Anyone with a hankering to head north for a few days of backcountry trekking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or ice fishing this winter should plan to get up early Saturday morning. Very early.
That’s when registration opens for the the winter season on state campgrounds along the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, the 92-mile ribbon of rivers, streams, lakes and ponds that winds through the state’s vast northern forests.
Reservations can be made starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, at the Chamberlain Bridge ranger station in Piscataquis County.
The 48 camp sites are available at Chamberlain Bridge and Kellogg Brook and will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis.
State officials predict the run on registrations will be fierce, and all of them could be assigned as early as noon Saturday.
Campers should arrive at Chamberlain Bridge before 8 a.m., state officials advised.
“These unique winter campsites offer extraordinary access to some great winter ice fishing,” said Matthew LaRoche, Allagash waterway superintendent. “We have visitors who return year after year to enjoy the beauty, camaraderie and winter sport that this part of Maine offers.”
Camp sites are available for a rental fee of $50 per month, plus a 7 percent meal and lodging tax. Eight sites are reserved in the parking lot for transient use at the regular camping fee of $4 per person per night for Maine residents and $8 for non-residents.
Water access campsites on the lakes are available for use in the winter as well as summer; the same fees apply to these sites.
The waterway provides public drinking water, vault toilets and snow plowing at the 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, visit www.parksandlands.com. For more on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, call 695-3721, Ext. 4, or 941-4014.
Staff Writer North Cairn can be contacted at 791-6325 or at: