Although this site has no formal trails or public parking, Wadleigh Falls is a neat place to visit. Also known as Wadley Falls, it is one of the oldest sites in New Hampshire to be inhabited by humans. Native peoples began using the site for hunting, fishing, and agriculture 8000 years ago and continued to be a strong presence into the Colonial Era. English settlers began using the site in 1657 and the first mill was completed in 1665. Mills here processed timber, grain, leather, wooden buckets, and herbal medicines. Mill life defined the area until 1921 when the last mill burned.
The dam at Wadleigh Falls (where Route 152 crosses the Lamprey) was partially breached many years ago, but the remaining section of dam and the natural falls still present a significant obstacle to fish passage. The building in the far right corner in the historic picture below is currently under renovation. Just upstream of the bridge, a new canoe access was installed in 2011.
Photo courtesy of Lee Heritage Commission
To view a thorough history of the Wadley Falls Village, please click here for a copy produced by the Lee Heritage Commission.
For information about the Wadley Falls Bridge, please click here.
To view historic photos of Wadley Falls Village, please click here.