AWWF Blog

 

Wilderness Guide Gardner Defoe Inspires Fund in His Name

Legendary Maine Wilderness Guide Gardner Defoe led groups of youth down Maine rivers for over 25 years. A recent film called, Defoe’s Way, produced by O'Maine Studios and funded by L.L. Bean, tells the inspiring story of Defoe's life and his many journeys down the Allagash River. The alumni of these programs were profoundly changed by Defoe's trips and their time on the Allagash. To honor their mentor and provide this same incredible opportunity to Maine youth, this group has created the Gardner Defoe Allagash Access Fund. Funds raised will be used to support wilderness trips for northern Maine youth through the Allagash Waterway Foundation Youth ...

Ice Out at Allagash Lake

Allagash Lake is the Holy Grail for fishing in Maine.  With vehicular access limited to a mile or more from the shore, and motorized equipment off limits there, a trip to Allagash Lake is among the last of Maine’s true wilderness adventures. Spring, around the time of ice out, is a very special time for anglers at Allagash Lake.  That’s not to say that all seasons don’t have a special allure, but spring ushers in the rebirth of life in the woods after a long winter.  As the woods shed the last shards of their winter blanket of snow, the lake’s ice sheet changes in color ...

I Had Paddled Many Rivers in Maine, But Never the Allagash

Although I had worked along different stretches of the Allagash starting when I was fresh out of college in 1979, my first canoe trip down the entire river was with my daughters, my husband, and a few friends in 1999. I’d paddled many rivers in Maine, but never the Allagash. It seemed like an ideal river for a family adventure. We poled through Mud Pond Carry, then spent the next seven days paddling to Dickey. We swam in rapids, fished, visited the locomotives, climbed the Round Pond fire tower, got eaten by black flies, and saw a dozen moose. My favorite memory is of the faces of my then six- and eight-year-old daughters as ...

The First Time I Realized the Allagash Flowed North

I probably need to fact check the year, but if memory serves me, then I think 1979 or 1980 (age 20) was the year I made my first trip to the Allagash. I had done a lot of backpacking, some canoeing overnights, and some whitewater paddling, but this was my first multi-night canoe adventure in Northern Maine. I had done some work with the outdoor program at UMaine and bought a damaged Old Town Tripper from that program a couple years earlier. My college friend Mike Curry talked about the trip for a couple of months, and we decided to do it at ...

The Allagash is a Gem That Needs All the Support We Can Muster

Most of my initial dealings with the Allagash Wilderness Waterway were work related. While I had read about and dreamed of a trip on the Allagash for years that didn’t really occur until after I went to work for the Department of Conservation as its Personnel Manager in 1984. It was then my job to learn what folks working for the Department really did. That included the special job classifications of Supervisor AWW and Allagash Ranger. My first visits to the AWW were meeting with then-Supervisor Tim Caverly and some of his Rangers and being shown many of the natural and scenic ...

My Days and Nights on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway

pj_attean-lktSince 1978, my connection with the Allagash Wilderness Waterway has been more work related than recreational, though I can confess to some very memorable days of fishing, both winter and summer, on Allagash and Chamberlain lakes. As a fishery biologist I was fortunate to have the AWW headwater lakes in my region, and to have spent time there checking anglers and their catch, as well as surveying the waters and their fish populations. The brook trout, lake trout (togue), lake whitefish, and burbot (cusk) populations in AWW waters are native. They exist today much as they have since long before Europeans set ...

My First Encounters with the Allagash

chamberlain-lake_calmMy first encounters with the Allagash were by air, with limited time on the water. In June 1955, I accompanied Governor Muskie on a flight to Chamberlain Lake, where he met with Al Nugent of Nugent Camps to discuss Mr. Nugent’s concerns about clear-cut lumbering operations and the threat of shore-land development. Then we flew to Allagash Lake for a weekend of fishing. I didn’t return to the area until the 1962-1966 period, when, as Senator Muskie’s administrative assistant, I was responsible for negotiating on his behalf with legislators, the Executive Director of the Maine Parks and Recreation Commission, Maine Forestry Commissioner, ...
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    The Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation accepts both unrestricted and targeted gifts to fulfill our mission to support the Waterway.

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