The Allagash Wilderness Waterway was established by the Maine Legislature in 1966 to preserve, protect, and enhance the natural beauty, character, and habitat of a unique area.
For more than a century "The Allagash" has been praised and enjoyed as a sportsman's paradise. Many famous people, including Henry David Thoreau, have enjoyed its beauty and come away filled with determination to protect it for future generations. The people of Maine have made this dream possible. The State of Maine, through the Bureau of Parks and Lands within the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, seeks to ensure that this area will be maintained forever as a place of solace and refuge from the pressures of society.
Protection of the Waterway was further enhanced in 1970 when it was named the first state-administered component of the National Wild and Scenic River System. There are no permanent human residents in this area, and visitors show respect and care by leaving the fewest possible signs of their presence.
View BPL's map & guide for the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.
View Aroostook County Tourism's brochure for the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.
A trip to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW), especially for new visitors, requires advanced planning. The AWW is within the North Maine Woods recreational system: visitors must pass through a checkpoint and pay the required day use or camping fees. Fees associated with visits to the AWW are transferred to the Bureau of Parks and Lands. The state leases two historic, commercial camps along the AWW which are open for reservations: Nugent's Camps (207-944-5991, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jalbert's Camps (207-231-1988 or 718-834-2500).
Please review the Rules for the Allagash Wilderness Waterway before you visit. Please note that these rules supercede the standard rules for Maine State Parks and Historic Sites.
The 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail follows 80 miles of the route of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway -- from Chamberlain Lake to the town of Allagash -- as it winds its way from New York State to its eastern terminus on the St. John River in Fort Kent, Maine.
There are six points where one can directly access the Waterway by motor vehicle and five more sites where the Waterway can be reached by a short trail, as described in the Rules. Local outfitters provide person, gear, and vehicle shuttle services from many points along the Waterway.
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