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Androscoggin River Trail: Magalloway River

This is the print view for this trail. View the full trail posting.

The Magalloway River provides a diversity of paddling experiences as it flows south from Aziscohos Lake to Umbagog Lake. Its upper two miles are noted for challenging rapids runnable during scheduled, summer dam releases. The remaining 15.6 miles are a mix of flatwater and quickwater that offer stunning views, great wildlife watching, and overnight camping and lodging opportunities.
Trail Activity
Length
17.6 miles, One Way
Difficulty
Easy, Moderate, Advanced
Towns
Errol (NH), Second College (NH), Wentworths Location (NH)
Surface
Lake/Pond, River/Stream
Pets
Permitted
Fees
No

Description

The Magalloway River below the dam at Aziscohos Lake is a popular whitewater rafting and fly-fishing destination. Farther downstream, the river runs through the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, with great viewing opportunities for wildlife such as moose, bald eagles, and the American woodcock.

Campsites along the river and in Umbagog Lake allow for overnight trip possibilities.

To avoid the Class II-IV rapids below Aziscohos Dam, put in just north of Wilson's Mills. From Wilson's Mills, the river is mainly flat or quick water with meandering bends and a few channels to explore. Stay to the left as the river forks to avoid significant hazards in the narrower, shallower right channel. There are a couple rips/Class I rapids within a mile of Wilson's Mills. The current then remains slow for the rest of the paddle. 

The next few miles to the access in Wentworth Location are picturesque and relaxing. Six miles after Wilson's Mills, the Diamond River flows into the Magalloway. At this point, there is a private campground called Diamond Peaks on the left of the river where paddlers can stay if they make reservations with Northern Waters. The access point at Wentworth Location is 2-3 miles downstream of the Diamond River confluence. To get to the access point at Wentworth's Location from the river, paddle into a small oxbow inlet on the right of the river and go upstream a couple hundred yards to the dock. There is a sign pointing to the access from the main part of the river, but it can be overgrown and difficult to see.

The next access point is 5 miles downstream at the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge. There are ample opportunities to spot wildlife in this section. Another 3 miles downstream, the Magalloway flows into Umbagog Lake. Umbagog Lake offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, including Mt. Washington, as well as fishing and camping.

Paddlers can cross the lake to the Umbagog State Park Campground boat launch, paddle down the Androscoggin River for 4 miles to the Steamer Diamond and Errol Dam Access points or continue on the North Woods Section of the Androscoggin River Trail; see "Connector Trails" on the Trail Map tab for more information about trip extensions. 

Paddlers will most commonly visit portions of the Androscoggin River Trail most suited to their skills and available time, rather than paddling the entire navigable trail. Please refer to the Androscoggin River Trail's interactive River Trail Map to find the most up-to-date information to plan your trip, including information about access points and river conditions upstream and/or downstream from these points. Sites along the Androscoggin River Trail are regularly being improved and added. Maps are also located at kiosks at popular access points. 

Other Information

Aziscohos Dam: The flow level from the dam can change daily depending on the schedule set by Brookfield Renewable Energy. Often, the release occurs on the weekends during the summer, which can increase the flow level to about 1200 cfs. The summer release schedule is generally available here, after it has been set. The lower part of the river can be paddled at any time, but the upper rapid section just after the dam is best run with a higher flow. 

Private Property: Some of the access points are on private property with public access by permission from the owner. Please respect the land so that others will continue to enjoy access. 

Camping: In Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge camping is allowed only at designated sites with a permit. Contact Umbagog Lake State Campground to make reservations for remote campsites on Umbagog Lake.

Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge: Please follow all rules and regulations set by the NWR and avoid disturbing wildlife. 

The Androscoggin River Watershed Council is working with numerous groups and individuals to promote a water trail along the full length of the Androscoggin River from Umbagog Lake in Northern New Hampshire to the easterly end of Merrymeeting Bay in Maine. The trail provides access for a wide variety of uses including paddling, fishing, and motor boating in appropriate parts of the river.

The Androscoggin River flows 168 miles and there are more than 40 mapped, publicly-available access sites to the river which provide access to most of the river. Full development of the trail will include improvements to existing sites and the establishment of new sites. In addition, there are plans for improved portages, water-access only sites, and day use areas.

Trail Manager

Information compiled by the Androscoggin River Watershed Council and the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. For more information, visit the Androscoggin River Watershed Council online or contact:

Androscoggin River Watershed Council
PO Box 1541
Bethel, ME 04217
Phone: 207-754-8158
trek@androscogginwatershed.org
View website
Northern Forest Canoe Trail
Noah Pollack
PO Box 565
Waitsfield, VT 05673
Phone: 802-496-2285
info@northernforestcanoetrail.org
View website

Trail Tips

Dispose of Waste Properly
Pack it in, pack it out. This goes for trash, leftover food, toilet paper, and hygiene products. If you brought it into nature, please bring it out.

Trailhead Information

There are multiple put-ins on the Magalloway River:

Aziscohos Dam: From Errol, drive north on NH-16/ME-16 for 16.4 miles. Turn right onto a gravel road just below the dam, which is just above this section of the river. Start paddling in a mile-long stretch of continuous Class III rapids. 

Wilson's Mills Access (First Rt. 16 Bridge): From Errol, drive north on NH-16/ME-16 for 14.7 miles. Just past a bridge going over the river, turn left on Bennett Road. This leads down to the river where parking is available on the left side. This property is privately owned, but the landowner allows river access as long as it is not abused. 

Wentworth Location Access: From Errol, drive north on NH-16 for 8.6 miles. A well-marked and signed, paved turnoff is on the right. 

Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters: From Errol, drive north on NH-16 for 5.9 miles. The Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, with parking, is on the left. There is a public boat launch on the right side of the highway. 

For more detail about launch sites, refer to the Androscoggin River Trail's interactive River Trail Map. 

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