Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Massive Tidal Flows

Fans of tidal surges like to walk out onto a pedestrian-only bridge to watch and hear the water rushing past.

Hilton State Park

Address:
486 Shattuck Way, Portsmouth, NH
Directions:
Hilton State Park. I-95 exit 5 onto the Spaulding Turnpike/US Hwy 4. Drive west to exit 5 (westbound only), loop south and under the freeway bridge, then park and walk out onto the General Sullivan Bridge.
Hours:
Park closes 8 pm. Consult tidal tables for show times. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About Massive Tidal Flows

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Tidal flows.

Massive Tidal Flows

Amazing tidal flow yes, but the park service has made it "safe" for us and installed a fence on the bridge that prevents you from going to the edge to see over. Go under the bridge for the full experience.

[Amanda Mueller, 07/28/2015]
Massive Tidal Flows

Pedestrian bridge closed November 2011 - April 2012. Can see tidal current from park, but not stand over it.

[Emily, 11/07/2011]
Massive Tidal Flows

We tried to visit this during a full moon at 12 PM.

There is no parking on the south end. And there isn't easy access to the bridge going northbound. You can get off, and park your car in the park, except the park closes at 8PM. And you need to walk on in the one land road going the opposite direction to get to the bridge. Southbound, getting to the park can be a challenge, as the direct exit to the Park no longer exists.

[David Dudich, 08/28/2009]
Massive Tidal Flows

Yes, "massive tidal flows" sounds kind of boring - but it's NOT! Take my word for it.. this is neat. I haven't been since 1996 but since there is still a moon I can imagine that the tides are still very extreme.

You can actually see the water rushing in and out from above! Here's what you do.. Park your car at Hilton State Park (located off Route 4/Spalding Turnpike). Beside the new bridge there is an older bridge which is still standing (but closed to vehicle traffic). Walk to the center of the bridge above a support pillar (with edges shaped like a ship's bow - for good reason) and you'll see and hear the water literally RUSHING past during the incoming and outgoing tides. If you stand and stare down at the support structure long enough you'll actually get the sensation that you are moving.

Check the local tide tables before you plan you're trip so you can be sure to see this is a really good day. This is the second most extreme tidal flow *in the world* next to the Bay of Fundy in Canada (which totally empties at times).

[Greg Brown, 09/23/2000]

Great ... where can we buy "Massive Tidal Flow" t-shirts for our friends?


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