Forum Replies Created
June 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm in reply to: 68 Yr Old Solo Through Paddle ended in 3 days but it’s not over #282
Too bad about the weather and the rock, I’m glad you were able to do the temporary repair and get to Long Lake safely. Like Katina says be careful on the shallow rivers. Depending on water levels you may want to avoid the Spencer Stream section as well as being careful on the sections Katina mentioned. Good luck, I hope I have the energy you do when I’m 68.
Both are rocky, rooted trails. The Buttermilk falls Carry is very short and the next one is about .4 miles if I remember correctly? I would opt for the kevlar boats.
I don’t like doing carries first thing in the morning.
If you stay at Eighth lake Campground try and get a site at the far end so you dont have to do a carry in the morning. Think about camping at the lean-to at the start of the Browns tract carry instead.
I’ve done this section twice and both times I stayed at the lean-to at the end of the Forked Laked Carry. That way you get the long carry out of the way and you don’t have to do it first thing in the morning
I agree with Kalmia abbout the Allagash lake rte but it’s qitea it further east than Jackman. If you wanted to pursue it you could avoid the Mud Pond Carry by leaving a car at the start at Longley Bridege and another car at Chamberlain Bridge. The rte still has two wheelable carrys on getting to Caucomgomuc Lake and the other getting to Allagash Lake. A Great trip if you can do it.
Yes, you can do the trip from Jackman to Flaggstaff. I did it a few years ago with the family, we had very dry conditions in late August so Spencer Stream was boney and we had to line the canoes almost the whole way. In late May you should have much better water. We stayed at Attean Falls the first night, the second day was a pretty easy upstream paddle on the Moose River to Spencer rips. On day three we did the 5.5 mile portage to Fish Pond and stayed at Spencer Lake which is really beautiful. The last day was spent going down Spencer Stream. Cars can be shuttled to the confluence of Spencer stream and the Dead River and you could spend the last night at the Maine huts and Trails Grand Falls Hut.
Let me know if you want more details.
You might consider Flagstaff Lake and the Dead River or Errol NH to Rangeley, Me.
I did Map 1 last June with my 10 year old daughter and it took us 2.5 days. We spent the first night on Seventh Lake, the second night at the end of the Forked Lake to Raquette River Carry in a lean-to, and ended at the town of Long Lake pretty early the next morning. The days were about 13.5, 19 and 6.5 miles. I would recommend shortening day 2 probably by lengthening day one.
If I were to plan the trip I would try to make it to the lean-to at the end of Eight Lake and the beginning of the Brown’s Tract Carry (17miles). There are lots of options if you don’t want to go this far. On day two you could plan on getting to one of the campsites on the Raquette River (15 to 18 miles).There’s a lean-to at the end of the carry from Forked Lake and several others on your way downstream to Long Lake. This would leave you a short last day. I would plan on having at least some wind issues especially on Raquette Lake which is notorious for weather problems, especially getting to Outlet Bay.
I’m from the northeast and the weather in May can be variable. Mid May is a great time to go, with any luck you might miss the bugs and see some great birds and wildflowers. This is right around the time the trees start to leaf out. Look at the forecast and bring appropriate clothing for the weather. You could have anything from frost to the 80’s.
Be ready to change plans if the original itnerary doesn’t work out. I highly recommend Raquette River Outfitters if you need a shuttle or anything else.
There are no requirements until you reach the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. Here are the AWW regulations:
The “more populated areas” are not very big so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding places to camp between them especially with a hammock.
look here for some more NFCT reading:
Look at Google Earth and follow the trail looking at the pictures, make sure the photos layer is on.
I would love to have the time do do your trip in one push, it should be fantastic although you’ll miss Mud Pond Carry. Allagash stream will be fine as long as the water levels are high enough. Get a good set of wheels. You might want to consider an extra layer of glass on the bottom of your strip boat.
If I were to do the trail by myself I would use a hammock. The only time I had any trouble was on the Demo Rd Portage between Long and Moosehead Lakes. I ran out of daylight and was in the middle of a huge logging cut and had difficulty finding two trees big enough to support the hammock, I think you’re unlikely to have a similar issue. I’ve heard several stories about people who had a bad nights sleep because they couldn’t find level, rock free, spots for thier tents so a hammock may be a better choice.
I tried to run though the trail in my mind and the only place I can think of where there might be an issue is in some of the fee based campgrounds. You will probably so some gorilla camping and a hammock will probably be a big help especially if it blends in well. Having a hammock has enabled me to sleep in some pretty cool spots with great views. When I solo I sometimes eat dinner and then paddle another couple of hours to set up camp at dusk, in the morning I leave early and stop later for breakfast.
Good luck with the planning and don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Chucks idea is a good one.
The Connecticut river may be a possibility. Only part of the trip would be on the NFCT but I think there is only one short portage at wyoming day.
I don’t know how many canoes you’ll have but you could also do a trip in the Adirondacks starting up in the Floodwood area of Upper St Saranac Lake and ending in Saranac village mostly on the NFCT. I think you can rent a couple of carts Raquette River Outfitters that will make the .6 mile Bartlett Carry very easy, they’re great folks and offers shuttles and free trip planning as well.
Here is a pretty good description of Spencer Stream done in low water.
I agree strongly with Zand about buying food and services from local business along the trail. On a technical note, no one should expect to find any supplies between Rockwood and Fort Kent. To the best of my knowledge there is no store in Allagash Village. While through paddlers may speed their way from Rockwood to Fort Kent in 6 days chances are it will take most parties several days longer.
You should check with the NFCT to be sure. the fees definitely apply to the Allagash, Chamberlain Lake to the end of the waterway at Twin Brook. I’m almost certain they apply to the West Branch Of the Penobscot(map 11) all the way to Chamberlain as well. If you enter the NMW via a road checkpoint you will pay there and they’ll give you a receipt. If you don’t pay at an entrance checkpoint a ranger will collect your fees. The chances of you getting buy without seeing a ranger are very very slim. I pay the fees happily, they’re used to manage the waterways, maintain roads, and pay the ranger’s exorbitantly high salaries 🙂 I’ve had nothing but good experiences with the rangers and NMW employees that I’ve met.
I did paddle the West Branch once and never saw a ranger so I got by without paying a fee, I did have the money with me. I’m not sure but I think they only accept cash.
You could go up to Island Pond, Vt and camp at Brighton State Park. From there you could paddle on the Clyde or Nulhegan Rivers, the CT River is not to far away and it’s a great day trip or overnight if you camp at The Samual Benton Site. You will need a reservation for Brighton State Park, there would be no portages although you would have to deal with beaver dams and short rapids on the Clyde and Nulhegan. You would have to shuttle your canoes daily. the State Park has lean-tos which I found to be really nice if the weather gets bad.