Paddled the tidal reach of the Salmon Falls River from Hilton Park in Dover, NH to South Berwick, ME. We set out on the top half of the rising tide from Hilton Park and paddled the 8 miles to the head of the tide at the dam in South Berwick and took out at Counting House Park. With an afternoon paddle we also had the wind to our back and it was a relatively quick trip.
The river has three distinct sections. The lower third has the definite feel of an estuary with boats moored in the river and nice homes scattered along the banks. The middle third still has the feel of salt water but there are no moored craft and minimal shoreline development. There is a hand launch site 4 miles up off ME 101 that could shorten the trip in various combinations. The upper third is very pastoral and has the feel of a small river which just happens to be tidal with minimal development.
Altogether a charming place to paddle with little bustle so close to so many people.
Hilton Park is a heavily used site at Dover Point with an all tide ramp, porta potties and plenty of parking. The lot at Counting House Park in South Berwick can hold about 6 cars and has no facilities
Hilton Park is accessible from NH 16 off exit 5 northbound. At the time of this report the State had closed southbound access due to construction. Counting House Park in South Berwick, ME does not come out on Google Maps. Look for Liberty Street which runs south from ME 4 just before crossing the Salmon Falls into NH. This is a hand launch site and does not appear on any list of Maine launching sites
The trip is not well described and took some sleuthing to nail down the details