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Lamprey River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: July 2004
Nearest City: Lee, NH
Difficulty: Easy
Submitted by: Tom Richardson

Description:

Wadley Falls to Wiswall Dam

Betsi in an Old Town Sebago -- Tom in Perception Swifty

Water flow today, 69 CFS
Mean for this date, 86 CFS
Water flow was absolute minimum for the scratchy areas.

This was a 7.25 mile, enjoyable ride. Due to the low water and minimal current it was three hours of non-stop paddling. The areas that were “scratchy” definitely were. The section from Wadley Falls to Lee Hook Road took 1 hour and 55 minutes. The section from Lee Hook Road to the Wiswall dam took 1 hour and 10 minutes. Total on water time was 3 hours and 5 minutes.

When putting in at Wadley Falls park in the 4 car widened shoulder on the side of the road or on near by Camp Ground Road and follow the short trails to the south to a small beach just below the sharp drop where the river passes through the old dam. Watch for broken glass on the trail and beach. This upper section, a thousand or so feet below Wadley Falls (an old, broken dam) has numerous scratchy areas. Finding a way to put in at the sharp bend and stream about 1/4 mile south on Rt. 152 would avoid this section and allow a leisurely paddle on flat water to the Bridge at Lee Hook Road. This area has no homes and is forest and field on both sides, all the way. We did not see a single person. There is an effort underway to preserve this beautiful and natural area. We saw several ducks, two blue herons and a LARGE snapping turtle.

Immediately below The Lee Hook Road bridge is the roughest, scratchiest section of this trip. Several times I had to reach over the side and lift / push myself over rocks. After a few hundred feet of this crunch and grind the river flattens out and is bounded by numerous seasonal camps and trailers. As you progress the camps become more substantial year round homes. There is one more brief scratchy area as the river divides for a large island. We took the left side, it is shorter and appeared to have more water.

Below this island is 2.25 miles of flat water impounded by the Wiswall Dam. This section is much wider and deeper than the Wadley Falls to Lee Hook Road section. Fortunately it is just as forested and scenic. We saw another heron and two otters. At the Wiswall Road bridge take the left passage and then make a sharp left turn into a small swampy area. Apply flank speed to run up onto the muddy bank as far as is possible. You should be immediately next to the road, a short path leads to a parking lot and town park. The Wiswall Dam, a ten-foot drop, is about 100 feet beyond the bridge. In warm weather this is a popular local swimming spot with people jumping off of the bridge.

Accommodations:

Parking for a few cars at each end.

Directions:

Rt. 152 to Wadley Falls for put in. Rt. 152 south to Packers Falls road to Wiswall Road to town parking lot and bridge.

Resources:

Yes, Delorme Gazeteer, photocopied and enlarged. AMC River Guide (mistake on dam location)


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