Contoocook River

The Contoocook River (/kənˈtʊkək/) is a 71-mile-long (114 km)[1] river in New Hampshire. It flows from Pool Pond and Contoocook Lake on the Jaffrey/Rindge border to Penacook (just north of Concord), where it empties into the Merrimack River. It is one of only a few rivers in New Hampshire that flow in a predominantly northward direction. Three covered bridges span the river, one in the village of Contoocook in the town of Hopkinton, one in the town of Henniker, and a third on the Hancock-Greenfield line. Residents and tourists have made the Contoocook popular for fishing and whitewater boating.

The name Contoocook came from the Pennacook tribe of Native Americans and perhaps means "place of the river near pines." Other variations of the name include the Abenaki meaning "nut trees river" or Natick language meaning "small plantation at the river."[2][3]

The river gives its name to Contoocook, New Hampshire, a census-designated place (CDP) within the town of Hopkinton.

Coordinates: 43°17′11″N 71°35′23″W / 43.2865°N 71.5898°W

Principal tributaries

From south to north:

See also

References

USACE Hopkinton Dam
Hopkinton Dam on the Contoocook River in Merrimack County
  1. ^ New Hampshire GRANIT state geographic information system Archived August 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts. pp. 424–426.
  3. ^ Day, Gordon M.; Michael K. Foster; William Cowan (1998). In Search of New England's Native Past. United States of America. pp. 61–64. ISBN 1558491511.

External links

Beards Brook

Beards Brook or Beard Brook is a 12.5-mile-long (20.1 km) stream located in southern New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the North Branch of the Contoocook River, part of the Merrimack River watershed.

Beards Brook begins at the outlet of Island Pond in the town of Washington, New Hampshire. The brook descends rapidly northeast to the village of East Washington, then turns south and enters Hillsborough. A significant tributary is Shedd Brook, entering from the west in Hillsborough. Beards Brook joins the North Branch of the Contoocook near Hillsborough village, just upstream of the Contoocook River.

Blackwater River (Contoocook River tributary)

The Blackwater River is a 37.5-mile-long (60.4 km) river located in central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Contoocook River, part of the Merrimack River watershed.

The Blackwater River is formed at Cilleyville, a village in the western part of the town of Andover, by the junction of two branch streams that lack official names on current maps. The western branch begins at the outlet of Pleasant Lake in New London and flows east through Chase and Tannery ponds in Wilmot Flat. The northern stream branch begins at the outlet of Eagle Pond in Wilmot and flows south past West Andover and through Bog Pond, joining the outlet of Pleasant Lake just south of the outlet of Bog Pond. Kimpton Brook (formerly known as Quickwater Brook), flowing easterly through the village of Wilmot Center, is the primary tributary of Eagle Pond.

From its start at Cilleyville, the Blackwater River flows east through the town of Andover, passing the village of Potter Place. Beyond Andover village, the river continues to wind its way east, eventually turning south near the Blackwater Bays and dropping over rapids through the village of West Salisbury to the impoundment area of the Blackwater Dam in the town of Webster. Below the reservoir dam, the Blackwater encounters a short, intense whitewater stretch before flattening again for the final miles to the Contoocook in Hopkinton.

Contoocook Lake

Contoocook Lake () is a 344-acre (1.4 km2) water body located in Cheshire County in southwestern New Hampshire, United States, in the towns of Jaffrey and Rindge. The lake, along with Pool Pond, forms the headwaters of the Contoocook River, which flows north to the Merrimack River in Penacook, New Hampshire.

The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white perch, yellow perch, black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed, chain pickerel, and horned pout.

Franklin Pierce Lake

Franklin Pierce Lake, also known as Jackman Reservoir, is a 483-acre (2.0 km2) reservoir located in Hillsborough County in southern New Hampshire, United States, in the towns of Hillsborough and Antrim. It is named for Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States, who was born in Hillsborough. The lake impounds the North Branch of the Contoocook River and lies within the Merrimack River watershed.

The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including rainbow trout, brown trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, horned pout, white perch, northern pike, bluegill, and black crappie.

Gridley River

The Gridley River is a 6.3-mile-long (10.1 km) river located in southern New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Contoocook River, part of the Merrimack River watershed. Most of the river's length is within the town of Sharon.

The Gridley River begins in Tophet Swamp in the northwestern corner of New Ipswich, New Hampshire, at the juncture of brooks flowing west from the Wapack Range. The river soon enters the town of Sharon and heads north through wetlands and intervening steep patches, reaching the Contoocook River just within the southwestern corner of Peterborough.

Highland Lake (Stoddard, New Hampshire)

Highland Lake is a 697-acre (2.82 km2) water body located in Sullivan and Cheshire counties in southwestern New Hampshire, United States, in the towns of Washington and Stoddard. The lake has two outlets. The north outlet feeds Shedd Brook, while the south outlet flows through Island Pond to the North Branch of the Contoocook River. Water from the two outlets rejoins in the town of Hillsborough, approximately 8 miles (13 km) east of Highland Lake and one mile upstream from the Contoocook River. The northern end of the lake is only accessible by boat through a channel approximately 50 feet wide.

The lake has been a popular site for recreational boating during the summer and snowmobiling during the winter since before the 1960s. Waterskiiers are a frequent sight, and sea planes are known to occasionally use the lake. Most of the lakeside real estate has seasonal and year-round residences situated on plots of land smaller than .25 acres. The Highland Lake Marina (the waterway's only such establishment) is located at the end of Shedd Hill Road. It is open during summer weekends, and offers boat storage, docking, and recreational merchandise. There is also a diner attached.

The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery and is home to species such as black crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, horned pout, and white perch. The land surrounding Pickerel Cove is owned and protected by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

Island Pond (Stoddard, New Hampshire)

Island Pond is a 179-acre (0.72 km2) water body located in Cheshire County in southwestern New Hampshire, United States, in the town of Stoddard. It is fed primarily by the outflow from Highland Lake, and its outlet is a tributary of the North Branch Contoocook River, part of the Merrimack River watershed.

The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery and contains largemouth and smallmouth bass, rock bass, yellow perch, pumpkinseed and horned pout.

Lake Massasecum

Lake Massasecum is a 409-acre (1.66 km2) water body located in Merrimack County in central New Hampshire, United States, in the town of Bradford. Outflow from the lake travels via the Warner River to the Contoocook River and then the Merrimack River.The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including smallmouth and largemouth bass, black crappie, chain pickerel, and horned pout.In the past decade there has been an increase in Myriophyllum (more commonly known as "milfoil") in the lake, and local residents have been trying to stop its spread.

Lane River

The Lane River is an 8.5-mile-long (13.7 km) stream located in central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Warner River, part of the Contoocook River (and ultimately Merrimack River) watershed.

The Lane River begins at the outlet of Kezar Lake in the village of North Sutton, New Hampshire. The river flows south through a broad wetland, incorporating the outflow of Gile Pond, then suddenly drops 140 feet (43 m) in 0.3 miles (0.5 km) to enter the village of Sutton. The river continues southeast through more wetlands and past the village of South Sutton, then becomes more rapid as it descends to the Warner River at the Sutton/Warner town line.

Lovewell Mountain

Lovewell Mountain is a 2,473-foot (754 m) mountain associated with the Sunapee Ridge in southwest New Hampshire. The mountain is traversed by the 50-mile (80 km) Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway and offers vistas from several ledges near its summit. Much of the mountain is wooded with species of the northern hardwood forest type; stands of coniferous red spruce are common on the mountain's higher elevations.

The east side of Lovewell Mountain drains into the Beards Brook watershed, then into the Contoocook River, then the Merrimack River and the Atlantic Ocean. The west side drains into the North Branch watershed via a series of lakes and unnamed streams then joins Beards Brook just before its confluence with the Contoocook River.

North Branch Contoocook River

The North Branch of the Contoocook River is a 17.9-mile-long (28.8 km) river located in southwestern New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Contoocook River, part of the Merrimack River watershed.

The North Branch begins in a highland region of lakes, swamps, and intricate stream networks in the town of Stoddard, New Hampshire. The New Hampshire GRANIT geographic information system places the beginning of the North Branch at the outlet of Rye Pond in the extreme southeast corner of Stoddard. Additional significant flow quickly arrives when the outlet of Highland Lake and Island Pond joins from the north. From here to Franklin Pierce Lake, the North Branch consists of a stairstep-like series of flatwater and wetlands interspersed with sections of whitewater that are popular among New England kayakers. Below Franklin Pierce Lake it is a short distance to the Contoocook River in Hillsborough. Beards Brook enters the North Branch in Hillsborough just upstream of the river's end at the Contoocook.

New Hampshire Route 9 follows the North Branch for most of the river's length.

Nubanusit Brook

Nubanusit Brook is a 14.3-mile-long (23.0 km) stream located in southern New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Contoocook River, part of the Merrimack River watershed.

Nubanusit Brook begins at the outlet of Nubanusit Lake in Nelson, New Hampshire. The brook flows south into Harrisville, interrupted by Harrisville Pond and Skatutakee Lake, then flows east to the MacDowell Reservoir (constructed for flood control) in Peterborough. The brook turns south, passes the village of West Peterborough, and reaches the Contoocook River after passing through Peterborough village.

Nubanusit Brook was very important to the establishment and development of Harrisville and Peterborough because many dams were built along it to provide water power to mills. These included substantial textile mills in Harrisville, West Peterborough, and Peterborough, as well as smaller mills along the brook's course.

Powder Mill Pond

Powder Mill Pond is a 419-acre (1.70 km2) impoundment on the Contoocook River in Hillsborough County in southern New Hampshire, United States. The pond's dam is located in the town of Bennington, with water impounded into the towns of Hancock and Greenfield.

The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including smallmouth and largemouth bass, chain pickerel, horned pout, black crappie, and bluegill.

Shedd Brook

Shedd Brook is an 11.3-mile-long (18.2 km) stream located in southern New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of Beards Brook, part of the Contoocook River and Merrimack River watersheds.

Shedd Brook begins at the north outlet of Highland Lake in Washington, New Hampshire. The brook flows east, crossing the small town of Windsor and entering Hillsborough. Hillsborough Upper Village is located where Black Pond Brook descends over falls to join Shedd Brook, which ends two miles downstream at Beards Brook.

New Hampshire Route 31 follows Shedd Brook in Washington and Windsor.

Skatutakee Lake

Skatutakee Lake is a 236-acre (0.96 km2) water body located in Cheshire County in southwestern New Hampshire, United States, in the town of Harrisville. Water from Skatutakee Lake flows via Nubanusit Brook to the Contoocook River in Peterborough and ultimately to the Merrimack River.

The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including smallmouth and largemouth bass, chain pickerel, horned pout, northern pike, and black crappie.

Skatutakee Mountain

Skatutakee Mountain is a 1,998-foot (609 m) monadnock located in Hancock, New Hampshire approximately 13 mi (21 km) east of the city of Keene and 8 mi (13 km) north of Mount Monadnock. The mountain shares a common base with Thumb Mountain, 1,978 feet (603 m), 3,000 feet (910 m) to the west. Much of the mountain is wooded but open ledges near the summit provide views of the surrounding countryside; vistas include the north face of Mount Monadnock.

The south side of the mountain drains into Jaquith Brook, thence into Nubanusit Brook, the Contoocook River, the Merrimack River, and the Atlantic Ocean. The north side drains into Ferguson Brook, thence the Contoocook River.

The mountain is part of a 12,500 acres (51 km2) "supersanctuary" composed of a number of conservation properties and easements facilitated by the Harris Center for Conservation Education, other non-profit entities, and the state of New Hampshire. The Harris Center maintains several hiking trails on the mountain and an environmental educational center at the mountain's north foot.

Thumb Mountain

Thumb Mountain is a 1,978-foot (603 m) steep-sided monadnock located in Hancock, New Hampshire approximately 13 mi (21 km) east of the city of Keene and 8 mi (13 km) north of Mount Monadnock. The mountain shares a common base with Skatutakee Mountain, 1,998 feet (609 m), 3,000 feet (910 m) to the east. Much of the mountain is wooded but open ledges near the summit provide views of the surrounding countryside; vistas include the north face of Mount Monadnock.

The west side of the mountain drains into Nubanusit Lake, Brickyard Brook, Harrisville Pond, Skatutakee Lake, thence into Nubanusit Brook, the Contoocook River, the Merrimack River, and the Atlantic Ocean. The east side drains into Jaquith Brook, thence into Nubanusit Brook. The north side drains into Ferguson Brook, thence the Contoocook River.

The mountain is part of a 12,500 acres (51 km2) "supersanctuary" composed of a number of conservation properties and easements facilitated by the Harris Center for Outdoor Education, other non-profit entities, and the state of New Hampshire. The Harris Center maintains several hiking trails on the mountain and an environmental educational center at the mountain's north foot.

Warner River

The Warner River is a 20.3-mile-long (32.7 km) river located in central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Contoocook River, part of the Merrimack River watershed.

The Warner River begins at the outlet of Todd Lake in Bradford, New Hampshire, 300 meters upstream of the confluence of the West Branch. The river flows east, receiving the outlet of Lake Massasecum, and enters the town of Warner. The small river has a long whitewater section in western Warner, passing under the Waterloo Covered Bridge next to an old railroad station, then reaches Interstate 89, after which the river flattens and meanders over gravel bars. A small waterfall at Davisville interrupts the flatwater, which resumes to the river's end, just north of the village of Contoocook, New Hampshire, in the town of Hopkinton.

New Hampshire Route 103 follows the Warner River for most of the river's length.

West Branch Warner River

The West Branch of the Warner River is a 6.5-mile-long (10.5 km) river located in central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Warner River, part of the Contoocook River (and ultimately Merrimack River) watershed.

The West Branch rises in the southwest corner of Newbury, New Hampshire on the eastern slopes of Mount Sunapee. Flowing east, it quickly enters the town of Bradford, reaching the Warner River at the town center.

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