Planning Our Trip
The table below shows travel times for kayakers paddling from both launch sites to South Berwick. Times are calculated for a range of paddling speeds, do not include time for rest or breaks, and assume that kayakers have a favorable current. The average current is estimated to be one knot from Dover Point to South Berwick, and one-half knot from Route 101 to South Berwick.
|Travel Times: Launch Site to South Berwick|
|from Route 101
|from Dover Pt.
|Times for a one-way trip are given as hours:minutes and assume
favorable current as indicated in the text.|
Therefore, to plan your trip, select a day with an appropriate high-tide time. Let's assume that high tide is at 1:00pm. This way, we can eat lunch in the park in South Berwick as the tide turns.
Subtract 30 minutes from high tide to obtain the time of high-water slack, and another 30 minutes just to be sure, and we should arrive at the dam around noon. If our group paddles at 2 knots, including resting and observing wildlife, we should launch from Dover Point around 9:40am. The return trip should take a similar amount of time.
Plan to stop at Vaughan Woods, leaving time in your plan for a hike. The park is located just south of the majestic, 18th-century Hamilton House, which overlooks the river, and offers hiking trails through pristine forest. You can even visit the house, which is now a museum open to the public
The Salmon Falls River is a wonderful spot for a first sea kayaking adventure because it is largely protected and does not see heavy boat traffic. However, the river can see large waves, especially in winds from the north or the south. The shorter trip, from Route 101, is much less open and will be better for novices if there is any wind.
If you are a beginner, pay attention to the tide table as described in "Planning Our Trip." Such planning will make the difference between a frustrated battle with the current and a very enjoyable ride. And don't forget to check the marine weather
before setting out!