Four Days from Bedell Bridge to East Wilder Boat Launch

Starting Date: 
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Starting Location: 
Bedell Bridge
Days On The River: 

A friend and I completed a four day trip from Bedell Bridge State Park in Haverhill, NH to the East Wilder Boat Launch in Lebanon, NH. We wanted a short first and last day paddle so our first night was at Bugbee Landing Boat Access. We had some trouble finding it as the GPS coordinates were way off but with the help of the details from the description of the site, we eventually found it.

Bugbee Landing has a small cleared camping area that is very exposed and right next to the boat ramp. Some veterans hang out in the woods behind the campsite but they were friendly and good people, just a bit down on their luck. We set up there but had some difficulty finding enough trees to hang out hammocks as there was one more person who came along. He bailed after the first night. I used my hammock stand but the others were sharing a tree for their suspensions. The ground was very muddy and our chairs sank into the ground. Some of the locals told us there was a flood in April that covered that area with about five feet of water and the camping area was still recovering. There was a portapotty on the fairgrounds quite a walk away but it was very clean and well stocked. We had dinner, slept and breakfast and were on our way to the next stop.

We paddled about ten miles to the Pastures Campground for our next stop. my companion needs a CPAP so we were happy to have water and electric in our campsite to recharge batteries and refill water containers. Along the way we found out that those inviting sandy looking shores were actually mud and not very pleasant. We had lunch, took showers, used actual porcelain toilets and enjoyed some time with neighbors. When we got out of the canoe landing at the campground, there was an empty site right in front of us with perfect trees for hammocks. When I walked up to the office I discovered we were assigned a different site but the owner was happy to give us the closer site with the great trees. We just had to be off the site by 11:00 AM as someone was coming for it. We got a pretty early start for our longest day, 15 miles to Patchens Point.

We stopped for lunch at the Orford Boat launch and met some young ladies from a camp waiting for a pickup for them and canoes.

Patchens Point was beautiful but we couldn't find a privy. There were plenty of great pines to hang our hammocks from and lovely views of the river. The landing was well marked and right where the GPS said it should be. The water level was such that there was a high, vertical drop from the land to the water. We scrambled out of our boats and unloaded. I secured our boats to the shore with a long painter. After scouting around, we decided to set ourselves up in a really nice clearing where others had built a fire. There was no picnic table or privy, but it was a nice spot. We were visited by several groups of young college students around sunset but they were all pleasant and respectful of us and our gear.
After breakfast, we set out on our last leg to the East Wilder Boat Launch.

After only five miles we were still pretty tired. My companion's husband picked us up and drove me back to Bedell Bridge to get my truck and we all went into town for a late lunch at Fatty's Barbeque. Over all, a great trip.