Getting Ready for the Allagash


The Souris River Quetico 16, floats like a seashell on Craig Pond in Orland. This canoe weighs 42 lbs, which makes me feel like I am 42 years old again when I carry it.

The idea was to get into the Great Heath via the Pleasant River, but I didn’t realize the extent of upstream work. Here’s some quick water about a mile above the put in off Meethinghouse Road. Not far upstream a long stretch of falls and rapids.

The Pleasant River runs through the Great Heath, a huge peat bog, so no wonder the water is the color of peat tea. Some sunlight falls through the forest onto the river bottom.

Most of the river from the landing is quiet. Unfortunately you don’t get much of this before the river is not canoeable. Other put ins on the Pleasant River require crossing Cherryfield Foods blueberry barrens which are posted, and crisscrossed by a maze of dirt roads. A call ahead for permission to cross the property and park, and some more careful map work are in order to canoe on the Great Heath itself, which is Public Reserve Land.