By Kate WIlliams
This just in: Maine’s Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW) is one of Outside Magazine’s Top Five “Man vs. Wild” Adventure Trips. On the newsstands this month, the April 2009 issue identifies the Allagash as one of a select few “ready-to-roll” and “incredibly cool itineraries.”
The AWW is, in my humble view, more than deserving of this recognition. Not only is it the incredible adventure that Outside knights it to be. It is also a unique entity in the realm of rivers and trails. The Maine Department of Conservation, land manager for this state-administered Wild and Scenic waterway, stewards and provides rangers for what it describes as “a magnificent, 92-mile-long ribbon of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams winding through the heart of northern Maine’s vast commercial forests.” North Maine Woods, a partnership of landowners who manage the lands surrounding the waterway, covers the checkpoints that provide access to the Allagash and provides excellent information about the unique public-private partnerships that support the AWW. Check out their excellent downloadable maps of this northern forest land.
Maine is rightfully pleased that the AWW is receiving the notice of Outside. See Maine Outdoor Journal for additional tips and stories from a host a public officials, all of whom have deep personal connections to the AWW.
Here at NFCT, we’re pretty pleased too. We recommend the Allagash to all inquiring paddlers who seek moose, remote beauty, an extended expedition, and lovely camping. Our Trip Planner offers detailed information about the Allagash, and our Maps 12 and 13 were identified in Outside Magazine as the navigational resource of choice.
We’ve also found that the Allagash has a unique appeal to historians among us, paddlers or not. Henry David Thoreau plied the waters in 1857, and was passionate and eloquent about his experiences (as well as concise, saying it was “mossy and moosey.”) Grab a copy of The Maine Woods to bring along, or for your experience from beside the woodstove. It’s a dense, inspiring, and somewhat time-warping read. So many of Thoreau’s musings about wilderness and wild experience continue to be hotly debated today. We also recommend a book our friend and partner Dean Bennett penned, Allagash: Maine’s Wild and Scenic River. Bennett has almost certainly spent more time on the Allagash than Thoreau, and is a fine, Maine writer.
Thank you, Outside Magazine, for recognizing the AWW. Well deserved and well done.