AWWF) wishes a speedy recovery. As 2020 comes to a close, we look to a brighter future and want to share our ongoing priorities.

First, a few positive reflections on 2020: the Waterway celebrated the 50th anniversary of its designation as a National Wild and Scenic River; this spring, in ...

Two Ways to Support the Allagash this Holiday Season

Give the Gift of Allagash Explorer

In summer 2020, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation released the pocket-size Allagash Explorer, A Take-Along Companion for Maine’s Wilderness Waterway, in collaboration with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.

Guided by a schematic map of the Waterway, experience the Allagash through a series of stories that highlight the history, ecology, and forest industry innovations that make the Waterway so special a place to visit, be inspired by, and learn from. Allagash Explorer was designed for use by youth and adults alike!

More information about the guide and a list of local and ...

New Fire Tower Cabs at Allagash, Round Pond Mountains

The Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) recently installed new fire tower cabs on Allagash, Round Pond (T13 R12) and Deboullie Mountains. These projects have been in the planning stages for many years. I personally had wondered if it would actually happen in my lifetime. It seemed as though every time the projects started to gain momentum a new obstacle would stall the projects.

For years the Maine Forest Service (MFS) took down or toppled old fire towers as they became unsafe and turn into a liability for the State of Maine. Maine had a total of 144 known mountains with fire lookout observers assigned ...

Fall Fishing Tactics

Fall fishing can be feast or famine depending on several factors. The most significant influences on stream and river fishing in the fall are water temperature and volume. Trout and salmon will usually gravitate towards the inlet of a lake or pond in the fall when the water starts to cool and the urge to spawn intensifies. When the waterflow increases, the fish are drawn in and will swim up the river or stream.

Some years, fish will come into streams to spawn in late August and other years they will ...

AWWF Presents Paddle to Allagash Brewing Company

Properly masked and physically distanced due to COVID, (left to right) AWWF board member Don Hudson and board president Bob McIntosh presented an Allagash Canoe Paddle to the Allagash Brewing Company. The paddle was engraved to celebrate the Allagash Brewing Company's 25th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway designation as a National Wild and Scenic River.

Mike Elvin, Guest Relations, and Jason Perkins, Brew Master, accepted the paddle on behalf of the Brewery. Jason was also recently elected to the AWWF board of directors.

The ...

Celebrating the AWW Rangers on this “World Ranger Day”

The Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation (AWWF) salutes AWW Superintendent Matt LaRoche and all the AWW rangers on this international day of celebration. Their leadership and professionalism protect and enhance the Waterway, and deliver a safe and rewarding visitor experience that is of exceptional quality. 

We at the Foundation thank them, and are sure all of the Waterway's visitors do, as well, as the Allagash passes yet another milestone -- the 50th anniversary of its designation as a National Wild and Scenic River. 


Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation Elects Seven New Board Members

The Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation (AWWF) is pleased to announce the election of seven new board members. In making this announcement, Bob McIntosh, Board President, noted “The Foundation is well positioned to expand its board as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway’s designation as a National Wild Scenic River. These new members will bring specialized skills, local knowledge, and a range of experiences with the Waterway that will significantly benefit the Foundation in the years to come.”  

The seven new members joining the existing AWWF board are:

  • Kaitlyn Bernard, Gray, Maine, The Nature Conservancy In Maine
  • Thomas ...

Celebrating 50 Years of this Wild & Scenic River!

Fifty years ago today, July 17, 1970, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway was designated a National Wild and Scenic River by U.S Secretary of the Interior Walter Hickel.

The Wild and Scenic Rivers System was created by the U.S. Congress in 1968, to "preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations."

Through the visionary leadership of the late Senator Ed Muskie, Secretaries of the Interior Stewart Udall and Walter Hickel, and former Governor Ken Curtis, among others, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway became the first State-administered river in ...

Allagash Brewing Company hosts July 17 Day of Giving to benefit AWWF

Allagash Brewing Company celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and has chosen to partner with us during their 25 Days of Giving series in July!

On Friday, July 17, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Wild & Scenic River designation of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Allagash Brewing is donating 100% of its profits from Growler Day sales to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation! Stop by the brewery at 50 Industrial Way in Portland between 11 am and 6:30 pm on the 17th and grab a growler to go. As a special bonus, Allagash Brewing will also be donating the proceeds from the merchandise ...

Where to Find the Allagash Explorer Pocket Guide

Allagash Explorer is available at the following outlets:
Bogan Books (Fort Kent)
• BookStacks (Bucksport)
Epic Sports (Bangor)
Green Hand Bookshop (Portland and online)
Gulf of Maine Books (Brunswick)
L.L. Bean Bike, Boat & Ski Store (Freeport)
New England Outdoor Center (Millinocket)
Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shops
Shin Pond Village (Mt. Chase)
• North Maine Woods gates to the Allagash
• Online through the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.


Annual Message from Board President Bob McIntosh 

Board President Bob McIntosh provided the following to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation Board of Directors at the Foundation's annual meeting held on June 15, 2020. 

We hope you will enjoy reading this message and thank you for your continued support of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.


COVID-19 & The Allagash

If you are planning to visit the Allagash Wilderness Waterway this spring or summer, please visit the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands AWW Conditions and Alerts page for up-to-date information on Allagash access and overnight use.

Click here for the latest information:


Get Your Limited Edition Allagash 50th Anniversary Print Today!

The Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW) celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2016. In honor of this milestone, the AWW offered 500 signed and numbered prints of Mark McCollough’s painting of a family paddling below Allagash Falls. 

A number of these limited edition prints (24 by 20 inches) are still available from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry’s Bureau of Parks and Lands at a price of $35.00 plus shipping and handling. Framed prints are also available for $75.00 plus shipping and handling. Proceeds support the AWW Permanent Endowment Fund. 

The AWW provides ...

You Won’t Believe the 1859 Supply List at Chamberlain Farm on the Allagash River

Even Henry David Thoreau stopped by in 1857 to buy four pounds of brown sugar

About halfway up the eastern shore of Chamberlain Lake, nestled behind a point of land once called Apmoojenegamook Point (now Hog Point) sits an old farmhouse. The building is all that is left of a thriving farm that once encompassed 600 acres of cleared land, several barns and storage buildings. Chamberlain Farm was the operations hub for the Pingree Coe timberlands that totaled over 1 million acres.

The farm grew root crops, corn and apples to feed the hungry lumbermen that harvested trees on company lands. ...

One of Maine’s Greatest Rivers Needs Your Support


Kids from St. John River Valley Strike Out on the Allagash

Youth from the St. John River Valley enjoy an adventure on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.

Since 2017, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation has worked with partners to provide opportunities for local youth to build wilderness skills, explore the Waterway, and learn about its history. This fall, we again partnered with Chewonki and local schools to provide multi-day, fully funded guided river trips to 16 youth from the St. John River Valley, including the communities of Madawaska and Fort Kent. 

The youth, ranging in age from 12 to 15, had the opportunity to practice their canoeing ...

Moose Calling, a Skill Worth Perfecting

Calling in a big bull moose during the rut is one of the most thrilling things I have ever done. When you get that answering grunt from your cow in heat call you know you’re in for some excitement. The bull will usually rake his antlers on some bushes and make a commotion to let you know that he is the dominate moose in the area.

If you are calling moose for another hunter, you get the same adrenalin rush that you get as the hunter. When you have fooled that bull into thinking you are a receptive female and he is coming in for ...

Become a “Friend” of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway

The Allagash Wilderness Waterway: “… that most beautiful and wondrous wilderness area, the Allagash River, the greatest such remaining area in the Eastern United States.”

-- U.S. Senator, Edmund S. Muskie Congressional Record, May 27, 1965

Dear Friend, Let us introduce you to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation (AWWF). Now in our eighth year, we have made steady progress in fulfilling our mission to support preservation, protection, and enhancement of the Waterway’s unique wilderness character and experience. The support and guidance of passionate users––paddlers, fishermen, hunters, and winter sports enthusiasts alike––have been the most important ingredients in our success. We invite you to consider adding your name to our list of ...

Dark Skies and the Milky Way Aren’t the Only Reasons to Paddle the Allagash

Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW) is a spectacular 92-mile long river and lake area like no other waterway in the eastern United States. To those who are willing to get off the beaten path and unplug from technology it offers remarkable natural beauty, an opportunity to experience solitude and escape from the constant demands of our busy world. Many waterway visitors tell us how looking at the stars from the shore of the lake at night was the highlight of their trip. Comments like, “I never knew how bright the stars could be,” or “I felt so small looking at the vastness of ...

Tips for Traveling the Allagash in Summer

Canoeing and camping go together like bacon and eggs. The canoe can transport you to some of the most wild and pristine places in relative comfort. Unlike backpacking where weight is a primary concern, canoeing allows you can bring plenty of good food, roomy tents and other equipment necessary to make your camping adventure comfortable. The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is the perfect place for canoe camping. Remote campsites are well maintained by rangers and waterway staff routinely patrol the area, giving visitors a sense of security. However, the waterway is 92 miles long and often the only other people seen on an Allagash canoe trip are at the primary access points. ...

Spring Fishing Only Happens Once a Year

As kids, my brother Mark and I would drive our bicycles around our hometown of Lisbon Falls fishing the local brooks and streams. We learned early how to thread a worm on a hook so that the small brookies would not be able to steal the bait without getting caught and how to keep our line out of the bushes. These are all fond memories that have helped shape me into the person I am today. Back in those days- the late 1960’s, if we caught a 12-inch trout, we thought we had a big one that was worthy of showing off ...

Lessons from a Backwoods Kitchen

By Ruth LaRoche (wife of Matthew LaRoche, Superintendent of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway). I have had this reoccurring dream over my lifetime. In this dream, I need to figure out how I am going to feed 20 guests with one can of evaporated milk and a small package of venison. And I can’t find the flour. Growing up as a Park Ranger’s daughter, I became used to dooryard visitors, pop-ins for tea and the occasional overnight guests. Many of them were co-workers. A surprising number of them were summer State Park campers that have become lifelong friends. And then there were a few VIPs along ...

Edouard “King” Lacroix Was a Canadian Lumber Baron

Edouard “King” Lacroix, a Canadian lumber baron, who had huge operations in the Allagash Region- left a legacy that remains in the heart of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW). He was born to humble beginnings, in Sainte-Marie, Quebec in 1889. He had little schooling, but did attend college for six months at Xavier University in Nova Scotia, where he polished his English skills. He started work at age 14, as a wagon boy for the Quebec Central Railroad and later as a telegraph operator for the railroad. Lacroix built a road from Lac Frontiere, Quebec to Churchill Depot, which included the construction of Nine Mile Bridge over the St. John River. ...

Milford and Dot Kidney Were Allagash Legends

When I first arrived for work in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway- at the ripe old age of 19 years, I had the privilege of meeting some very interesting people. People that I didn’t realize would become Allagash legends. Milford and Dorothy (Dot) Kidney were two remarkable people that made their seasonal home at Lock Dam for 28 summers, between 1957-1985. I loved to stop and visit with Dot and Milford when I was up the lake working on campsites. They were a kind gentle couple that made you feel totally welcome at their home in the wilderness. A cup of coffee and a goodie were always offered whenever a ranger dropped ...

Announcement — We’re hiring!

The Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation (AWWF)  is hiring a coordinator. Please help us spread the word and let us know if you're interested.     Position Title: Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation Coordinator The AWWF is seeking a part-time coordinator averaging 16-hours/week or 64-hours/month. The term of employment is one year with options to extend annually for two additional years. The AWWF coordinator assists in the administrative and organizational duties associated with fulfilling the mission, vision, and goals of the AWWF. The incumbent will report directly to the President of the Foundation and perform duties that will:
  1. Increase awareness of the AWWF
  2. Support friend and fundraising and strategic partnerships
  3. Support AWWF’s Youth on the Allagash initiative
  4. Support AWWF’s Storied ...

Scratch Lottery Tickets To Conserve Wildlife & Open Space

If you believe in conserving wildlife and open spaces, then the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund scratch lottery tickets are for you. The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund (MOHF) conserves wildlife and open spaces through the sale of instant, scratch lottery tickets. With proceeds from ticket sales, grants are awarded twice a year, totaling approximately $700,000 annually. The MOHF was established in 1996 to help natural resource agencies and conservation groups fund projects over and above what is supported by their annual operating budgets. The revenue from special scratch lottery tickets – currently Lucky Catch, are dedicated to the MOHF. The seven-member Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund Board ...

Good Read: New Book Documents 18 Trips on the Allagash

Maine’s Allagash Wilderness Waterway holds a special place in the hearts and minds of all who have experienced its wonders.  In “Discovering THE ALLAGASH– A Canoeing Guide to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, North Maine Woods” Jeff Sims does an outstanding job of portraying the essence of the Waterway, and at the same time informing future visitors how to prepare for trips both to and through it.  Jeff, who describes himself as a biologist, an environmentalist, a nature photographer, and an avid outdoorsman, has been a regular visitor to the Allagash since 1990.  The book documents each of his 18 trips there from ...

New Coffee Blend Supports Youth on the Allagash

A partnership with Wicked Joe Organic Coffee is Born! Bob and Carmen Garver of Wicked Joe Organic Coffees have been giving back to Maine communities for years, most notably when they developed a special blend of coffee for the 75th anniversary of Maine’s 48 state parks and historic sites. Now, Wicked Joe has added the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation Blend to its collection of delicious coffees. The new medium-dark Maine roasted blend is organic, fair trade certified, and roasted to perfection in Topsham, Maine. Not only can you brew this delicious blend over a campfire along Maine’s most iconic river, but you can ...

On the Allagash, Deer Hunters Have Special Considerations

We all know people who just seem to know where to go at just the right time to see deer. They have that uncanny ability to bag a nice buck almost every year. These people have good hunter instincts -- what I call “the sixth sense.” I don’t pretend to be one of those people, but I know some hunters who are. They seem to be in the right place at the right time and when they get their opportunity, they don’t blow it! I must admit, when I was younger, I had better luck than I have had in recent years. I covered ...

A Good Hunting Dog is Hard to Beat

A good dog is certainly a pleasure to hunt with. I have had four dogs during my adult life and my fondest memories are of Chad, my first and best hunting dog. Chad could sniff out a grouse and put it up a tree like no other dog I have ever seen! The first spring after Ruth and I got married, we started looking for a dog. We had both grown up with sporting dogs in the home, so it was only natural that we would both want a dog. We looked at a litter of Labrador Retrievers in Gorham, Maine and ...

New Report Will Help Tell Story of the Allagash

The Storied Lands and Waters report was recently released by the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation (AWWF). The report includes a heritage & cultural resource assessment, interpretive plan and sample lesson plans for educators to use in teaching about the Allagash. Storied Lands and Waters of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, was produced over a two-year span as a collaborative effort between the foundation and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. The principal author of the 300-page book is Bruce Jacobson, the former chief of planning and land resources at Acadia National Park. The report is an important document that will be used by waterway managers to tell the story of the Allagash ...

NEWS!! Allagash Waterway Resource Assessment Released

Bob McIntosh, president of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation, announced release of the first heritage resource assessment of the famed Allagash Wilderness Waterway.  The “Storied Lands & Waters” project marks a milestone in the history of the Allagash and offers a roadmap for action in the years ahead.  The announcement was made Friday, June 15 at the State House in August, Maine. The 300-page volume, Storied Lands & Waters of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway is the product of a two-year collaboration between the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation (AWWF) and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, with financial support from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund and private donors. Principal author is Bruce Jacobson, ...

I Went Fishing on My First Day at Umsaskis Lake

I can remember my first day at Umsaskis Lake back in May of 1977, like it was yesterday. I was so excited to be in a more remote section of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW). I had a new area to explore, new people to meet and potential new fishing hot spots to checkout. When I arrived at the two-room rustic cabin nestled in a small clearing, a stone’s throw away from the shore of Umsaskis Lake I was delighted to find that someone had already been there and lit the gas refrigerator. I didn’t know it at the time, but waterway supervisor ...

Allagash Street Fair is Coming Up and Guess Who’s the Beneficiary?

Allagash Brewing Company is gearing up for another fantastic Street Fair. This year it takes place, Saturday June 23 at their brewery in Portland. The Allagash Brewing Company  Street Fair is an annual event that is filled with music, food, beer, performances, and fun events.  Last year the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation was invited to participate, and we set up a table, spoke to a lot of great people, raffled off a beautiful paddle board, and gave away maps of the waterway. Each year Allagash Brewing Company graciously supports organizations that do great work in the community. This year, for the second year ...

Canada Lynx Doing Well on the Allagash

Northern Maine’s resident wildcat- the Canada Lynx, is doing quite well along the shores of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. In fact, so well, that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which currently lists the lynx as threatened, has started the process of delisting the lynx from the endangered species list. While the delisting recommendation does not remove or negate the Endangered Species Act protections currently in place for the Canada Lynx, the decision does trigger a process to end them. The first step would be for U.S. Fish and Wildlife to publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register, then take public comments and finally draft a final decision. In the lower ...

How the Allagash Changed My Life

My first trip on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway was so powerful that I can say without question that it changed the course of my life forever. I was 23 years old.  Having grown up in a beach town in Southern California, I was athletic (a surfer), but certainly not skilled in canoeing, camping, or fly fishing. I was a novice, but I had a great teacher and I possessed an adventurous spirit. My first trip down the Allagash started at Telos Landing and ended in the Town of Allagash. It was mid-May a little before the hatch. In all, the trip comprised ...

Ice Fishing on the Allagash Is About to Open

Ice fishing can be one of the highlights of a Maine winter. If the fishing takes place in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW) – it is more like an ice fishing adventure! Ice fishing traps, or tip-ups as they are often referred to, all use the same basic design- when a fish pulls on the line, a flag goes up. When the flag goes up, someone usually yells flag, and everyone in the fishing party hustles over to the tip-up to see what is going on. Excitement builds when you get to the tip-up and the reel is spinning. The faster the ...

Allagash Eases Restrictions, Increases Bag Limit for Trout

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF&W) has adopted new, less restrictive length and bag limits for much of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW). These new rules take effect on January 1, 2018, for: Eagle, Churchill, Umsaskis, Long Lake and Chase Rapids. Fishing regulations have not changed for Chamberlain, Telos or Allagash Lakes. Also, note that - Umsaskis, Long Lake and Chase Rapids are not open to ice fishing. IF&W Fisheries Biologists did extensive research on the fisheries in the AWW during the 2016 calendar year, which included: winter and summer angler counts, winter creel surveys, trap netting, and trapping ...

Connecting Youth to Nature on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway

This year, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation (AWWF) partnered with Chewonki of Wiscasset, Maine, to offer two all-expenses-paid paddling and camping trips on the Waterway for youth living in gateway communities of the Waterway.  With the generous support of local partners, the Quimby Family Foundation, and the Defoe Fund, 18 students from the Katahdin Area and the St. John River Valley took a three-day, two‑night river excursion at the end of summer break and during Harvest Season. The trips were guided by Chewonki trip leaders with significant experience guiding youth trips in remote areas of Maine. The classic canoe trips through ...

Wilderness Guide Gardner Defoe Inspires Fund in His Name

Legendary Maine Wilderness Guide Gardner Defoe led groups of youth down Maine rivers for over 25 years. A recent film called, Defoe’s Way, produced by O'Maine Studios and funded by L.L. Bean, tells the inspiring story of Defoe's life and his many journeys down the Allagash River. The alumni of these programs were profoundly changed by Defoe's trips and their time on the Allagash. To honor their mentor and provide this same incredible opportunity to Maine youth, this group has created the Gardner Defoe Allagash Access Fund. Funds raised will be used to support wilderness trips for northern Maine youth through the Allagash Waterway Foundation Youth ...

Ice Out at Allagash Lake

Allagash Lake is the Holy Grail for fishing in Maine.  With vehicular access limited to a mile or more from the shore, and motorized equipment off limits there, a trip to Allagash Lake is among the last of Maine’s true wilderness adventures. Spring, around the time of ice out, is a very special time for anglers at Allagash Lake.  That’s not to say that all seasons don’t have a special allure, but spring ushers in the rebirth of life in the woods after a long winter.  As the woods shed the last shards of their winter blanket of snow, the lake’s ice sheet changes in color from white to black.  Open ...

I Had Paddled Many Rivers in Maine, But Never the Allagash

Although I had worked along different stretches of the Allagash starting when I was fresh out of college in 1979, my first canoe trip down the entire river was with my daughters, my husband, and a few friends in 1999. I’d paddled many rivers in Maine, but never the Allagash. It seemed like an ideal river for a family adventure. We poled through Mud Pond Carry, then spent the next seven days paddling to Dickey. We swam in rapids, fished, visited the locomotives, climbed the Round Pond fire tower, got eaten by black flies, and saw a dozen moose. My favorite memory is of the faces of my then six- and eight-year-old daughters as ...

The First Time I Realized the Allagash Flowed North

I probably need to fact check the year, but if memory serves me, then I think 1979 or 1980 (age 20) was the year I made my first trip to the Allagash. I had done a lot of backpacking, some canoeing overnights, and some whitewater paddling, but this was my first multi-night canoe adventure in Northern Maine. I had done some work with the outdoor program at UMaine and bought a damaged Old Town Tripper from that program a couple years earlier. My college friend Mike Curry talked about the trip for a couple of months, and we decided to do it at ...

The Allagash is a Gem That Needs All the Support We Can Muster

Most of my initial dealings with the Allagash Wilderness Waterway were work related. While I had read about and dreamed of a trip on the Allagash for years that didn’t really occur until after I went to work for the Department of Conservation as its Personnel Manager in 1984. It was then my job to learn what folks working for the Department really did. That included the special job classifications of Supervisor AWW and Allagash Ranger. My first visits to the AWW were meeting with then-Supervisor Tim Caverly and some of his Rangers and being shown many of the natural and scenic ...

My Days and Nights on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway

pj_attean-lktSince 1978, my connection with the Allagash Wilderness Waterway has been more work related than recreational, though I can confess to some very memorable days of fishing, both winter and summer, on Allagash and Chamberlain lakes. As a fishery biologist I was fortunate to have the AWW headwater lakes in my region, and to have spent time there checking anglers and their catch, as well as surveying the waters and their fish populations. The brook trout, lake trout (togue), lake whitefish, and burbot (cusk) populations in AWW waters are native. They exist today much as they have since long before Europeans set ...

My First Encounters with the Allagash

chamberlain-lake_calmMy first encounters with the Allagash were by air, with limited time on the water. In June 1955, I accompanied Governor Muskie on a flight to Chamberlain Lake, where he met with Al Nugent of Nugent Camps to discuss Mr. Nugent’s concerns about clear-cut lumbering operations and the threat of shore-land development. Then we flew to Allagash Lake for a weekend of fishing. I didn’t return to the area until the 1962-1966 period, when, as Senator Muskie’s administrative assistant, I was responsible for negotiating on his behalf with legislators, the Executive Director of the Maine Parks and Recreation Commission, Maine Forestry Commissioner, ...
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  • How to Donate

    The Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation accepts both unrestricted and targeted gifts to fulfill our mission to support the Waterway.

    Please make checks out to AWWF and mail to:

    PO Box 1141
    Bangor, Maine 04402

    Or, follow the link to PayPal.

  • AWWF Clothing

    Tour the Allagash Waterway warm and prepared by sporting our AWWF apparel. Visit our online store to see our wares.

    Shop for AWWF Clothing.