The Indian Head River is one of the largest and potentially ecologically rich tributaries that flows into the North River. This 3.7-mile stretch of river creates the Hanson, Hanover, and Pembroke town borders before meeting the Herring Brook and forming the Headwaters of the North River.

The Indian Head River restoration focuses on reconnecting and restoring the natural flows of the Indian Head River. Our goal is to restore fish passage for river herring, Atlantic shad, native brook trout and eels by removing the first 2 dams up from the ocean – Ludden’s Ford Dam (aka Elm St. Dam aka Curtis Crossing Dam) and State St./Cross St. Dam (aka Indian Head Dam). Completing this project would result in the opening of 1.7 miles of river.

In spring 2022, NSRWA received a grant to work with the towns of Hanover, Hanson and Pembroke – who are the owners of these dams – to look at the potential impacts of removing these dams in order to restore habitat along the Indian Head River. The results of the completed Feasibility Study were presented on December 5, 2023 and it was determined that dam removal is possible but additional sampling will be needed to finalize costs and designs. To view the full presentation, click on the video below or click here to see the slides.


The following videos provide background on the Indian Head River Restoration project:




Check out our new Indian Head River Story Map! It’s a fun and engaging way to learn about the history and ecology of this vibrant stream, from the days of the Mattakeeset, to the Colonial and Industrial eras, to today.


Indian Head River Restoration (IHRR) Project Timeline
January 2024 – Feasibility Study and 40% Design Report complete
September 2022 – IHRR Steering Committee formed
June 2021 – Reconnaisance Reports completed for State St Dam (aka Indian Head Dam) and Ludden’s Ford Dam (aka Curtis Crossing Dam)
August 2016 – Phase I Inspection Report for Ludden’s Ford Dam

Cover photo: Indian Head River, Pembroke by Rob MacDonald.