Nicatou Outfitters is located in the very heart of the North Maine Woods. We offer guided and self guided canoe camping trips and kayak camping trips on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, West Branch of the Penobscot River, East Branch of the Penobscot River, St. John River and St. Croix River.
Nicatou Outfitters uses only the finest equipment on all of our guided kayak and canoe camping trips. We use Old Town Kineo 169 and Allagash 174 canoes, Old Town Loon and Casco 138 kayaks. We supply Eureka Wilderness Outfitter tents, Coleman Outfitter Series sleeping bags and a waterproof river pack for every person.
If you prefer to do your own trip Maine Canoe Trips has several rental items to choose from. We have available for rent Old Town Canoes, Old Town and Wilderness Systems Kayaks, Eureka 1, 2, and 4 person Wilderness Outfitter tents, Coleman Outfitter sleeping bags, Coleman 1 and 2 burner stoves, Coleman lanterns, Cook Kits, dry bags, tarps and other pieces of equipment.
Nicatou outfitters a transportation and shuttle service to several locations on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, West and East Branch of the Penobscot Rivers, St. John River, St. Croix River, Bangor International Airport, Baxter State Park and other destinations in the North Maine Woods.
If you have never been to Maine to paddle one of its spectacular rivers come and experience a canoe or kayak camping trip of a lifetime in the very heart of Maine’s North Maine woods.
Some Allagash Areas and Time Estimates to complete
92 miles (7 days)
90 miles (7 days)
80 miles (6 days)
62 miles (4 days)
55 miles (4 days)
53 miles (4 days)
Allagash River & The Allagash Wilderness Waterway
For over a century the “Allagash” has been a outdoor paradise paddled by those seeking an amazing natural experience. Even famous people like Henry David Thoreau visited the Allagash and came away with a determination to protect it for future generations to enjoy. The Allagash Wilderness Waterway was established in 1966 by the Maine Legislature to preserve and protect the unsurpassed beauty, character and habitat of this unique area. To be further protected, in 1970 the Allagash Wilderness Waterway was the first state administered component of the National Wild and Scenic River System. The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is a 92-mile long waterway system that starts at Telos Lake and ends at the town of Allagash. The waterway includes many majestic lakes, ponds and streams.
Camping and canoeing are the most common recreational activities for the waterway. For the explorer in you, there are many hiking trails that lead to spectacular nature areas, old fire towers and even 100 year old steam engines! For the archeologist in the group Indian artifacts are often encountered along the shores. You can also fish for some of Maine’s finest Brook Trout.
There are six starting points on the Allagash Waterway that are commonly used. All camping is in designated campsites and are on a first come, first serve basis. Where space is available, campsites are set up to hold two separate parties. All campsites are set up with picnic tables, ridgepoles, fireplaces and privies. The maximum size party allowed on the waterway is 12 people. Camping rates are $4.00 per night resident & $5.00 per night non-resident with all children under 10 free.
Penobscot West Branch
The Bureau of Parks and Lands manage these sites. The West Branch begins at Seboomook Dam and ends 67 miles to the East at Ambajejus Lake. The river is split into two sections the upper and the lower. The Upper starts at Roll Dam and ends at Chesuncook Village and has 14 campsites and 8 group sites. The lower starts at Rip Dam and end at Ambajejus Lake there are 12 campsites and 19 group sites. The lower half should be done by experienced canoeist only. It is recommended that the lower half be done with a White Water Rafting Co. Groups of more than 12 are prohibited, Organized groups of more than 30 are prohibited in these sites. All campsites are set up with picnic tables, fireplaces and privies. The upper half can easily be done in 3,5 or seven day leisurely trips.
Penobscot East Branch
Penobscot- East Branch- To canoe the East branch is to canoe one of Maine’s most beautiful rivers. Its headwaters start at Mattagamon Lake in the north, and run 67 miles to the south to join the West branch in Medway. This is where the Penobscot River originates. The East branch has miles of fast water as well as dead water. There are some falls that are not navigable and must be portaged. The trip can also start at Big Seboeis Stream; this is equally beautiful. This River offers beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife and great fishing for Brook trout in the spring as well as huge Bass in the summer. This trip can be done in one to four days. The campsites on the river are very primitive and require fire permits from the forestry division. This is a great trip.
St. John River
The St. John River runs along Maine’s remote northwest corner and is the longest and wildest free flowing stretch of river in the East. Expect plenty of white water and solitude along the 120 miles that begins at 5th St. John Pond and continues north to Allagash Village. Some class 3 rapids may be encountered; river-canoeing experience is definitely a plus and is suggested. This trip must be run during the spring runoff usually from the second week of May to the middle of June. As on the Allagash, camping is in campsites only on a first come first serve basis. All campsites are comparable to the ones on the Allagash River Fishing is great in the spring for Brook Trout, Salmon and the Big Muskies in Baker Lake. There are three starting points on the St. John River commonly used.
5th St. John Pond
120 miles (7 days)
100 miles (6 days)
90 miles (6 days)
The St. Croix River
The St. Croix River makes
up the border of Maine and New Brunswick from Grand Lake in the North to
Passamaquoddy bay in the south. The St. Croix is one of the finest for quiet
water canoe camping trips. A true gem, the St. Croix has been designated as a
Canadian Heritage River; scenic, steeped in history and abundant with wildlife.
It is ideal for canoeing, camping and family river trips. It is a perfect
introduction to camping and easy paddling. The St Croix has major nesting areas
for the American Bald Eagle, and has a generous moose population. The fishing is
excellent and includes landlocked salmon and smallmouth bass.
The St. Croix River has several notable features including its gentle but challenging whitewater, its sustained water flow all season long, and the uniqueness of paddling along an international boundary. The river basin is a blend of rolling wooded hills, extensive wetlands and marshes and lakes, granite outcrops and glacial deposits.
The St. Croix River provides many outstanding recreational opportunities. In 1982, it received special recognition and protection by a New Brunswick Order-in-Council declaring it the St. Croix Waterway Recreation Area. In the same year, the Maine Department of Conservation, in cooperation with the U.S. National Parks Service, conducted a comprehensive assessment of Maine’s river resources, which came to be known as the Maine Rivers Study. The Maine Rivers Study classifies the St. Croix River as an ‘A’ river, and the Maine Rivers Act singled it out for special consideration due to its status as an international boundary.
Its designation as a Canadian Heritage River in 1991 was based in large part on the wide variety of recreational uses which it provides:
|•||Touring by canoe for paddlers of all skill levels on lakes and navigable whitewater rapids;|
|•||Excellent fishing, particularly for land-locked salmon and small-mouth bass;|
|•||Viewing of wildlife and nature;|
|•||Hiking and backpacking;|
Many of the natural processes which have shaped Atlantic Canada’s geology and natural history over the past 400 million years are evident along the St. Croix. With its rocky tidal estuary, craggy narrow shorelines, open lakes, floodplains, marshes and bogs, the river provides a unique habitat for many plant and animal species. Major natural heritage features associated with the St. Croix River are:
|•||Rock formations with readily visible signs of uplifting, folding, and faulting and of the effects of glaciations on re-shaping the landscape;|
|•||Provincially significant fossil deposits at Sand Point;|
|•||Thirteen plant species known to be rare in this area, such as the cardinal flower, high bush blueberry and viburnum;|
|•||The endangered bald eagle and more abundant osprey which can be frequently sighted; and|
|•||A beautiful maritime river landscape with thick wooded areas, open lakes, narrow river corridors and a large tidal estuary.|
The St. Croix played an important role in Canadian history in both the periods before European exploration and settlement, and after. Among its many points of historical interest are:
|•||Important archaeological sites showing evidence of 4,000 years of settlement by native cultures such as the Susquehanna Indians, and the first evidence of the Meadowood Culture found in Atlantic Canada;|
|•||The International Historic Site of St. Croix Island where in 1604 the explorers Sieur de Monts and Samuel de Champlain landed and established the first European settlement in North America north of Florida;|
|•||The St. Croix’s role as a political boundary, which dates from 1621 when it separated the English and Acadian settlements;|
|•||The area’s role in the development of the railways, as seen in the McAdam Railway Station which was built in 1900 by the Canadian Pacific Railway and is now a National Historic Site.|
The St. Croix River has been a natural, cultural and political boundary between Canada and the United States for many generations. Due to its strategic location, the river has played a unique role in the history of Maritime Canada and and the U.S. and is still important for these reasons today. Its fascinating natural and historical resources can be viewed and visited within an easy day’s drive from all major population centers of New Brunswick and from many in the northeastern United States.
The first of the lakes in the Allagash waterway is Located in Aroostook County, Telos lake has 6 primitive campsites that are equipped with picnic tables, fire place’s, ridgepoles and privy’s. Telos Public Reserved Land surrounds Telos Lake and the southern end of Chamberlain Lake, which is located off private roadways northwest of Baxter State Park. The area is well known for attracting anglers, canoeist and campers.
Attractions - Telos Public Reserved Land is a 23,000-acre unit that surrounds Telos Lake and the southern end of Chamberlain Lake, which is located off private roadways northwest of Baxter State Park. In 1840 Roberts-Strickland built a dam at the head of Telos. He along with his crew also dug a ditch 500 feet long by 50 – 60 feet wide in an existing ravine down stream. As the spring run offs and rains came the vast amount of water carved new channel that was used to bring the logs to the mills in Bangor.
Recreation - Simple recreation is offered at Telos Public Reserved Land including canoeing, fishing and picnicking. Optimum viewing opportunities of plant life and wildlife await the visitor. A campsite is located on Coffelos Pond, which is popular with anglers. The State of Maine is a member of North Maine Woods, an organization that manages recreation on nearly three million acres in northern Maine. Day use and camping fees collected at various checkpoints defray the costs of managing public access and maintaining recreation facilities.
This Lake is surrounded by 9,557 acres of public reserve land with nearly 30 primitive campsites. All campsites are equipped with picnic tables, fire pits, ridgepoles and privy. Chamberlain Lake is a great place for canoeing and hiking. Chamberlain Lake is the second lake in the Allagash River trip and often a favorite starting point.
Attractions - Chamberlain Lake has some interesting historic features. Halfway up the lake is the Chamberlain Farm. This was built back in the 1850’s by David Pingree to serve his lumber crews. Although the site is mostly forested now there used to be 300-acre fields, teams of horses and many buildings. Out in front of the Farm there is still part of the George A. Dugan a steamship 71’ long and had a 20’ beam that once pulled pulpwood to Telos Lake for Great Northern Paper. Three quarters of the way up the lake there is Lock Dam. The Dam was constructed in 1840 also by David Pingree to divert the water flow to the East Branch of the Penobscot River for driving logs to the lumber mills in Bangor. This was not well received by the Canadian loggers that used the flow of water to get their lumber to the St. John River. At the head of the lake there is an abandoned Cable Tramway that was built in 1902. The Tramway carried 500,000 board feet of logs a day from Eagle Lake, and was quite an operation in its day. This lake defiantly has a lot of history attached to it.
Recreation - This beautiful remote area is a haven for canoeists, kayakers and hikers. Fish for big Brook Trout, Togue, and Whitefish Viewing scenery is unsurpassed. Moose, bear, deer and other mammals thrive in these woodlands. Day use and camping fees collected at various checkpoints defray the costs of managing public access and maintaining recreation facilities.
Eagle Lake is the third lake in the Allagash Wilderness waterway and is just Northeast of Chamberlain Lake. Lock Dam separates these two lakes. There are 25 primitive campsites on Eagle and all are equipped with picnic tables, fire pits, ridgepoles and privy. Eagle Lake is an outdoor haven for those wishing to experience a remote territory for camping and canoeing.
Attractions – Eagle Lake has some very interesting and beautiful sites to see. There is an abandoned Eagle lake and Umbazooksus Railroad that was built in 1925. The railroad hauled 125,000 cords of pulpwood each year. The remains of two giant oil burning steam locomotives that were built in Ithaca NY and hauled by rail to Lac Frontier, Quebec. Then transported to the present location by Lombard Log Haulers over 50 miles of frozen ground are a startling site as they stand near the Shore of Eagle Lake. Eagle Lake was a very bustling place in the 18 and early 1900’s. It had a large Railroad station, Stores, hotel, church and company offices.
Recreation - This beautiful very remote area is a haven for canoeists, kayakers and campers. Fish for great Brook trout and Togue. There are size restrictions on canoe and Kayak on this lake. Boat motors over 10 hsp. are not permitted. Viewing scenery is unsurpassed. Moose, bear, deer and other mammals thrive in these woodlands. Day use and camping fees collected at various checkpoints defray the costs of managing public access and maintaining recreation facilities.
Churchill Lake is the fourth lake in the chain of lakes in the Allagash wilderness waterway and is the headwaters of the Allagash River. Churchill Lake offers eleven primitive campsites that are equipped with picnic tables, fire pits, ridgepoles and privy. Churchill Lake is often the place where the shorter Allagash river trips start. The first dam on Churchill Lake was built in the 1800’s by Ed “King” LaCroix to service his woods operations. Angry Canadian loggers dynamited the dam and Mother Nature has also taken it out in the past as well.
Recreation- camping, canoeing, hiking and fishing for Brook Trout are common activities on this lake. There are size restrictions on canoe and Kayaks on this lake. Boat motors over 10 hsp. are not permitted. Churchill Lake is a beautiful and scenic lake with an abundance of wildlife. Day use and camping fees collected at various checkpoints defray the costs of managing public access and maintaining recreation facilities.
Chesuncook Lake is the third largest lake in Maine. It is also the first lake you come to on the West Branch Penobscot trip. There are 18 campsites and 3 group campsites on Chesuncook Lake. All campsites have picnic tables, Fireplaces and privies. Due to the fact that this lake is a popular camping area, visitors are not allowed more than 7 nights on this lake at once.
Attractions- Chesuncook Village is a popular stop for canoeist, In the lumbering days gone by this was a bustling community that had a school, post office (which had its own stamp- these stamps are rare), stores, hotels, boarding houses, its own town government and a church. Sunday services are still held in June, July and August. In 1853 Henry David Thoreau Paddled these same waters when he explored the river via Moosehead Lake.
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