Dave Conley Master Maine Guide and owner of Canoe the Wild, has been paddling the rivers of Maine and Canada since 1985. During the school year, Dave teaches an outdoor education program at East Grand High School in Danforth, ME, host to the annual East Grand Adventure Race. In the fall, guided moose hunts are offered in northern Maine.

MEET DAVE

I grew up in the mid coast Maine town of Boothbay Harbor with my parents, Ervin and Jane Conley, and three siblings, Tari, Jan, and Mark.  I have fond memories in the fall at the age of 11 getting up hours before sunrise to travel to Pemaquid Stream with my father to go duck hunting. We would launch our wood canvas canoe well before first light, paddle up the Pemaquid Stream, setting out decoys and wait for first light. I think it was here that I fell in love with being outdoors on the water, and I am so thankful for a father that introduced me to hunting at a young age.

As a teenager, my passion for the water continued when my father loaned me $2,500 to buy a used 14’ wooden flat-bottom lobstering skiff, new 25 HP Evinrude outboard motor, and 25 lobster traps to get started. I was able to pay him back in just two seasons. This passion of being on the water continued through my high school years, spending summers on the Sheepscot River pulling traps by hand.

During my college years I worked summers in the family business but longed for a place less crowded than the mid coast region. I found what I was looking for in northern Maine. It was here I developed and oversaw a canoe tripping program in the East Grand Lake area for a summer camp. I enjoyed 21 summers paddling the rivers of Maine and Canada in my Old Town canoe, introducing others to the great outdoors while assisting with developing outdoor living and paddling skills.

Obtaining my Maine Guide license in the early 90’s was a prerequisite to starting my Canoe The Wild guiding business. The tripping season here runs from late May to mid-September, leaving time for other ventures such as guiding moose hunts in the fall from remote camps, overseeing an outdoor education program for students at the East Grand School since the mid-90’s, and selling Christmas trees and wreaths in Central Virginia for the past 27 years.

What I’ve discovered with the guiding business is that there are plenty of people looking for the exact same feeling I experienced at a young age on Pemaquid Stream, a desire to experience the outdoors with a break from daily routines. People of all ages and experience levels take part in our guided canoe trips. Many will take part in canoe camping for the first time this summer. Trip highlights include young people (freed of electronics) flourishing on the river and around the campsite, taking in a simpler way of life such as collecting fire wood, learning to use a saw and ax, building a campfire, catching a fish, hanging around the campfire, star gazing after dark, spotting and identifying wildlife such as moose, and experiencing the song of the loons.

I see a lot of recent growth within the guiding industry for a few simple reasons. Guided trips provide people with a quality, safe, and well-organized experience. Families, private groups and individuals choose guided trips to leave the pre-trip planning, logistics, gear and meals for the guide to take care of.

Each season, we offer about 12-15 trips with 3-5 day trips being the most popular for first timers, and the more adventuresome choosing a week or longer on a whitewater canoeing trip in Quebec.(see 2018 summer schedule).

For more information about Canoe The Wild, Dave’s guiding company, visit their website for at www.canoethewild.comBe sure to check back in May for Dave’s first educational article!

https://www.oldtowncanoe.com/blog/article/canoe-tips-dave-conley

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Looking for a great Maine summer vacation? Need a canoe guide and outfitter? Canoe the Wild offers guided canoes trips on the Allagash from 4- 8 days in duration. The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is Maine’s best known canoe trip and has attracted paddler’s for more than a century. Henry David Thoreau ventured into this region more than 150 years ago by traveling into the Allagash via the Mud Pond Carry from the West Penobscot watershed. The legendary Allagash is Maine’s only designated Wild and Scenic River.

Allagash canoe trips are popular with families, scouts, teens, summer camps, as well as adult and youth groups. With its easy flowing river sections and its moderate whitewater on Chase Stream Rapids, the Allagash is well suited for ages 12 and up. It is one of the few eastern rivers that can be paddled for a week or longer without coming into contact with modern civilization.

If you’re hoping to encounter wildlife, the Allagash is where you want to be. It has consistently been our best Maine canoe trip for spotting wildlife, including moose and eagles. With numerous put in and take out locations, outings can be planned from four to ten days. Pictures below are of a September canoe trip on the Allagash during 2017

Planning on vacationing in Maine this summer? Looking for some adventure for your family or group? Here is a great Maine summer vacation idea for exploring Maine while traveling in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Canoeing on the East Branch of the Penobscot River, 3 days from Matagamon Lake to Whetstone Falls. Trip involves paddling several class II rapids and portaging around Haskell, Pond, Grand, and Hulling Machine Falls. Canoe the Wild offers this trip fully outfitted and guided for your family or group. All you will need is a few changes of clothing and and sleeping bag, and we’ll take care of the rest including having your vehicle moved to the takeout location. while no previous experience is necessary while on this guided canoe trip, being in good physical condition is important.  Contact Canoe the Wild to plan your next Maine summer outing.     

Canoe the Wild offers group outings for your corporation, large or small. Canoe trips can be 3 days and 2 nights on the St. Croix River. No previous experience is necessary. We provide all meals, necessary equipment and have your vehicles moved to trip’s end. Instruction given as necessary. Contact Canoe the Wild to discuss a custom Maine canoe trip for your group.

Custom Maine Family canoe trip with the Maxcy family on the Allagash River. A quality time  without the every day distractions experienced back home. Instead of cell phones ringing….loons cried! No motorized sounds, just the sucking sound of paddles working up swirls of water with each stroke. The crackling of the fire signaled a hot drink or meal being cooked. The sound of this wilderness place was refreshing.

Canoe the Wild offers outfitted and guided custom canoe trips for school, youth, scout, adult, friends, family groups. Pictured here is a school group while on a 3 day St. Croix River Canoe Trip. Maine River trips are ideal for your next group outing. Canoe the Wild can fully outfit and guide your  group. everything is provided and all your group members will need are a few changes of clothing and sleeping bag, we’ll take care of the rest. Visit Maine on your next summer vacation.  Contact Canoe the wild to discuss putting a trip together for your group.

Pictures highlighting Canoe the Wild’s 2017 canoeing season on the Allagash, Penobscot, St. Croix, Bonaventure and Mattawamkeag Rivers. Be sure to check out our 2018 canoe trip schedule here.