The Piscataqua River at Portsmouth New Hampshire


Published originally on Steemit

The Piscataqua River is only 12 miles long, but it has formed one of North America finest ports and links over then other rivers to the Atlantic Ocean. The border the between New Hampshire and Maine, the Piscataqua forms Portsmouth (NH) Harbor, which is surrounded by the cities of Portsmouth, Newington, Kittery, Eliot, and New Castle.


The name has it.  The river is the star of the show in Portsmouth.


I spent a couple days walking about the lovely brick and historical buildings in Portsmouth, enjoying fresh brewed chai tea from Breaking New Grounds Coffee Shop.

Here are some facts about this amazing river:

  • The river is 12 miles long, originating at the confluence of Cocheco River and Salmon Falls River.
  • The drainage basin is approximately 1,495 square miles.
  • It empties in the Gulf of Maine east of Portsmouth.
  • It was named by the Abenaki Indians – peske (branch) and tegwe (a river with a strong current).
  • The first European to explore it on record was Martin Pring in 1603. By 1623, the first sawmill was built.
  • After the surrender of Germany in World War II, a German U-boat sailed up the river with a white flag raised. They were taken by New Hampshire State Police as POWs.
  • The river spanned by several bridges along its length, including the Sarah Mildred long Bridge and the Piscataqua River Bridge
  • The Piscataqua is a very fast-flowing river that provides a migratory highway for river herring, shad, and other small fish used as baitfish.
  • In parts of the river, striped bass will wait in the shallows.
  • The river is the third fastest-flowing navigable river in the world!
  • The river is just 50 miles northeast of Boston.
  • The river sees 3.5 million tons of shipping each year.
  • Items shipped down the river to the harbor and bay include: petroleum products, plastics, scrap iron and steel, salt, limestone, gypsum, and sadly, fish products.
  • The river is an excellent place to kayak and canoe. If you’re like me and want to avoid seeing commercial and sport fishing, there are plenty of other outdoor activities to enjoy, depending on the weather.
  • You can see Oprey and other birds of prey from the river.
  • There are scores of beautiful parks and picnic areas along the river with wonderful views.


Although a relatively short river, the Piscataqua joins many of the northern river of the region to the ocean. It has been and continues to be a vital and irreplaceable part of life in the Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.


Portsmouth has a large lobstering fleet and the cages are visible in many places. Fishing is a part of their history.  Lobster is on most menus around town, so if you’re vegan like me, expect to see that.  Though there is no lack of healthy eats.  Most everywhere in Portsmouth had abundant vegan options and several places had vegan chili and soups, even in bread bowls.


I had some great vegan food at a fun place called Friendly Toast that played nice loud rock n’ roll (BBQ jackfruit sandwich on Kaiser roll and also tofu stir fry) and a more serious veg* venue, the Green Elephant which was more Asian/Thai influence (spring rolls, vegan spare ribs, and more).


Have a wonderful day!