Lock Dam Camp is a one-room cabin with hand-pumped water, a wood stove, gas appliances and solar-powered lights.  PHOTO COURTESY OF MAINE BPL 

Find artistic inspiration in Allagash wilderness

Allagash sunset. 

AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) Visiting Artist Program encourages artists to develop their art through experiencing the wilderness of the state’s most remote park – the Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW).  

The AWW, which stretches 92 miles, was established by the Maine State Legislature in 1966 and designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1970 as the first state-administered component of the National Wild and Scenic River System.  

The AWW has fueled imaginations for centuries. When Henry David Thoreau made his journey to Pillsbury Island on Eagle Lake in the mid-1800s, he was inspired to write about his adventure in “The Maine Woods.” Since then, many visitors have attempted to capture the Allagash headwater lakes and lower river’s beauty and solitude through stories, drawings, photography and music.  

Program and accommodations overview 

The AWW Visiting Artist Program invites artists to the remote wilderness of Maine for two weeks of solitude. One chosen artist and a guest will receive complimentary lodging at the AWW Lock Dam Camp for two weeks during August and orientation by AWW Rangers. 

Lock Dam Camp is a one-room cabin located approximately 10 miles from the boat launch at the southern end of Chamberlain Lake and 60 miles from Millinocket, the nearest town. The camp is on the northern end of Chamberlain Lake, one of the largest and deepest lakes in the North Maine Woods. For 28 summers, it was the home of Dorothy Boone Kidney and her husband Milford, where they provided information to canoeists and tended the dam. Dorothy wrote two books about their life at Lock Dam, “Wilderness Journal: Life, Living, Contentment in the Allagash Woods of Maine” and “Away From It All.” 

Lock Dam Camp amenities include hand-pumped running water, a wood stove, gas appliances, including a cookstove and refrigerator, and solar-powered lights.  

The Visiting Artist Program application period runs through Feb. 28, and artists are encouraged to learn more and apply online at https://appengine.egov.com/apps/me/aww-artist-program.  

For more about the AWW Visiting Artist Program, visit www.maine.gov/allagash or contact AWW Superintendent Mark Deroche at (207) 941-4014 or by emailing [email protected].  


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