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Difficulty II
Length 3 Miles
Flow Range 5 - 9 FT
Flow Rate as of: 19 minutes ago 2.61 [FT] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 12/02/2004 7:29 pm

River Description

This is a small, easier trib of the Lamprey.

Asa Wagner shared:
RIVER DESCRIPTION - The section of river, from NH 152 in Nottingham to The North river bridge 3 miles south on 152 in South Lee, is a class I-II run with great scenery through two small state parks. The whitewater is attractive to local paddlers without any other close-by small rivers of its size and rating, and is one of the better whitewater runs in the NH seacoast region.

The most significant class-II rapid on this section can be road-scouted on Mccrillis Road just off NH 152. The bottom of the 80-yard pitch reveals a sweet little surf wave with great eddy service that can be a fun after-work playspot for local paddlers with little time. The next two or so miles to the takeout consists of mostly class one with no breaks and constant current. The scenery is excellent as you pass near some trails in Vienna Smith State Forest. Be extra cautious not to pass under the 152 bridge at the take-out.

The Class III-IV rapid below should be scouted and you can pull out on river right just before the bridge. Put in near the school and river bridge in Nottingham, and take out at the bridge and mill site three miles south on 152 in South Lee.

Some may choose to forgo two easy rapids and put in on Mccrillis Road, thus nixing a mile of flatwater.

THERE ARE ALSO TWO PASSABLE UPPER BRANCHES OF THE NORTH. The southern branch, the "Elliot River," runs from Pawtuckaway Lake in Pawtuckaway State Park, and joins the other branch near the put for the lower section in Nottingham. Although it is very scenic, there is little whitewater. THE UPPER BRANCH is a surprising blast! Put in on NH 152 just south of the intersection with NH 4 in West Nottingham, Take out again on 152 three miles south near an open marshy area on the roadside. It is a great paddle for those near-flooding events when larger rivers are too much to risk for us class II-III paddlers. This section features almost continuous class I and II features in a very small but passable river bed. This run will keep you on your toes the whole way with constant maneuvering around rocks and abandoned granite block mill dams from the last century (nothing sketchy here). There are even some surfing spots. It does not, however, contain any features more than class II, although BE ON THE CONSTANT LOOKOUT FOR STRAINERS, especially behind any number of blind drops. I was surprised at how much of a blast this section is. The last 1/4 mile before the takeout is a marsh meadow that may require a bow saw and/or some chest deep wading through alder scrub, reeds, and cranberries - but it just makes for an A+ adventure!

Lat/longitude coords below are approximate, based on the description given above.

Rapid Descriptions


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7 years ago

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Summary of Gauge Readings

Small river that drains into the Lamprey above Wadley Falls. High water run, usually late March into early April.

Asa Wagner shared:
Unfortunately the USGS gauge for the North River has gone off-line. When on-line, I paddled the main lower section at 300 cfs (3 feet), and the nearby Lamprey was running 1100 cfs. I would guess that the upper sections are passable when the upper Lamprey is at a Med to High paddling level. The nearby Oyster River gauge was at three feet. I would guess that even when the Lamprey is at flood stage the upper sections of the North are not too hairy (use your judgment)

Gauge NameReadingTimeComment
AW Gauge Info
2.61 ft ℹ️ 00h19m

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.


No Accident Reports



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