Saco River: Saco River Facts, History and Recreation
Saco River is located in the northeastern part of New Hampshire and the southwestern part of Maine. It gives drinking water to about 250,000 people that are located in 35 towns.
Saco River Facts:
The name Saco is derived from the word from Eastern Abenaki which means “land where the river comes out.”
Legend has it that Saco River can be the curse of Squandro. Squandro is a chief of an Indian tribe that resided on the river. The legend states that the tribe gave back a white girl that is believed to have been captured and reared by the tribe. The chief was thought to have magic powers. The white settlers ended up killing the chief’s son and so the Saco Curse was born.
The river begins at an elevation of 6,288 feet and empties in the Atlantic Ocean directly below both Saco Maine and Biddeford Maine.
The Saco River is named one of the cleanest rivers in the entire Northeast.
Saco River History:
The earliest residents in the Valley of Saco River go back close to 10,000 years. The Native Americans were said to be the first settlers dating back to 1642. There have been Native American trails that have been discovered along the shoreline of the river over the years. In the early part of the 1800’s, the valley abounded with farms and today, there are still signs of these early settlers including stones fences and cellar holes. The Crawford Depot and the Crawford Artists Studio are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Saco River Recreation:
The Saco River has about an average of 5,000 people on the weekends in the summertime. These people can mostly be found from Swan’s Falls campground to Brownfield, Maine. Rivers and rafts can be seen leisurely floating on the Saco River, especially on weekends. The river sometimes turns into a party on the river and shorelines.
The Saco River is a spot that some people fish at but the amount of fish has significantly decreased over the years.
Canoeing on the Saco River is popular pastime for avid canoeists. There is a set of rapids called Walker’s Rip that many seasoned canoe enthusiasts enjoy. There are several places along the river to rent canoes and tubes for those who would rather go tubing
There are hiking trails on both sides of Route 113, designed for all types of hikers. There is also a hike at the summit of Caribou Mountain and a tougher hike at Baldface Mountain.