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Carrying into Allagash Lake

Discussion in 'Places to Paddle' started by Kevin French, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Kevin French

    Kevin French Paddler

    I'm Planning a loop trip on the upper Allagash. I plan to do the carry from Round Pond, the one south of Allagash Lake.

    In the Delorme's map book it shows a stream along the carry route.

    Is that stream large enough to pole or wade a loaded canoe down?

    Thanks for any help

    Kevin
     
  2. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Access

    Kevin:

    I haven't carried in that way before, so I am basically no help. We typically go in the Wadleigh Stream Road to Allagash Stream at the northwest corner of the lake or Johnson Pond. Allagash Stream from the NW can be paddled/poled, but this past summer the road along Wadleigh Stream was not passable. We only had a day to muck about, so didn't get a chance to look around for other access.

    Good luck on your trip. (What about wheels on that carry road? I have only seen the gate near Round Pond - wheels might be an option).
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Kevin French

    Kevin French Paddler

    Thanks Fitz

    We're looking to do a loop from the landing below Longley stream bridge, down into Chesuncook Lake, up Caucomgomoc Stream & lake, up Ciss stream to Round Pond, Carry north to Allagash Lake, down Allagash stream, Up Chamberlian, Mud Pond, Umazaooksus and out.

    A nice little 50 mile trip, with no shuttles.
     
  4. shelldrake

    shelldrake LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Hi Fitz,

    This is a timely thread as we have been discussing a trip into Allagash Lake using the Allagash Stream north of the lake entry this summer.

    Were you attempting to come in from the South on the road that comes in off the Saint Aurelie Rd along the north side of Wadleigh Stream and then loops back to Saint Aurelie road along Allagash Stream? My recent DeLorme shows the road blocked in two places but past (North) of the launch site on Allagash Stream.

    Was the road blocked, badly rutted-up?

    Thanks,

    Matt
     
  5. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Access

    Yes shelldrake:

    The road north of and paralleling Wadleigh Stream has been good in the past, but this summer there were several sections where logs had been thrown across washouts. We got as far a Mountain Pond Brook and didn't have the clearance to get over a large diameter log.

    Based on expeditions other years, the road circling back to Saint A is blocked as indicated. We thought about putting in to Allagash Stream from Narrow Pond Road, but we were only day tripping and that would have been a long day.

    I suspect the road near Frozen Ocean/Allagash Mtn. is passable. I haven't been that way in some time, and it was always a bit rough.

    Good luck on your trips!
     
  6. shelldrake

    shelldrake LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Fitz,

    Looking at the map, I was also wondering about Narrow Pond Rd. I guess the Wadleigh Stream rd will not be fixed unless they decide to do some cutting in there. One can't be sure about these things without an actual visit. We may have to make alternate arrangements and pick another spot for our journey.

    Thanks for the recon.

    Matt
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Kevin French

    Kevin French Paddler

    After reading: At the outlet, the stream drops twenty feet over an outcrop of Seboomook Slate, forming Little Allagash Falls. Below the falls, the stream continues flowing over three ledges before leveling out. During the low water of summer, exposed gravel bars are crowded with large purple-fringed orchis, swamp candles, and tall meadow rue. from

    http://www.state.me.us/doc/parks/Pubs/AWWBroc/AWW6.html#Stream

    I know I want to get into Allagash Stream this summer.


    My question now is, Since this orchid blooms end-o-july, beginning-o-aug, does the lower Allagash Stream still have enough water in it to paddle, in an average summer?

    Also if is doesn't and requires a drag, is it better to drag a canoe up or downstream?

    I planning to start at Chamberlain Bridge and do the loop mentioned above, with this new start point. I figured if it looked like good weather when I first got there, to paddle the lake first and not take a chance on going long on time and get stranded by the wind at the end.

    I think I've solved the original question by carrying a canoe dolly, while walking the road.
     
  8. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Reading Prerequisite

    Kevin:

    Have you read, "Survival of the Bark Canoe", by John McPhee? It is a good read about canoes and the area you are interested in.

    Fitz.
     
  9. shelldrake

    shelldrake LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Kevin,

    Many years ago we dragged up Allagash stream from Chamberlain to Allagash Lake and then floated back down. I believe it was in August. The drag up was a task. There is lots of quick water and ledges to get over. There is a short portage at Little Allagash Falls into Round Pond.

    Fitz; Matt Libby indicates that the southern road by Johnson Pond was open last summer. I assume he means the road past Allagash Mt that you mentioned.

    Matt
     
  10. birchhillcamps

    birchhillcamps Curious about Wooden Canoes

    allagash lake

    Been in there a number of times so may be of some help.
    First loon lodge is on round pond I guided out of there for mike yencha a number of years ago, he did offer a canoe service, from the camps to where ever you wanted, which is a better than trying to make this carry,from round pond. I believe mike has sold these camps, but you can find the new owners a quick search for loon lodge on the web. If I was making this trip, I would make plans for them to portage me, I been over these roads, don't think it would be a enjoyable portage.
    About 3 good ways into allagash lake, first is a carry into the lake by the fire tower, south end bring some wheels it is about a mile.
    2nd is down allagash stream, done this a few times, spring there is good water, but summer you will be wading over cobble stone rocks, that have been painted from the canoes dragged over them. 3rd is in from Johnson pond which is the way I like to go, the outlet of Johnson is muddy, but never not been not able to paddle through this, the stream is small and narrow, but very wade-able and better going not muddy but not the cobble stones either. I have been in through Johnson in July a number of different years.
    I would be very surprised if you can not get through the narrow pd road as there are both logging camps and private camps on this road, I not sure where your going on this rd though. I would plan on going in over allagash mt, Johnson mt road 1st (by round pond) or in from the other end by wadleigh stream, besides being the poplar way to allagash lake there are camps in here and I assume that one way or the other will be open.
    This is a great trip, you can go down to the lake and back out, their is the ice caves and the fire tower, if you go down to chamberlain, you have little allagash falls and the trains/tramway. down allagash stream is can be tough no matter the time of year it is quick water and dose get very shallow, but never so much I could not drag a canoe. Be aware if going onto chamberlain it is a big lake and the wind and waves come up quick, a number of people have died, drowned on this lake, just a few years ago a large boat swamped and 3 men drown. I know the road in from telos crosses allagash stream, this is not considered a access point to the water way, but is often used by many... we have often hid supply's here including a small motor to use getting across chamberlain after the rail road tracks,you can use a motor not sure what a ranger would say about that though. If I can be a help with any questions drop me a e-mail birchhillcamps at yahoo.com, I check in here but not often enough, I have spent a lot of time over there, and as i said before it is a great trip with many different possibility.-Steve
     
  11. Rollin Thurlow

    Rollin Thurlow member since 1980

  12. OP
    OP
    Kevin French

    Kevin French Paddler

    Shelldrake

    How much easier was it to come down Allagash Stream then going up.

    I'm going to do this solo.


    Fitz, thanks for the book suggestion, I just ordered it.

    Kevin
     
  13. shelldrake

    shelldrake LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Kevin,

    It was allot easier going down than up, but rather bony in August as I remember.

    Matt
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Kevin French

    Kevin French Paddler

    Aug is when the Large Purple Fringed Orchid blooms.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Kevin French

    Kevin French Paddler

    One more question

    (for now)

    Is there parking at the put in below Longley Stream Bridge?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  16. plaistedra

    plaistedra New Member

    Seeking Allagash Lake INFO

    Kevin,
    We are looking at same 50 mile loop you discussed back in 2010. Not sure if you're still a part of this forum but very interested in your's or anyone's input on this loop into Allagash Lake starting from Longley stream bridge (Gazetteer 55). I read through this thread but a lot can change in 5 years.

    We are doing first week of June. Interested to know:
    1. How's the paddle via Ciss stream to Round Pond. E.g., easy paddle or better with a poll?
    2. Is the portage from Round Pond to Allagash Lake the only option or is it possible to paddle further to the northeast edge of Poland Pond and do a shorter portage? Google maps appears to indicate from Round Pond is only option from the south.
    3. Very interested in how rugged the portage is from Round Pond to Allagash Lake (Gazetteer 55) and Mud Pond to Umazaooksus Lake (Gazetteer 56&49)?

    Ron
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Kevin French

    Kevin French Paddler

    I did two pieces of that trip getting up as far as Round Pond.

    I started at the put in/camping area below the bridge and was wind bound at the next campsite down on Chesuncook

    Caucomgomuc stream as one place you'll need to pole/drag your canoe then it's not bad up to the campsite (which is a bit further up then is indicated on the map) Also from what I saw there's another campsite that's not marked on the map at the end of Little Scott Brook. The carry up to Lake Caucomgomuc starts out wet but isn't too bad after that. Carry your gear all the way up to the road in the gravel bank, from there you can cart it to the dam where I was wind blown again and turned back.
    Later that year we started in Round Pond and paddled down Ciss stream which is flat water all the way.

    If you have time and want to extend your trip I highly recommend a side trip to Poland Pond to stay on the island. The fishing's great in Wadleigh Stream, I don't know if you whether or not you can make it up Mountain Brk we ran out of water before the split but it was Aug.

    The other option is to contact Loon Lodge on Round Pond. They shuttle, for a fee, to the gate at Allagash Lake.

    http://loonlodgemaine.com

    From there you are on your own. We are planning that part of the trip for the end of June.

    Here is a video of the Allagash Stream Paddle


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LPglgy4P6rw

    When you get down to Chamberlain a stop at the Tram and the walk across to the locomotives is worth it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As far as Mud Pond carry goes, (I haven't done it, yet), bring hip boots a platoon of lumberman and you be fine

    This is Thoreau's account of the Carry

    http://mp3red.ru/12863369/david-mallett-mud-pond-carry.html

    Have a great trip
     
  18. paddler123

    paddler123 Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    1. Ciss Stream to Round Pond is completely flatwater and an easy paddle - it's been flooded out by Caucomgomoc Dam. It's also chock full of moose.
    2. As far as I know the only option to portage into Allagash Lake from the south is from Round Pond - the maps and the satellite images don't show anything coming out of Poland Pond.
    3. The portage into Allagash Lake is not very difficult - it's on a road - just very long. The first two miles are on a drivable road, then there's a gate and the last mile is closed to vehicles, but it's still easy walking. When I did it on a camp trip as a kid we paid the owner of a lodge on Round Pond to drive us the first two miles. I've never done the Mud Pond Carry, but I know plenty of people who have and apparently it can be pretty brutal. It's named Mud Pond for a reason.
     
  19. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Mud Pond Carry is a pain in the butt but it's not as bad as it gets made out to be. It's very level from one end to the other and it's very wet. You will slog through mud knee deep water in places but there are sections (most of it) that are just wet. Don't be a bog dodger and walk up out of the trail...stick to the herd path and revel in the knowledge that you are on the same path that Thoreau guides took, but not Thoreau. He wandered off and got lost. There a several blow downs across the trail that are very challenging to get under...other than that, it's just another carry.

    You mention that you are traveling to Umbazooksus from Chamberlain. Depending upon the time of year you may find that the stream up to Mud Pond is more challenging than Mud Pond. It's much easier going towards the lake.
     
  20. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    My son and I and some friends traveled from Lobster Lake up to Chamberlain Bridge in 2011, pre-bug season. This involved the Mud Pond Carry. There is a good description of the Carry in John McPhee's book, "Survival of the Bark Canoe". I don't think the carry has changed significantly since he did that trip. There is one new road crossing, otherwise Thoreau's acccount is still accurate.

    My guess is the carry gets a bit more use these days since it is part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail route. Blowdowns can be an issue, so you may want the means to remove some. We went north, and it is fun to watch for the change in the water direction while going over the divide. The carry is actually a heavily eroded stream for the most part, but try and soak in the history as you go. Here is an account I wrote up for my son Brendan who was a real trooper on the carry and succeeded in winning the coveted Norumbega 2012, "Grand Portage Award" for his effort. He was 12 years old at the time. I don't have any decent pictures. We were too busy CARRYING!

    Mud Pond Carry

    “The Indian said that this was the wettest carry in the State, and as the season was a very wet one, we anticipated an unpleasant walk”.

    Thoreau – July 1857

    Mud Pond Carry is an ancient pathway between Umbazooksus Lake and Chamberlain Lake. It crosses the divide between the waters of the Penobscot, and the waters of the Allagash.
    The carry is approximately 1.8 miles, if you can do it in one pass. It is a straight shot with a rise of 70 feet and a drop of about 60 into Chamberlain. My son and I two-tripped the carry, Brendan with all the gear he could carry and me alternating between canoe and gear, leapfrogging as we went. Two tripping involves three passes for a total of 5.4 miles. We were often separated by a half a mile or more, passing each other and reporting on the conditions ahead.

    The biggest issue with the carry is that the worn path is very narrow, so you are walking in a water filled ditch the entire way. It has a hard bottom, but there are a many locations where you sink through the moose muck a ways until you hit solid bottom. You can't step out of the ditch easily, especially carrying a canoe, or heavy packs because it is easy to slip and fall off the banks of the ditch, back into the ditch. Round, volley ball-sized rocks line the ditch making the footing treacherous.

    The water depth varied from ankle deep to thigh deep the whole way. Frogs were breeding in the carry. The last few hundred feet or so were thigh deep. I dropped the canoe off the shoulders and floated it from there.

    You can see the water flow change direction over the divide between the Allagash and Penobscot watersheds. We were glad to see it change direction.

    It took us 3-1/2 hours to finish. My buddy and his son had a bigger canoe and more gear and it took them 4-1/2 hours. It was hard work. We were blessed with no bugs. If the blackflies were in season you may be anemic when done. Son Brendan was a real trooper, never uttering a word of complaint.

    I suspect the carry has changed very little since 1857. Thoreau would still recognize it. People have been sloggin' through here for hundreds, if not thousands of years. A very tough carry, but I think it was worth the trip.

    Congratulations to this year’s recipient of the coveted (2012) Grand Portage Award. He earned it.


    We made a slight error in judgement and ran Mud Pond Stream coming out of Mud Pond. There is a significant drop in elevation between Mud Pond and Chamberlain. The channel has been altered by the loggers to aid the flow of logs through the channel, but we still managed to beat the canoes up some. I do believe there is a snowmobile trail that parallels the stream and can be used as a portage trail.

    As for the Johnson Pond route into Allagash Lake from the North, we made a day trip in there in the summer of 2013 and waded/floated Johnson Pond outlet. The beavers had been busy, but otherwise it was passable and fun.

    Fitz.
     

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