Skug River

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Skug River
USGS Lawrence, MA-NH 15 minute Quadrangle SE (1893).jpg
Skug River watershed and environs, 1893.
CountryUnited States
CountiesEssex and Middlesex
Physical characteristics
 • locationHarold Parker State Forest
 • coordinates42°38′06″N 71°05′53″W / 42.635°N 71.098°W / 42.635; -71.098
 • location
Martin's Pond, North Reading, MA
 • coordinates
42°35′56″N 71°07′26″W / 42.5988°N 71.1238°W / 42.5988; -71.1238Coordinates: 42°35′56″N 71°07′26″W / 42.5988°N 71.1238°W / 42.5988; -71.1238
Length4.9 mi (7.9 km)

The Skug River, said to be named either for the Native American word Skug, meaning Snake, or a misspelling of Skunk River,[1] is a 4.9-mile-long (7.9 km) river[2] in North Andover, Andover, and North Reading, Massachusetts that constitutes part of the Ipswich River watershed.

The nearly-frozen Skug River in Andover

The river arises from wetlands just south of Boston Hill in the Harold Parker State Forest, and flows mainly southwest to empty into Martin's Pond in North Reading. From there, Martin's Brook carries its waters onwards to the Ipswich River.

The river was dammed over 200 years ago for a sawmill and grist mill. Although the dam has since disappeared, the large stone walls of its millrace can still be seen in the Harold Parker State Forest and Andover Village Improvement Society Skug River Reservation,[1] as can the old Jenkins Soapstone Quarry abutting the river.


  1. ^ a b A.V.I.S. Skug River Reservation
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 1, 2011