Archives for posts with tag: St Croix River

Here is my latest blog entry for Old Town Canoe.  Visit Canoe the Wild for our 2019 summer canoe trip schedule

December 20, 2018
DSC_7428

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO CANOE CAMPING

As I am writing this blog entry, the power went out due to a wind storm so I grabbed a book, a lantern and landed on the couch and was half way through a good read when the power snapped back on. It was while the power was out, I realized just how dependent I have become on electronic devices and the internet. Having put in over 80 tech free days this past season on rivers and in the woods. I was reminded why people are looking for these same meaningful experiences. Experiences that are back to the basics, free of distractions and include meaningful time with friends and family and when I say friends, I mean friends in person, not the electronic kind of friend via social media. Most people are looking for an authentic wilderness experience that is not over the top when it comes to being physically demanding and canoe camping can be a great fit. Over the past few summers, I have seen a good increase in those taking part in canoe camping trips, many for the first time! I often have young families that take part in our 3 or 4 day canoe trips on the St. Croix River and Allagash as part of their overall summer vacation while in the northeast. The feedback I receive overwhelmingly is the kids enjoyed the canoe camping part of their vacation the most and the reason being, they were engaged every step of the way, engaged with family members and friends, engaged hands on with paddling, setting up camp, building a fire, swimming, catching a frog, fishing for the first time and the list goes on. It’s like people are rediscovering the outdoors again after a decade or two of too much screen time. What makes canoe camping so appealing, is anyone can do it. While there are some physically demanding canoe trips that require a high level of skill, there are many canoe trips well suited for the novice and first timer. You don’t need to be an athlete in order to take part. I had a grandmother from Texas in her 70s in the bow of my canoe during my last Allagash canoe trip, it was her first canoe trip and she loved it! When planning for a canoe camping trip, here are a few things that you’ll want to consider.

KNOW THYSELF: WHAT IS YOUR CANOE SKILL LEVEL AND ADVENTURE?

When taking part in a guided canoe trip, the guide takes care of all the logistics which usually includes all necessary camping gear, canoes, meals, transportation to and from the river and knowledge of the canoe route and how much time to build in to the daily schedule to get to the next campsite with extra time built in if necessary. First timers are put at ease knowing all the details are taken careful and critical decision making is handled by the guides. But not all can afford a guided canoe trip and others prefer to go on their own. Having good camping and canoeing skills, knowledge of your intended trip, and good judgement are important.

When planning your own canoe camping trip, the internet has a wealth of information to help you with the planning and trip preparation process. Things to consider include your group/families’ skill level and physical abilities? Level of difficulty of the desired trip. Is it a flat-water trip on lakes or an easy flowing river? A trip with some whitewater canoeing with lively water and perhaps a few class II rapids or a solid class II-III whitewater canoeing adventure with lots of lively rapids that require solid paddling skills in moving water?

How many days are needed including travel to and from the canoe/camping trip? How much and what types of gear will I need? How to keep gear and clothing dry and secure within the canoes? What are the best times to go, spring, summer or fall? How to plan and pack for the right season? I have awakened to snow on the ground and ice in the water pail while guiding Allagash canoe trips in late May and paddled in Snow Squalls in early June on the St. John River.

CANOE CAMPING TRIPS

When planning your trip, you’ll want to know what is available for campsites? Are picnic tables and a fire pit provided? Are campfires allowed and is a fire permit required or will you need to bring a cooking stove? Are advanced reservations necessary? Is there a fee charged for camping and accessing the river or is it on a first come first serve basis? Are outhouses available or is it just pristine camping where you’ll have to dig a cat hole?

Getting There

Can you drive to the launch location or will you need to hire a transport or shuttle service to bring you in? When taking your own vehicle, do you have the right vehicle for the type of road system to get to and from? For example, Maine’s Allagash River trip can involve driving over 100 miles on dirt roads and 10 ply rated tires with 2 good spares and tools to change are recommended. Travel over freshly grated roads and your chances of a flat tire just increased. Many hire a transport service to take them into their launch location, while others pay to have their vehicle moved to trip’s end.  More remote canoe trips may involve flying into the head waters with a float plane which can add significant cost to the trip.  We do trips in northern Quebec that require taking along extra cans of fuel so we can make it back out at trip’s end.

Here is a list of popular river trips of varying degrees of difficulty and duration.

  • The Buffalo National River, Arkansas
  • Green River, Utah
  • Northern Forest Canoe Trail in New England
  • The Everglades National Park
  • Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Maine

Let’s take a closer look.

Floating the Buffalo National River, Arkansas

The Buffalo River flows freely for 151 miles offering floats of varying degrees of difficulty and varies from month to month depending upon rainfall. March through June is the typical time for floating the upper Buffalo River.  One of the most popular sections of river is a day float from Steel Creek to Kyles Landing, a distance of 8 miles and can be done in 4-5 hours. This float meanders through the heart of the Ponca Wilderness past towering bluffs, side canyons, and remnants of early settlers. Popular one night and two day trips begin in Woolum and end in Gilbert, 29 miles downstream, two night and three day trips from Grinder’s Ferry to Dillard’s Ferry , 25.7 miles. Campgrounds are available Near Steel Creek and Lyles Landing.   More information here: https://www.nps.gov/buff/index.htm

 

The Green River, Utah

The Green River offers a great back country flat water canoeing adventure, with great scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities. It is a fantastic trip for families with younger children and no rapids to worry about.  Less busy than the Colorado, with numerous put in and takeout locations, the trip can be 3 days up to two weeks.

With two main sections; Labyrinth Canyon, the upper section is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Stillwater Canyon is the lower section in Canyonlands National Park.

Labyrinth Canyon is more popular with groups desiring shorter trips and those on a tighter budget. You can launch at Green River State Park and spot a shuttle car at Ruby Ranch or Mineral Bottom for the take-out. The BLM permit is free, but Green River and Ruby Ranch charge nominal fees to use their boat ramps.

Stillwater Canyon is more remote with the only take-out option of hiring a jet boat shuttle from the Confluence to bring you back upstream to Moab on the Colorado River. The NPS also charges permit fees of $30/permit + $30/person. This section is most popular with experienced canoers and those who want to see Canyonlands from the river. A permit is required for all overnight flat-water trips in Canyonlands. More information here: https://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/flatwater.htm

 

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail 

For the canoe camper looking for an extended canoe trip experience, the NFCT is a 740-mile canoeing trail in the northeastern United States and Canada. The trip begins at Old Forge in the Adirondacks of New York and ends in Fort Kent, northern Maine. The trail also passes through the states and provinces of VermontQuebec, and New Hampshire.

Liken to the Appalachian Trail, both are long-distance trails that people will use for day trips or short overnight trips. Many of those who paddle the entire trail will do so in sections. Many sections of the trail are physically demanding with lengthy portages and require a high level of skill to complete.

The trail follows traditional travel routes used by Native American, settlers and guides. It is the longest inland water trail in the nation. It consists of the following:

23 rivers and streams

59 lakes and ponds

45 communities

65 portages (70-plus miles)

For more information about the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, visit:  https://www.northernforestcanoetrail.org/

 

Everglades National Park, Florida

The Everglades National Park offers many paddling opportunities to explore the natural beauty of this park through freshwater marsh, mangrove forests, and the open waters of Florida Bay!

Canoe and kayak trips range from a few hours to several days depending on length and complexity of the trail. You can bring your own canoe or kayak and launch from several locations around the park or rentals are available at the Flamingo Marina or Gulf Coast Visitor Center. Alternatively, you could hire a permitted guide who will outfit your trip and lead your adventure.

For multi-day trips in Florida Bay and the 10,000 Islands or along the 99 mile wilderness waterway require careful planning, but are well worth the experience. Day Canoe & Kayak Trips include Flamingo’s Canoe TrailsThese trails (located 38 miles south of the main park entrance in homestead) range from beginner to advanced and can be accessed from launch areas in the Flamingo Marina or along the main park road as you approach Flamingo. Nine Mile Pond: This is a favorite canoe/kayak location easily accessible off the main park road just before you enter the Flamingo district of the park. Hell’s Bay – This is a favorite of those wanting to paddle through the mangroves – a bit buggy during the summer season – otherwise a challenging trail but quite popular. Also accessible off the main park road south of the Homestead Entrance. Gulf Coast Paddling Guide – This area of the park is on Florida’s west coast, accessible through Everglades City.

Best Times to Camp in the Everglades National Park

Winter is the best season to go. Summers are hot, muggy, and mosquitoes are plentiful.

Feeding wildlife anywhere in the park is prohibited. Use caution around campsites where alligators or other wildlife may have been fed or gained access to human food. If wildlife associate humans with food, they may exhibit more assertive behaviors.

For more information and to plan your Everglades canoe or Kayak trip: https://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/canoe-and-kayak-trails.htm

 

The Allagash Wilderness Waterway

The upper most section of the Northern Forest Canoe Trip, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway is a state park and Maine’s only designated wild and Scenic River.  The Allagash 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. 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. It’s one of the few eastern rivers that can be paddled for a week or longer without coming into contact with modern civilization.

Wildlife Viewing opportunities, if you’re hoping to encounter wildlife, the Allagash is where you want to be. It has consistently been Maine’s best 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 or longer.

The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is not a place for the inexperienced person. Lack of experience and poor judgment can lead to considerable discomfort and being submerged in cold water especially early and late in the season can be fatal in a matter of minutes. There are numerous Maine guides and outfitters (Canoe the Wild) that can make your experience safe and memorable. More information here about the Allagash Wilderness Waterway: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/water_activities/aww-river-conditions.shtml

CANOE CAMPING GEAR YOU’LL WANT TO PACK

It is important to know what types of camping gear and clothing you will need for your desired trip and dates. While an early or late trip on the Northern Forest Canoe Trial may involve freezing temperatures, during the summer months temperatures may reach into the upper 90s.  What makes canoe camping so attractive is the room you’ll have for gear and food. When guiding canoe trips on the Allagash and St. Croix river, I bring two large coolers along, the size that fits long ways between the gunnels. One cooler is for frozen foods including breakfast, lunch and dinner meats and fish while the other cooler contains mostly fresh produce and dairy. The larger the group, the more canoes that you can spread around community gear to. It is important to bring your gear in waterproof bags, barrels or trip boxes and properly securing them in your canoe in the event of an upset. Soft packs of various sizes are a great choice as they waterproof your gear and are easy to stow. You’ll want a detailed camping checklist of personal clothing including base and insulating layers of wool and synthetics for warmth, and outer layers for shielding yourself from the sun, wind and rain. Foot ware should provide protection for your feet, have good tread to avoid slipping and falling on rocks. Other items needed include Nestling pots, cooking and eating utensils, camp stove with extra fuel, free standing compact sleeping tents, a group tarp with nylon cords, and a well-stocked first aid kit are necessary items on your trip.  A type III life jacket is recommended and Old Town canoe offers numerous style type III life jackets .

Here is a sample list I provide my canoe guests when packing for a typical week-long canoe trip. Personal gear lists will vary based on seasons, location, type of trip (flat or whitewater) and duration.

Canoe Trip Personal Gear List (7 days, Spring, summer and fall)

  • Dry Bag for your personal clothing and sleeping bag (115 liter)
  • Dry Bag to use as a day bag (20 or 30 liter)
  • Sleeping Pad (closed cell or self-inflating)
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Sleeping Bag (20 degree F.  bag or warmer, compact and packable)
  • Quality rain coat & rain pants
  • 2 Warm synthetic or wool tops for cool weather.
  • Long underwear (top & bottom lightweight, synthetic or polypropylene are best)
  • Knit or felt hat in case of cold or rainy weather
  • Heavy duty Crocks for around the campsite
  • Hiking boots for around the campsite and short hikes (This pair you will never want to wear on the river so as to prevent having both pairs of shoes getting wet!)
  • 1 pair of river shoes for canoeing and wading WITH GOOD TRACTION AND PROPER FITTING (Old sneakers with smart wool socks or similar)
  • 2 quick drying pants (synthetic is best, no jeans as they don’t dry well when wet)
  • 3-4 pair wool socks (synthetic or wool is best…smart wool)
  • 2 pair cotton socks
  • 3-4 pair underwear (at least 2 are synthetic)
  • 4 undershirts (at least two are synthetic)
  • 1 quick drying long sleeve shirt light in color (bugs and sun). Avoid navy blue, brown and black colors…these colors attract bugs. Note: bugs should not be bad during July and August unless it has been rainy followed by warm weather.
  • 1 compact towel
  • 1 pair shorts
  • Swim suit
  • Hat with visor (sun)
  • Sunblock
  • 1 bandanna
  • Small flashlight or headlamp (extra batteries)
  • Personal toiletries: toothpaste & brush, deodorant.
  • Several gallon size ziploc bags to organize stuff in
  • Pocket knife or one that you wear in a sheath on your belt
  • 2-Wide mouth personal water bottles (quart size or similar, stainless steel, plastic or Lexan…no glass)

OPTIONAL GEAR LIST

  • ( ) Fishing gear ( ) camera ( ) lip balm ( ) lotion ( ) Medications ( ) spare eye glasses ( ) bug net ( ) Paddling gloves ( ) extra set of base layer with heavy wool socks and knit hat for sleeping in

Sample Master Gear Check List

  • Canoes
  • Paddles
  • Rescue Throw Bag
  • Z Drag kit (all trips beyond fat water trips)
  • Kitchen Box (with separate list)
  • Food Boxes or barrels
  • Tents
  • Tarp
  • Folding Chairs
  • Dish Wash Kit
  • Fry Pan
  • Drinking water
  • Roll up table
  • Grate
  • Grill
  • Axe
  • Saw
  • Camp Shovel
  • Toilet Paper
  • Life-jackets
  • Tool Repair kit and spare parts
  • Bailers
  • Lashing Straps/cords
  • Water Filtration & Spare filter
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sleeping Pads
  • Large River Bags
  • Day Bag
  • Paperwork (Maps & permits)
  • Camera in hard case
  • Cooler
  • Frozen water jugs or block ice
  • In Reach Sat. Communicator
  • Meals (separate list)

Note: Bringing fresh foods in a cooler allows you to eat quite well. Our Canoe the Wild trip meals include fresh fruits, vegetables, slaw mixes, fish and meats. For trips with lengthy portages, lighten the load by leaving the bulky hard sided cooler at home and plan a menu with more dried and dehydrated foods. Another option is to bring a soft pack cooler with shoulder carrying straps for the portage trail. Freeze all steaks, fish, meats for sauces, breakfast and sandwich meats and you’ll eat quite well. Depending on the time of year and temperatures, don’t plan on more than 2 or 3 days with the soft pack as your ice will melt much quicker than a hard-sided cooler.

Advertisements

Here is a look back at our 2018 canoeing season. We had a record season with 141 people of all ages on 15 outings on the St. Croix, Allagash, Spednic Lake, Bonaventure and NE Mistissibi Rivers!  All trips are fully outfitted and guided and with most trips, no previous experience is necessary.  Meals are fantastic and our gear and canoes are new or like new. We hope to see you on a future canoe trip!  So when planning your Maine 2019 summer vacation, why not check out our 2019 schedule and join us on a canoe trip? All you will need is what is on your personal gear list and sleeping bag and we’ll take care of the rest including basic canoeing instruction as necessary.

Day canoe trip on the St. Croix River with East Grand school students. Check out our 2019 schedule for St. Croix, Allagash and Bonaventure River canoe trips!  Trips are fully outfitted and guided.

Let a Maine guide show you the way. Here is another custom group canoe trip here in Maine on the St. Croix River with Canoe the Wild. Canoe the Wild can assist you with your  custom family, private, corporate, scouts, youth group outings from 3 to 5 days in duration on the St. Croix and other Maine Rivers. Canoe trips and river tours make for great affordable Maine summer vacations. Canoe trips are fully outfitted and guided.

A guided Maine canoe trip with Canoe the Wild on Spednic Lake offering great small mouth bass fishing and beautiful scenery. Spednic Lake is located above the St. Croix River and below East Grand Lake. Another Maine canoe trip that makes for a great Maine summer vacation include 4 days or longer on the Allagash River.

Looking for adventure while vacationing in Maine this summer? How about Canoe camping with kids on Maine’s Allagash and St. Croix Rivers? Pictured here is the Kellner family on a recent memorial day weekend Allagash canoe trip. Kids thrive in the outdoors as they explore, play, learn new skills and tire themselves out while having so much fun!  Plan your Maine summer vacation that is experiential in nature and your kids will love it! Canoe the wild provides friendly competent Maine guides, all necessary equipment, meals and instruction as needed. Visit our 2018 summer schedule to view 3 to 6 day options. Contact Canoe the Wild to discuss your desired trip.

MAINE’S BEST 3 & 4 DAY CANOE TRIPS

Throughout 2018 we will feature a series of articles from guest-blogger Dave Conley, Master Maine Guide and owner of Canoe The Wild, a canoe guiding operation in Maine’s Grand Lake region. Dave’s decades of experience guiding canoe trips on North America’s most scenic, and challenging, rivers has given him a wealth of knowledge on everything from trip planning and paddle techniques to wilderness cooking and safety protocol. We hope his wisdom inspires you to get out and plan an adventure of your own.

While many streams and rivers become unreliable for canoe tripping after the spring runoff, plans can be made throughout the summer on the St. Croix, Penobscot and Allagash Rivers due to dams at their headwater lakes. Even in a dry season, enough water is usually released to make a trip possible.  For ideal short Maine canoe trips, I have chosen to feature three days on the St. Croix River and four days on the Allagash.

Old Town canoe trips on the St. Croix river in Old Town Discovery.

THE ST. CROIX RIVER

Designated as a Canadian Heritage River, the St. Croix flows along the eastern Maine border with New Brunswick, Canada, offering great wilderness scenery, moderate whitewater, maintained campsites and fishing for small mouth bass. The St Croix is well suited for families and groups of all ages with little or no experience and can be paddled all summer long.

With miles of quick water, numerous class I rapids, and a couple of class II rapids that can be paddled, lined or portaged, it’s easy to see why the St. Croix is one of Maine’s best canoe trips. The St. Croix is an ideal river to learn and improve basic paddling and camping skills. The more advanced paddler will appreciate the quick water, numerous rapids and may even want to try their skill at solo paddling or canoe poling.

Campsites located on the river’s edge are rustic, with picnic tables, fire pit, outbox and space to pitch tents. Cooking can be over an open fire and or a compact camping stove. A more relaxed schedule allows time to swim, fish, read a book, and enjoy quality time with friends and family.

With numerous starting and ending points, a trip from 1-7 days is possible.

Paddling the St. Croix river in an Old Town Discovery canoe.

For the 3-day option with a more relaxed schedule (remember you’re on vacation), starting in Vanceboro and taking out at Loon Bay, three days and 20 miles later is recommended. Keep in mind on day one, factor in for traveling to Vanceboro that morning, unloading, loading canoes, and connecting with your shuttle driver.  Launching typically happens mid-morning.  Arriving at your first campsite upriver of Little Falls by early afternoon allows time for setting up camp and other chores such as collecting, sawing and splitting fire wood, fetching water for cooking and washing, meal preparations and cooking. You’ll want a little down time to enjoy fishing for small mouth bass, taking a swim or possibly exploring by canoe. Before you know it, it’s time to eat supper and it’s nice to finish up the dishes before dark! On day two, you’ll take on Little Falls which, depending upon water level is typically an easy class II rapid. You’ll want to scout this rapid to view obstacles and plan your best route. Portaging is an option. Camping in the Scott’s Brook to Split Rock area campsites are just about right for day two. On the last day, you’ll want to be underway by 9-9:30 AM, arriving at Loon Bay around noontime or early afternoon. This allows time to load up and be on your way home or to your next destination be late afternoon or early evening.

THE ALLAGASH WILDERNESS WATERWAY

The Allagash 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 Maine’s best 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.

The best times to paddle the Allagash depend on what you’re looking for. Late May through mid-June is less travelled and the optimal time for brook trout fishing but be prepared for black flies and Mosquitoes. Late June through Labor Day weekend is the most popular time to paddle the Allagash. The days are warm and nights are cool. Early fall is an excellent time with fewer people, no bugs, and the beginning of fall colors.

At its headwaters, are numerous lakes including Chamberlain, Allagash, Eagle, and Churchill. The northern section taking you from Chase Stream Rapids to Allagash Village, involves mostly river travel; you’ll be paddling Umsuskis and Long Lakes, Round Pond, and portaging around 40′ Allagash Falls.

The region is rich in logging history, and there are numerous artifacts that can be explored from days gone by.  You’ll have a chance to visit the remains of Lombard stream haulers, a tramway from Eagle to Chamberlain Lake, and two locomotives on the shores of Eagle Lake.

Fly fishing on the Allagash River in northern Maine in an Old Town canoe.

With the four-day option, a trip from Round Pond to Allagash Village (35 miles) is recommended. Keep in mind that the first and last days typically tend to be ½ days on the river, launching around noontime of day one and ending by early afternoon of the last day. For those that want to put a few more miles on, start on Long Lake and end in Allagash Village (50 miles), but if you end up with a strong head wind when launching on Long Lake, you’ll lose a day of paddling as you’ll be camping near your launch location.

When launching at Henderson Bridge just upstream of Round Pond, you’ll more then likely arrive early afternoon on Round Pond with figuring in the morning drive in from Allagash Village, launching and time spent at a North Maine Woods gate. The North Maine Woods charges fees to cross their lands and collects fees for the state of Maine for being on the Allagash, which is a state park. When camping on Round Pond, you’re more than likely be treated to the song of the loon. If time permits, you can hike to the abandoned Round Pond Fire Tower, a 4.8-mile round trip with the trailhead being at the Tower Trial Campsite. Arriving early at camp on Round Pond and finishing up supper and chores, allows you daylight and time to paddle over to the inlet, a popular alder/marsh area where moose feed on aquatic vegetation anytime of the day with dawn and dusk being most active. Day two involves paddling on lively Round Pond Rips where precise bow maneuvers keeps the canoe off the rocks. Next will be Musquacook Deadwater, a great place to spot moose and bald eagles. Stop where Musquacook Stream enters the Allagash and take a few casts for brook trout! Choose a campsite that afternoon near Cunliffe Depot, Ramsey Ledges or push on to Allagash Falls. Be sure to stop just upstream of Cunliffe Depot on river right, where a path leads you back in time to the abandoned Lombard gas and stream haulers, once used to move logs to the river’s edge awaiting the spring runoff and log drive!

Approach Allagash Falls with caution and watch for the portage signs. The portage is on river right. Allagash Falls is a 40’ drop over many sharp rocks and outcroppings of ledge. After completing the portage, take time for lunch and exploring the falls. Some (with caution and checking for depth first) enjoy jumping from ledges well below and downstream from the falls, floating 50 yards or so before climbing out and repeating! Plan on camping at Allagash Falls or one of many sites just below Allagash Falls such as McKeen Brook and the Big Brook Campsites.  It is about a 3-hour paddle on day four, arriving in Allagash Village by early afternoon leaving you time to travel to points in central or southern Maine by evening.

WHAT A GUIDED TRIP WITH CANOE THE WILD OFFERS…

Excellent Instruction

Our guides will instruct you in the basics (as needed) on and off the river. We’ll go over how to handle a canoe including proper canoe strokes, how to work in sync with your canoe partner and reading the river. Guides will discuss potential river hazards and how to avoid them. Upon arriving at the campsite, guides discuss how to set up camp including setting up tents, group tarp and what needs to be done in the way of camp chores.

Knowledge and Experience of Canoe Routes

With years of experience, we’ve become quite efficient with the whole process including best times to go, places to start and end your trip, where to camp, what rapids to scout, river distances and time needed to travel, points of interest, and the knowledge & experience of your canoe route so you can have a safe and enjoyable time.

A Hands on Approach

We’ll be sure to include you in as much as you desire around the campsite. We welcome involvement with setting up and taking down camp. Most people desire hands on involvement with camp chores including meal preparation, fetching water, cooking, collecting and cutting firewood. Canoe trips are a great place to learn or improve upon skills such as proper canoemanship, reading the river, knots and uses, map & compass, cooking over an open fire and wilderness baking.

Exceptional Safety Record

I have been guiding canoe trips for many years on numerous Maine and Eastern Canadian Rivers– everything from family friendly to advanced whitewater trips. We have an excellent safety record on all of our trips. We understand the importance of maintaining a safe environment. The registered Maine Guides that work for me have the skills and proven experience to lead wilderness canoe trips. We review trip protocols with all participants prior to going downriver and upon arriving at the campsite. The safety and well-being of everyone is of utmost importance while on trips.

Campsite Efficiency

Maine trip campsites are located along the river’s edge, have a picnic table, fire pit, outhouse or outbox and plenty of room to set up tents. Canadian trip campsites tend to be more primitive and we plan accordingly. Guides are efficient with campsite setup and takedown, providing quick shelter, and hot and hardy meals cooked over an open fire.

Planning & Packing

We take care of all pre-trip planning, including lining up shuttles or transport services, making reservations when needed, menu, shopping for food, packing meals and group gear. A four-day canoe trip is actually six to seven days of work for a guide

MEALS SERVED ON OUR TRIPS

Breakfasts include the best organic coffee, assortment of regular and herbal teas and hot chocolate, whole grain rolled oats, fruit, buttermilk pancakes served with real Maine blueberries and syrup or homemade raspberry syrup, and the traditional Maine guide breakfast of local farm fresh eggs, meat and organic potatoes.

Lunches are on the fly and may include make your own wraps with assorted breads, variety of meats and cheeses, tuna, lettuce, pickles and tomatoes. We always have peanut butter & homemade jelly packed for the kids. Snack foods include trail mix, beef jerky, carrots, peanut butter, bars, cookies, and fruit.

Suppers may include the best cuts of locally raised rib-eye steaks, wild caught salmon, vegetables, fresh cooked biscuits, BBQ chicken, spaghetti with a homemade sauce and garlic bread, chicken, rice, vegetables and dumplings, fresh salads and freshly baked desserts including brownies, gingerbread and strawberry shortcake.

We can adjust the menu for special dietary needs including vegetarians. For the gluten free folks, we’ll discuss items you can bring to substitute where needed.

Gear is Provided

All necessary camping equipment including river bags to keep your clothing dry, self-inflating compact sleeping pads, durable Old Town canoes, compact camp chairs to relax around the campsite, type III life jackets, paddles, spacious outfitter tents, group tarp, cooking & eating utensils, well stocked first aid kit and for a little added peace of mind, a Delorme InReach, a two way satellite communicator. You may have some of your own equipment you prefer to bring.  Please contact us to discuss your gear.

Transportation/shuttle

Included in the cost of your St. Croix River canoe trip is having your vehicle moved to the takeout location. For the Allagash canoe trip, we transport you into the launch location and return you to your vehicle at trip’s end.

Canoe the Wild 2018 Schedule

To learn more about these and other canoe trip options, please visit Canoe the Wild’s 2018 schedule webpage. Contact Dave Conley for questions you may have when planning your next canoe trip.

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.