St. John River ME


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I've been trying to get out to the St. John for some years, and it looks like the fates may shine on me this year. Only problem is that it looks like memorial day weekend is my best window. Does anyone have wisdom on how crowded it might be, or how terrible the black flies will be that early in the season? Anyone know if I'm likely to have enough water if I wait until mid-June? Thanks.
St. John

I haven't paddled the St. John, so someone else will have to help. You may run into other parties on Memorial Day weekend, but I doubt it will be crowded at all.

You will be pushing the black fly envelope at Memorial Day. If there is a sudden warm and humid day, they will likely emerge looking for breakfast. If the weather stays cool you will likely be bug free. Mid-June you will have lots of bugs.

If you hunt around the internet, you may be able to find a discussion somewhere about at what river levels you should run the St. John and then watch the weather forecasts and the gauging stations on line.
Rollin, where are you

Come on in from the shop and give us some St John guidance;)
While Memorial day will be crowded, that just means that you will see a few other parties during the day and may have to pass up a campsite for the next one in order not to have any neigbors! Your more likely to encounter ice flows than any blackflies. It is possible to have both but neither one for very long!!
By mid June the river will be out of water unless you like picking through shallow channels.
Have a great trip and don't forget your moose watching camera!
Saint John

I ran the Saint John from Baker Lake beginning June 14 this month, my 19th Saint John trip.

As Rollin suggests, Memorial Day more likely to be cool than buggy. I've been there, in different years, from late-May toward the end of June. Bugs, mostly black flies, are sometimes not-so-bad, sometimes a minor nuissance, and seldom really horrible. It's a gamble.

The river can be run when the flow at Nine Mile rises above 2500 CFS. This is the best-located gauge.

The river is unlikely to be crowded, although the occasional large party complicates things. This year we encountered a party of twelve, the only other canoeists we saw. We divided our use of downriver campsites by agreement in advance, a system that worked well for all.

More Saint John info at my site