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Carey Kish

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island has been adventuring in the woods and mountains of Maine for, well, a long time. If there’s a trail—be it on dirt, rock, snow, water or pavement—he will find it, explore it, and write about it. Carey is a two-time Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, Registered Maine Guide, author of AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast, editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide (10th ed.), and has written a hiking & camping column for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram since 2003. Follow his outdoor travels and musings here, and on Facebook/CareyKish. Let Carey know what you think at

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Posted: December 11, 2015

Winter camping on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway means great ice fishing

Written by: Carey Kish

The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is a 92-mile-long ribbon of lakes, lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams that wind through northern Maine’s vast commercial forests. Part of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Bureau of Parks and Lands, the AWW will begin taking winter camping registrations this Saturday, December 12.

A total of 48 camp sites available at Chamberlain Bridge and Kellogg Brook. The camp sites will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis until the campground capacity is reached. Registration for the campgrounds will take place at 8 a.m. at the Chamberlain Bridge ranger station. Yep, if you want ‘em, you gotta go there in person.

Winter camping in the Allagash provides anglers with extraordinary access to great ice fishing, and that’s why these sites are highly prized.

Trucks and trailers fill the Allagash Wilderness Waterway campgrounds during the winter season. DACF photo.

Trucks and trailers fill the Allagash Wilderness Waterway campgrounds during the winter season. DACF photo.

DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb noted that winter camping in the Allagash draws visitors year after year and is just one of many winter recreational opportunities available on Maine’s public parks and lands.

“Our ‘Take it Outside’ program encourages Maine’s children and families to reconnect with nature, promote health, and have fun in the great Maine outdoors. Winter park and public lands activities include: cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, nature walks, and guided hikes on New Year’s Day,” said Whitcomb.

AWW Superintendent Matt La Roche anticipates renting most of the 48 available campsites by noon on the first day of registration. To be sure of getting a site, he suggests that campers arrive at Chamberlain Bridge before 8 a.m. on December 12.

Access to the Allagash is prized by ice fishermen. Photo courtesy

Access to the Allagash in winter is prized by anglers. Photo courtesy

Campsites are available for a rental fee of $50 per month, plus an 8% meals and lodging tax. Eight sites are reserved in the parking lot for short term use at the regular camping fee of $4 per person, per night for Maine residents and $8 for nonresidents. The water access campsites on the lakes are available for use in the winter as well as summer; the same fees apply to these sites. A fee increase is scheduled to go into effect on January 1.

The AWW provides public drinking water, vault toilets and snow plowing at the Chamberlain Bridge and Kellogg Brook winter campgrounds. A groomed snowmobile trail is marked from the parking lot to the south end of Chamberlain Lake and to Round Pond/Telos lakes.

For more information on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, go to: call 207-695-3721 x3 or 207-941-4014.

The Allagash in winter is a pretty special place. Photo courtesy

The Allagash in winter is a pretty special place. Photo courtesy

Source: Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry-Bureau of Parks and Lands. 

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