NFCT Stewardship 2024: Investing in the Allagash

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail, in partnership with Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands (BPL), will deploy a stewardship crew this year to focus entirely on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW), one of the most scenic and remote stretches of the 740-mile water route.

A team of four seasonal staff members and over a dozen volunteers will work from June to August at multiple locations on Churchill Lake, building new infrastructure and rehabilitating existing campsites. Allagash Crew Leader Ethan Israel, a former NFCT stewardship intern, will lead the daily work with oversight from Stewardship Director Noah Pollock.

This season’s efforts are a result of weeks of assessments conducted during the 2023 season. Pollock worked with AWW Supervisor Mark Deroche and waterway rangers to evaluate the current condition of infrastructure along the waterway. This partnership is a result of Maine BPL’s commitment to ensure safe, enjoyable experiences for paddlers while mitigating the environmental impacts of that use.

One unique component of the work plan is to develop an accessible campsite on Churchill Lake. Enock Glidden of Go Beyond the Fence will serve as NFCT’s accessibility advisor and help finalize plans to allow wheelchair access to the Jaws campsite, making ventures into the nation’s first Wild & Scenic river possible for people with disabilities and a wide variety of mobility challenges.

The Allagash crew will host several opportunities for volunteer participation this summer. Join us for a weekend-long Waterway Work Trip or volunteer for a day. Work trips run from Thursday evening to Sunday; a small fee helps the NFCT cover the cost of meals for the weekend. Allagash trips are as follows:

  • June 20-23, Scofield Cove, Churchill Lake, Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Maine: Stabilizing an eroding bank plantings and rocks, installing stone steps and transplant trees at one of the finest campsites along the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.
  • July 4-7, Scofield Point, Allagash Wilderness Waterway, ME: Rebuilding stone steps, upgrade a privy to a moldering design, level tent pads and fix a stone retaining wall at a spacious campsite on a prominent point.
  • July 18-21, Jaws Campsite, Churchill Lake, Allagash Wilderness Waterway, ME: Improving access paths, tent pads and improving accessibility at this deservingly popular campsite along the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.

To sign up for a Waterway Work Trip, visit Those interested in volunteering for a day, or joining the NFCT’s team of Waterway Stewards, should contact NFCT Trail Director Noah Pollock at

The Maine section of the NFCT comprises approximately half of the entire canoe trail. In recent years, the NFCT has partnered with funders, landowners and the Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands to make significant improvements to outdoor recreation infrastructure. In addition to stewardship work, the NFCT has also partnered with Teens to Trails to offer wilderness expeditions for kids and teens, and will launch a brand new event — the Rangeley Oquossoc Adventure Rendezvous — June 29-30 in Rangeley.

To learn more, email