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You should be prepared for black flies and mosquitos but mostly black flies, especially on the carries. Doing this section from east to west is going to mean you will be headed into the prevailing winds so be prepared especially on Raquette Lake. It’s peak bug season and kids are not out of school so you’ll have a better chance of finding open sites.
Have a great time.
@Ventoracing 430 wrote:
Getting ready to do the Browns Tract to Long Lake boat launch section Fri Jun 3rd – Sun Jun 5th. I’m actually going to launch out of Forked Lake Campground, go backwards to Browns Tract, turn around and follow the trail to Long Lake boat launch and then back track again to Forked Lakes campground….
Anything I need to be aware of on this section that is not already covered in the through paddlers books? Anything I haven’t considered that would make doing a round trip impossible?
The only thing that concerns me is finding unoccupied campsites on Raquette Lake/Forked Lake on a Friday and Sat night… perhaps these lakes are not as busy as I’m thinking they are…
I have Verizon, cell service can be spotty in places and nonexistent in much of Maine. Your best bet is to not depend on it to much. Several paddlers use a SPOT or bring and EPIRB for emergencies.
Kalmia is correct as usual. I would just say that your canoe is going to take some (maybe a lot of) abuse. If I had to pick one canoe for the whole trail my personal choice would be royalex. It’s up to you but if you’re worried about scratching your Kevlar canoe you might not want to bring it. I should mention that I have only heard rumors of Kalmia tipping over, I on the other hand have plenty of experience swimming.
The Allagash is a classic New England canoe trip that should be on any paddlers bucket list. The NFCT headquarters folks can recommend shuttles. I has a real wilderness feel to it and the campsites are second to none.
Mack, Good luck and tail winds.
I agree with Kalmia. In addition, if a barrel is secured in the canoe it acts as additional floatation.
Check the above site for maps and information. The CT river is never really remote but the upper sections are very beutiful.May 5, 2014 at 8:39 pm in reply to: Experienced thru-hiker, in-experienced thru-paddler, with basic questions… #339
There have been a few isolated issues with gear getting stolen but it’s not a huge problem(unless it happens to you). I wouldn’t bother with the lock, it’s usually pretty easy to find a spot to hide your gear while you portage or go into town. Don’t leave stuff where it’s easy for people to take it from, don’t pile gear next to a road or by a boat launch.
I recomend this one:
http://www.boundarywaterscatalog.com/spring-creek-outfitters/canoe-kayak-cart-12quot-whls-21967 It’s durable packs kind of small and caries a heavy load, it seems to take a beating pretty well. If you are thinking about another kind I would suggest running it by this forum, carts can be very problematic.
a) A good guess would be that you will have plenty of water on the Saranac, perhaps too much. The 2 feet of snow predicted for tomorrow won’t help. I would plan on maybe having to do some long carrys if the water is too high, bring good wheels. The Saranac is generaly pretty high into June, last spring we had snow over memorial day (last weekend in May)and had to cancel our trip on the lower river. There is the possibility you will have perfect levels, I doubt it will be to low. I can give you more detail on what sections you can still paddle in high water if you want them.
b) The odds of having lots of bugs in mid June is about 98%
c) The water will be cold in June, dress appropriately, hopefully you will have warm weather.
Bugs will happen about 4 weeks after ice-out depending on the weather. When you get to Saranac lake stop at Rauette River Outfitters and ask about current conditions on the river, they are very knowledgable and friendly.
Kalmia is accurate in everything he says, you might consider starting at Indian Stream put-in to avoid the potential headwinds on Chamberlain Lake. I did the whole trip in 5 days with my 10 year old son and we didn’t rush. When we did the trip the water was low enough so we had to drag a bit, we also had frost in mid June. You will definately need a day to drive each way if you live anywhere south of central Maine. Allagash Village is WAY up there, about 8 hours from Boston.
It will certainly help if both you and your fiance are experienced enough to steer the canoes in windy conditions. There are no long hard portages and I’ve found that it’s nice to be able to get out of the canoe and walk on the two short carries you’ll have to do. The NFCT will be able to get you the names of outfitters that will rent you gear and shuttle your cars for you. If you plan on leaving a car at the start it should be a reasonably rugged vehicle.
There’s a lot to think about for this trip but it’s well worth it. Gil Gilpatrick has a book that gives a pretty good overview of the trip. http://gilgilpatrick.com/self-guide.html Gilpatrick is a guide that leans towards a very luxurious trip so take that with a grain of salt.
Please follow up with any questions.
While there is no gaurantee you should be relatively bug free at that time.
I prefer gas canisters but they will be harder to find along the trail. I don’t know how much you cook and how much fuel you’ll need but I’m pretty sure canisters are more efficient weight wise than white gas. I usually bring some fire starters with me just in case I need to build a fire in the rain.July 14, 2013 at 1:52 am in reply to: Need advice: 4 nights, want to finish in Errol, NH. #289
Yoou could basecamp in Errol and do daytrips, Umbagog, the Androscoggin, and the Upper Ammonoosuc. There is a nice campground on the Androscoggin.
I concur with Kalmia.