May 2, 2017
I want to do some trips in the New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine area between now and when I head back to school in late August. I’d ideally want be paddling rivers that are at least quick water and up to class I-II (maybe some class III features). So, what do people know of that’s good for several day trips and has navigable water levels in late summer?
if a river fitting this description is just a pipe dream, I still would love suggestions on any sort of weekend long paddling trips
October 18, 2007
As you have sort of pointed out, river trips with any sort of rapids are tough to come by in the summer. There are a few that can still be paddled. You may realize that New England is bigger than you thought, though trying to get to them.
The classic summer “whitewater” trip is the St. Croix. A dam release guarantees good water for almost all of the summer. You can start at Vanceboro, for an all moving water trip, or extend it by a day by starting on Walker Cove on Spednic Lake. We did 3 day in August a few years ago. It’s mostly quickwater and some open class II’s. There are two class III’s at Great Falls and Canoose Ledges. The left (canada) side of Great Falls is really a Class II with some nice waves and pour-overs. Likewise, the left side of Canoose by height is a class III, but it’s really a simple ledge at low water. If you put in at Walker Cove and take out at Grand Lake Flowage, it’s about a 3 night, 3 – 4 day trip. You can cut a day by putting in at Vanceboro and another day by taking out at Loon Bay. We used C&C canoe to run the cars for us (http://www.cccanoe.com/).
Another classic trip is the Moose Bow trip near Jackman, ME. It has plenty of water in the summer. It’s more of a flat water trip with a couple notable rapids. We did it several years ago in August as well and there was plenty of water then too. We put in at Holeb, having an outfitter drive us there instead of messing with the portage or the shuttle ourselves. The traditional trip starts and ends on Attean Lake with a ~1 mile portage between Attean and Holeb. If you start on Holeb, then you only have the portage around Holeb Falls to contend with. It’s still a bugger. We did 3.5 days and 3 nights on this as well. We used Cry of the Loon for the shuttle. (https://www.cryoftheloon.net/index.php) Make sure you chat with Andy on the ride in as he has a great perspective on the area.
Of course the Allagash always has water through the summer. You can configure a shorter trip there, but if your going to go all the way up there you might as well spend at least 5 days. You can have an outfitter drive you from Allagash into Churchill dam. it’s a 5-6 day trip down from there on some of the best water in New England. I’ve always used Allagash Guide Service for the suttle. They’ve changed hands recently, so your mileage may vary.
You can also do the West Branch of the Penobscott from Burbank to Ripogenus dam. It’s mostly flat water until the wind comes up on Chesuncook… East Branch also has water through the summer, but that’s a solid Class III trip. The Androscogin up in Errol, NH has good water through the summer, but I don’t know that there is a multi-day trip to do on it. The Connecticut up north of Cholchester is supposed to be good, but it’s always seemed a little too open for me. For something a little different, you might try the Battenkill in southern VT. You can’t really camp on it, but there are two day trips that you can run back to back, car camping either at Battenkill sports quarters, or Camping on the Battenkill. From Arlington to Eagleville covered bridge is one trip, then from Eagleville to Rt. 11 in NY is another. Another “different” trip would be to spend a weekend whitewater paddling the Deerfield in NW Mass. Car camp at one of the state parks or forest close and have a couple of days practicing on some great class II with beautiful scenery. Just be careful of Zoar gap. It’s harder than it used to be.
There’s lots of other stuff to explore in the region as well. You may try posting a question on CanoeTripping,net. That board is a little more active than the tripping forum here. Also feel free to send me a PM or email if you have specific questions.
May 2, 2017
Thanks for the great response! I’ll look into all of those suggestions. I actually have paddled the Moose Bow trip and, as I once read in an amc river guide, the portage is “character building.” I also found out about the Northern Forest Canoe trail, which is definitely of interest as 72 miles of the trail run through NH
I checked out Canoe tripping. net and I’ll definitely ask there as well.
Thanks again for the advice
August 27, 2013
Personally, I would head a little further north.
Petawawa River in Algonquin Park of Ontario is a classic. The Portage Store will run your car from the put-in to the takeout for $90CAD. Classic 3-4 day trip. Easy trip.
The Dumoine River, The Coulogne, The Noire are all tribs of the Ottawa that run from Quebec south into the river. They are great trips as well. There is a shuttle service and canoe rental on the Dumoine run by a character named Noelle Leclerc in Swisha, Quebec.
For a further drive to the Lac St. Jean area there are the Ashuapmushuan, Mistassibi and many others.
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