Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW) Conditions & Alerts


January 26, 2023 | As of 1-22-23, the ice is still unsafe in the middle of the headwater lakes of the AWW. We measured 2 to 9 inches near the shore of the lakes, but ice is thin near the middle. Churchill Lake has up to 12 inches. Always leave a trip plan with a friend before leaving to travel in the AWW. Check ice thickness often as you travel on ice.

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Safety Updates for Maine State Parks and Public Lands.

2023 AWW Visiting Artist Program - Call for Artists - Coming in January 2023

Are you a visual artist who would like to develop your art by experiencing the exceptional wilderness of the state's most remote park, Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW)? Or, do you know an artist who may want to apply? Help us spread the word that the annual AWW Visiting Artist Program call for artists and application will open in January 2023. It will be announced through press releases, in the January edition of the Bureau's newsletter, and through the AWW Visiting Artist Program news subscriber list - join the list now. All the details and a link to the online application which will open on January 5, 2023 are available on the Visiting Artist Program webpage.

Allagash Explorer and Storied Lands & Waters

Allagash Anniversary Print Available allagash wilderness wateway 50 year commenorative print of paddlers on the river

  • Limited Edition; 24x20-inches.
    Signed and numbered by artist Mark McCollough. $50 each + tax, shipping and handling.
  • Call to order:
    (207) 695-3721 x3

      two paddlers and dog finish Chare Rapids on the Allagash

Allagash Overview

  • The 92-mile Allagash Wilderness Waterway in northern Maine is one of America's preeminent canoe trips.
  • Established by the Maine State Legislature in 1966 and designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1970 as the first state-administered component of the National Wild and Scenic River System.

Selected Highlights

  • Henry David Thoreau visited the Allagash region in 1857 guided by two natives of the Penobscot Tribe, Joseph Aitteon and Joe Polis. They made camp on Pillsbury Island in Eagle Lake near what is now the Thoreau campsite.
  • The Waterway's Native American heritage is found in the names of its places, such as Umsaskis Lake and Musquacook Stream.
  • AWW's logging history is tied to the river and locomotives. Remnants of the logging era can still be found by visitors.

Paddling the Allagash - Be Prepared

  • Call (207) 941-4014 for more information.
  • Northward flow of the AWW often surprises first-time visitors.
  • Whitewater on the AWW - the most well know section is Chase Rapids, a class II stretch just downstream of Churchill Dam.
  • Communication contingency plans are a must as cell phone coverage is spotty and can go down unexpectedly.
  • Self-rescue preparedness is a must. Carry a first aid kit.
  • Plan your trip carefully and add extra days for unexpected weather when you may need to stay off the water. Suggested book: The Allagash Guide: What You Need to Know to Canoe this Famous Waterway by Gil Gilpatrick.
  • Launch sites:
    • Are often remote and require travel over a network of private logging roads.
    • Trailerable and hand-carry boat launches are highly variable. Use the online sortable boat launch listing and the AWW Information Packet to plan your trip.