Bellamy River Wildlife Management Area, Dover

4.4
#7 of 8 in Things to do in Dover
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Bellamy River, in Strafford County, southeastern New Hampshire, is a tributary of the Piscataqua River about long. It rises in Swains Lake in Barrington, west of Dover. It flows east through the Bellamy Reservoir in Madbury and through Dover, then southeast as a tidal river to Little Bay, the channel connecting Great Bay with the Atlantic Ocean.
The river at one time provided water for swimming behind a dam at Bellamy Park in Dover. This park was a favorite spot for local neighborhood children and young adults, but fell into disrepair in the late 1960s. The Dover High School class of 1976 held a school-approved burning of the remains of the dam as a class activity.
A short distance down the river from the park is the location of a former mill building, abandoned in the mid-20th century. The river helped power machinery in the mill.
Further along is the final dam, at the site of the former Sawyer Woolen Mills, a large manufacturer in Dover during the late 19th century and early 20th century. The river supplied the power to this large factory.
Beyond this dam the Bellamy River assumes its tidal nature, reverting to a small trickle at low tide.
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Bellamy River Wildlife Management Area reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
12 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Nice flat walking trails from meadow to woods to river bank. Some recent cutting ( stripping) of small trees and brush done ( Jan 2020?) in meadow areas to encourage/help with cottontail rabbit...  more »
  • My husband and I love to walk around Bellamy River Wildlife Reserve. Since the weather is a little warmer and the trail could be a little muddy I would recommend wearing boots that are waterproof.  more »
Google
  • This is a great place to walk your dog and take in local floral and fauna. While dogs are allowed off leash after July 31 (check the date on the sign in the parking area) I would not recommend it unless your dog immediately responds to voice commands. It's a rare day that my dog and I don't find a critter he shouldn't try to make friends with. Yesterday it was a porcupine. Also, be aware and dressed appropriately during hunting season as hunting is allowed.
  • The land absorbs water like a sponge. Especially the trails in the field beyond the pond. Please beware of this if you're considering bicycling or wearing shoes that you do not want to get wet. Even days after the rain, it can still be an issue. Considering how mainstream this place has become, the trail should be in better shape. When I go out there I never know how overgrown it may or may not be. There's a big hole in the berm before the barn. The berm over the brook is a great idea, but that hole should be fixed. Other than that, I think the area is okay. It includes some nice veiws of the Bellamy River. I seem to go out there at least once a season.

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