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Androscoggin River Trail: North Woods

The North Woods section of the Androscoggin River Trail is incredibly scenic, often wild, with both serious whitewater and peaceful flatwater. It also boasts excellent trout fishing and wildlife viewing.
Trail Activity
Length
41.1 miles, Network
Difficulty
Easy, Moderate, Advanced
Towns
Berlin (NH), Cambridge (NH), Errol (NH), Gilead (ME), Shelburne (NH)
Surface
Lake/Pond, River/Stream
Pets
Permitted
Fees
No

Description

The North Woods section of the Androscoggin River Trail is primarily in New Hampshire, flowing from the headwaters at Lake Umbagog and ending across the Maine border in Gilead. This section features rapids in Errol, flatwater in the Pontook Reservoir, serious whitewater below Pontook Dam, and calmer water to Berlin. There is a gap in access between the historic mill towns of Berlin and Gorham and the town of Shelburne. From Shelburne bridge, paddlers can venture upstream toward Shelburne Dam or downstream to Gilead Bridge in the flatwater.

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. 

The Androscoggin River Trail also exists downstream (Mahoosucs) from this section.

Other Information

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 Lake Umbagog 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

For more information, visit the Androscoggin River Watershed Council online or contact:

Androscoggin River Watershed Council

Androscoggin River Watershed Council
PO Box 1541
Bethel, ME 04217
Phone: 207-754-8158
trek@androscogginwatershed.org
View website

Trail Tips

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Know how to choose and use your gear for each trip, factoring in the terrain and conditions.
Legend
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Trailhead Information

Many trailer or hand-carry boat launches are available on this stretch of the Androscoggin River. Please refer to the map to find their specific locations. For more detail about launch sites, refer to the Androscoggin River Trail's interactive River Trail Map. 

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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Trail Alerts

Safety
Be a Safe and Respectful Paddler
Paddling conditions will vary according to the weather and season, so always exercise caution and always wear a lifejacket. With good judgment and proper equipment, the risk associated with paddling can me minimized. Respect the natural world and the rights of landowners, and be considerate of other outdoor enthusiasts. Paddlers should seek to avoid causing erosion, trampling vegetation, disturbing wildlife, and harming water quality.
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