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Day 5 – Fort Kent to Allagash to Fort Kent – September 13
“Northern Maine moose country”
Day 5 is an out-and-back that starts in Fort Kent, heads southwest to Allagash, and then back to Fort Kent. This is a “not to be missed” adventure that takes you through a part of Maine that few have experienced by car, no less by bike. And, since Allagash is the starting point of the St. John Valley Cultural Byway, there are many historic and cultural sites along the way that should pique your interests. With the confluence of the Allagash and St. John Rivers located in the heart of town, Allagash provides access to numerous camping, fishing, and canoeing activities. Additionally, this area also offers hunting adventures for partridge, moose, deer, and bear during the fall season.
Despite its small population – 236 in the 2010 Census – Allagash boasts the largest total land area of any town in Maine. Located where the Allagash River and St. John River meet, Allagash is home to authors, artists, and musicians; crafters, quilters, and woodworkers; photographers, naturalists, and outfitters; and hardworking persons of many trades…an eclectic place.
Allagash was first inhabited by Algonguin Indians, who occupied all of the lands east of the Great Lakes, across New England, and into the Maritime regions. They were broken up into bands, which included the Mi’kmaq, the Passamaquoddy, the Maliseet, and the Penobscot. In the Allagash area, most of the Indians were from the Maliseet and the Mi’kmaq tribes, which eventually formed a loose group now called the Wabanaki.
Most of the early settlers were of Scotch-Irish descent. It is hard to pinpoint the exact year that the first settlers came to Allagash. Some people came, stayed a while, and left, while others settled permanently. About 1838, a group including John and Annie Gardner, John and Sarah Henderson, and William Mullins made their way from Campbellton, NB. Nearly everyone from Allagash is a descendant of one of these sisters. Today, the locals proudly carry the Scotch-Irish surnames of their ancestors (McBreairty, Hughes, Jackson, Kelly, O’Leary, Walker, Hafford, Pelletier, Savage, McKinnon, Jalbert, Bolton, Castoguay, Ouellette, Bishop, Taggett, Connors, and Aegan), and if you listen closely you can hear the touch of brogue that is uniquely Allagash.