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Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Allagash River, Maine

Allagash waterway

Maine’s rivers have attained near-celebrity
status from paddlers nationwide. Mention the Allagash River to a
canoeist and his eyes suddenly become moist and dreamy as he inevitably
responds, “Yeah, I’d like to go there someday.” The river has somehow
attained legendary stature. Perhaps it’s the way the blue streak of
water slips off the map of America’s northern fringes, remote and
isolated, hundreds of miles from the nearest metropolis. Or maybe it’s
the legacy of writer, philosopher, and inveterate traveler Henry David
Thoreau, who ventured down the waterway a mere 140 years ago, waxing
lyrically about the last great frontier in the East in his book, The
Maine Woods.
Whatever the reason, the 92-mile Allagash Wilderness
Waterway continues to lure 10,000-plus paddlers to its shores every
summer, turning farfetched dreams into reality. Go with a trusted guide
like Mahoosuc Guide Service, who led me down the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine last fall. That led to an article in this month’s Sierra Magazine. For more adventures, visit Active Travels.


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