Patty and I spent three days paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail alternate route from Chesuncook Lake North to Allagash Lake and then down Allagash Stream to Chamberlain Lake eventually taking out at Chamberlain Bridge.
The videos pretty much sum up the trip. Day one was rainy but the paddling was very pleasant. I kind of bonked at the up stream section of Caucomgomoc Stream so Patty did most of the work. It would be possible to take out before the worst section of the up stream slog, there's a campsite with a trail that eventually leads to a logging road that will bring you to Caucomgomoc Dam. Unfortunately beavers have made the trail almost non-passable.
The winds on day two were very strong so we accepted a ride from some fisherman to the portage from Round Pond to Allagash Lake. There's new logging on this road, the turn off on the secondary road is less of a fork and more of a left turn, its a two track road that leads toward the ridge line that is prominent on the topo maps. We saw deer, spruce and ruffed grouse, and a pine martin on this section. A ways after the gate the trail forks, the right hand fork leads to a campsite by the lake and the left fork is wheel-able all the way to the put in at the ranger's cabin.
Allagash lake is beautiful but we once again encountered high winds that prevented us from paddling all the way to the Allagash stream outlet. We spent the night at Island Campsite halfway down the lake.
Day three was spectacular. The lake was like glass when we woke up so we packed up quickly and headed out. The first mile of so of Allagash stream was steady Class I which was made very exciting because the sun was rising directly into our eyes and because of the glare we could see very little. The Stream was full but not flooded so we were traveling very quickly, fortunately we didn't encounter any sweepers on this section. It was only later when we reached calmer waters that we had to deal with a tree across the stream.
We had breakfast at Little Allagash Falls and continued on down stream. The guide warns of three obstacles. The first is a ledge that you can avoid by going right around an island, we missed the right and paddled the ledge which wasn't to bad due to the high water. The second ledge we portaged left although river right looked easier. The third rapid under the bridge we portaged although it looked very run-able, neither Patty nor I wanted to go swimming.
Easy paddling led to the North end of Chamberlain Lake, the wind picked up and we were able to sail all the way to the Mud Stream outlet by 12:30. At that point we had to make a half mile crossing to Gravel Campsite, the wind and waves were too dangerous so we ate lunch and waited. The ranger came by on his rounds and offered us a ride explaining that he didn't think the wind would abate and the weather was supposed to deteriorate that night. We accepted the boat ride rationalizing that I had already done that final section twice before.