Magalloway River in New Hampshire
Trip OverviewIt was a noticeably cool day, drizzly and damp, that welcomed us to the first day of paddling this beautiful waterway. We had planned the night before to put in at the Route 16 Bridge in Wilson Mills Maine for our paddle to Lake Umbagog via the Magalloway River and then on to a take out in Errol New Hampshire via the Androscoggin River. The river was high and fast at the put in due to the increased water release at the Lake Aziscohos Dam a few miles north of us. There were three of us taking the paddle today, myself, a young man of only 70 years by the name of Paul and my wife Polly. Paul is an avid paddler that enjoys all kinds of water but prefers big rivers like the Magalloway, the Androscoggin, the Merrimack and the Pemigewasset. Polly, a gal who for most of her adult life was petrified of any type of water, has become an excellent, highly skilled paddler who is always ready in an instant to paddle a new unknown waterway.
The put in was quick and effortless from the grass next to the bridge and before we knew it we were scooting along on the fast moving water and just appreciating being here. A couple miles or so below the put in we passed under a scenic covered bridge that connects a secondary dirt road to a very nice campground on Route 16. As we paddled south we observed many of the native inhabitants of the area who all seemed oblivious to our presence. It was about eight or ten miles to the Route 16 bridge at the border of New Hampshire and Maine and then another several miles to the Offices of the Magalloway Area in Wentworth Location. From here it was another eight or so miles to the head of Lake Umbagog. It was as though all the birds and animals knew we were tourists to this area and all decided to make their presence known to us. Once at the lake we opted to paddle a ways down the eastern shoreline for a ways but soon turned back because of the inclement weather. Still cool and damp we headed down the Androscoggin River towards Errol and our eventual take out about five miles away.
Anyone planning a trip to this area to enjoy the awesome scenery and paddling should call ahead for lodging, as there are a very limited number of accommodations available. These paddlers highly recommend the Mt. Dustin General Store and Cottages. The cottages are clean and comfortable and the prices very reasonable. There is also a nice apartment above the store that can accommodate as many as eight or more people and offers one the opportunity to prepare home-style meals. The store is also very convenient offering about everything one could want from food items to shoes. Remember, don't leave your refuse behind and respect the area wildlife and you will enjoy many paddling adventures here.
Accommodations:Accomodations are sparse, facilities in Errol only.
Directions:Route 26 east from Colebrook to Route 16 north from Errol New Hampshire.
Resources:Maps available at the Mt Dustin General Store in Wentworth Location or in Cote's Sporting Goods in Errol.
- Trip Duration: Day Trip
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)