The north branch rises west of Fitchburg and Westminster. It flows about 30 miles (48 km) generally southeast past Fitchburg, and joins the south branch about 5 miles (8.0 km) below its issuance from the Wachusett Reservoir.
Nashua River, just outside Groton, Massachusetts
|⁃ location||Lancaster, Massachusetts|
|⁃ elevation||280 feet (85 m) at Clinton, Massachusetts|
|Length||37.5 miles (60 km)|
|Basin size||108 square miles (280 km2)|
|⁃ average||150 cu ft/s (4.2 m3/s)|
Coordinates: The Nashua River, 37.5 miles (60.4 km) long, is a tributary of the Merrimack River in Massachusetts and New Hampshire in the United States. It is formed in eastern Worcester County, Massachusetts, by junction of its north and south branches near Lancaster, and flows generally north-northeast past Groton to join the Merrimack at Nashua, New Hampshire. The Nashua River Watershed occupies a major portion of north-central Massachusetts and a much smaller portion of southern New Hampshire.
The Nashua River was heavily used for industry during the colonial period and the early United States. During the late 18th century and early 19th century, the heavy concentration of paper mills and the use of dyes near Fitchburg resulted in pollution that notoriously turned the river various colors downstream from the factories.
In the mid-1960s, Marion Stoddart started a campaign to restore the Nashua River and its tributaries. She built coalitions with labor leaders and business leaders, in particular the paper companies who were the worst polluters of the river. With federal help, eight treatment plants were built or upgraded along the river. A broad conservation buffer was created along about half the river and its two main tributaries. By the early-1990s, most of the industry was still located along the river, but many parts of the river were once again safe for swimming. Her work is the subject of a 30-minute documentary movie.
Recovery has sparked recreational use of the river at places like Mine Falls Park in Nashua.
On January 23, 2013, Rep. Niki Tsongas introduced the Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act (H.R. 412; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments concerning the Nashua River for study for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
From its impoundment at the Wachusett Reservoir in Clinton, Massachusetts, the South Branch of the Nashua River flows north and joins the North Branch of the Nashua River in Lancaster, Massachusetts. The North Branch of the Nashua River flows southeast from Fitchburg and Leominster, Massachusetts, to Lancaster. The Nashua River flows northward from Lancaster, meandering its way through the north-central Massachusetts towns of Harvard, Groton, Dunstable, and Pepperell, before eventually emptying into the Merrimack River at Nashua, New Hampshire. The Nashua River Watershed has a total drainage area of approximately 538 square miles (1,390 km2), with 454 square miles (1,180 km2) of the watershed occurring in Massachusetts and 74 square miles (190 km2) in New Hampshire. The Nashua River flows for approximately 56 miles (90 km), with approximately 46 of those miles (74 km) flowing through Massachusetts. The Squannacook, Nissitissit, Stillwater, Quinapoxet, North Nashua, and South Nashua rivers feed it. The watershed encompasses all or part of 31 communities, 7 in southern New Hampshire and 24 in central Massachusetts. The watershed’s largest water body is the Wachusett Reservoir, which provides drinking water to two-thirds of the Commonwealth's population.
|River system||Drainage area||Communities|
|Stillwater River||39.3 square miles (102 km2)||Princeton, Leominster, Sterling, and West Boylston, Massachusetts|
|Quinapoxet River||57 square miles (150 km2)||Princeton, Rutland, Paxton, Holden, and West Boylston, Massachusetts|
|North Nashua River||Gardner, Ashburnham, Westminster, Ashby, Fitchburg, Lunenburg, Leominster, Sterling, and Lancaster, Massachusetts|
|Squannacook River||73 square miles (190 km2)||Greenville, New Ipswich, and Mason, New Hampshire, plus West Groton, Shirley, Townsend, and Ashby, Massachusetts|
|Nissitissit River||23 square miles (60 km2)||Wilton, Mason, Milford, Brookline and Hollis, New Hampshire, plus Pepperell, Massachusetts|
Dexter Drumlin, formerly known as Kilbourn Hill, is a 311-foot (95 m) drumlin and a 38-acre (15 ha) open space reservation in Lancaster, Massachusetts. The reservation includes a small tributary of the Nashua River and is managed by The Trustees of Reservations. It is characterized by managed, open fields and offers scenic views of surrounding rural Lancaster.Emory Clark
Emory Wendell Clark II (born March 23, 1938) is a retired American rower who won a gold medal in the eights at the 1964 Olympics.
Clark began his rowing career at Groton School on the Nashua River in Massachusetts in 1951. During his fifth and sixth years there, he rowed in two (almost) undefeated A boats and has been inducted into the Groton School Athletic Hall of Fame. Clark then went to Yale University in 1956, graduating in 1960 in English literature. At Yale, he paired with Groton classmate Sam Lambert, and they did not lose a race for two years.
Between 1961 and 1964, Clark served with the United States Marine Corps, spending 13 months in the Orient. In 1964, he joined Philadelphia’s Vesper Boat Club, where he rowed in the eight assembled by Jack Kelly (Grace Kelly’s brother). The team won the Olympic trials, beating a favored Harvard eight. Representing the United States, they went to Tokyo for the 1964 Olympic Games where, after losing in the first heat by 0.28 seconds to the Ratzeburg crew (undefeated in four years), Clark’s boat came from behind to beat the German eight in the final for the gold medal.Following the Olympics, Clark joined up again with John Higginson and, with two other vintage oarsmen, raced in veterans’ regattas around the world for 25 years. He retired from competitive rowing in 2005, having been inducted into the US Rowing Hall of Fame in 1965.
A 1971 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Clark practiced law for 34 years in the area around Metamora, Michigan. He lived most of his life on the family farm there, together with wife Christina and daughter Lucy. He was an avid fisherman, practicing his skills both in the U.S. and abroad. He also competed in masters rowing, and won a world title in the fours in Montreal.List of rivers of Massachusetts
List of rivers in Massachusetts (U.S. state).
All Massachusetts rivers flow to the Atlantic Ocean. The list is arranged by drainage basin from north to south, with respective tributaries indented under each larger stream's name, arranged travelling upstream along the larger stream.Nashua, New Hampshire
Nashua is a city in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. As of the 2010 census, Nashua had a population of 86,494, making it the second-largest city in the state after Manchester. As of 2018 the population had risen to an estimated 89,246. Nashua is, along with Manchester, one of two seats of Hillsborough County.
Built around the now-departed textile industry, in recent decades it has been swept up in southern New Hampshire's economic expansion as part of the Boston region. Nashua was twice named "Best Place to Live in America" in annual surveys by Money magazine. It is the only city to get the No. 1 ranking on two occasions—in 1987 and 1998.Nashua Manufacturing Company Historic District
The Nashua Manufacturing Company Historic District in Nashua, New Hampshire, is a historic district that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1987. It encompasses an area just west of downtown Nashua, roughly located along the southern bank of the Nashua River, bordered on the west side by Mine Falls Park, on the south side by the Nashua River canal, up to Ledge Street, and from the east side by Factory, Pine and Water streets, up to the Main Street bridge.Today this area is dominated by the clock tower at "Clock Tower Place" apartments, and the large "Millyard" smokestack of the Picker building. The district takes its name from the time when this complex of buildings belonged to the Nashua Manufacturing Company, and though surrounding buildings also served the company in some way or another, they are not included in the district. The Nashua Manufacturing Company was originally built as a cotton mill and was incorporated in 1823. Their competitor, the Jackson Manufacturing Company, located downstream on the other side of the Main Street bridge at Jackson Falls dam, was incorporated in 1824.Nashua River Rail Trail
The Nashua River Rail Trail is a 12.5-mile (20.1 km) paved mixed-use rail trail in northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire under control of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). It roughly follows the course of the Nashua River, passing through the towns of Ayer, Groton, Pepperell, and Dunstable, Massachusetts and ends about a mile across the New Hampshire state border in Nashua, New Hampshire. The trail is used by walkers, cyclists, inline skaters, equestrians, and cross-country skiers.Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act
The Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act (H.R. 412) is a bill that would amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments concerning the Nashua River in Massachusetts for study for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.The bill was introduced into the United States House of Representatives during the 113th United States Congress.Nissitissit River
The Nissitissit River is a 10.5-mile-long (16.9 km) river located in southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts in the United States. It is a tributary of the Nashua River, itself a tributary of the Merrimack River, which flows to the Gulf of Maine. This river is part of the Nashua River Watershed.
The Nissitissit River begins at the outlet of Potanipo Pond in the town of Brookline, New Hampshire. It flows southeast at a very mild gradient, crossing the southwest corner of Hollis, New Hampshire before entering Massachusetts, where it joins the Nashua River in the town of Pepperell.North Nashua River
The North Nashua River is a river in northern Massachusetts. It rises from the Whitman River and Phillips Brook west of Fitchburg and Westminster. It flows 19.9 miles (32.0 km), generally southeastward, past Fitchburg and joins the South Nashua River, about 5 miles (8.0 km) below its issuance from the Wachusett Reservoir, to form the Nashua River.Phillips Brook (Massachusetts)
Phillips Brook is an 8-mile-long (13 km) river in Massachusetts that flows through Ashburnham,
Westminster, and Fitchburg. The river rises from Lake Winnikeag in Ashburnham, flows through Westminster, and meets the Whitman River in Fitchburg to form the North Nashua River.Potanipo Pond
Potanipo Pond (also known Potanipo Lake or Lake Potanipo) is a 136-acre (55 ha) water body located in Hillsborough County in southern New Hampshire, United States, in the town of Brookline. Potanipo Pond is the source of the Nissitissit River, which flows via the Nashua River into the Merrimack River, and then to the Gulf of Maine.
The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including largemouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch, pumpkinseed, and horned pout.Quinapoxet River
The Quinapoxet River is part of the Nashua River watershed in northern Massachusetts in the United States. It is part of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority water system supplying drinking water to the greater Boston area.
The uppermost tributaries of the Quinapoxet River rise in the town of Princeton, Massachusetts, the watershed generally known as the Upper Worcester Plateau, or the Monadnock Upland. This watershed tops at Wachusett Mountain, the highest feature in the area. Water flowing east from this high ground feeds the Nashua River watershed, and water flowing west feeds the Ware River or the Millers River watersheds, heading to the Connecticut River.
The Quinapoxet Dam in Holden impounds 1,100.0 million US gallons in the Quinapoxet Reservoir, a Worcester drinking water supply. Below the dam, the Quinapoxet River flows 7.9 miles (12.7 km) east to the Wachusett Reservoir, joining the Stillwater River (to become the south branch of the Nashua River) in the Oakdale section of West Boylston. The city of Worcester can divert up to 36% of the Quinapoxet River water. The Quinapoxet Dam is an earthen dam with a concrete spillway. The outflow is not adjustable, so the reservoir only supplies excess water to the Quinapoxet River. Research has been conducted on whether to remove the Quinapoxet Dam.
The Quinapoxet and Stillwater rivers are the two major tributaries to the Wachusett Reservoir, which serves as the primary source of water for 2.5 million consumers in 43 communities of central and eastern Massachusetts. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, operates stream-flow monitoring gages near the mouths of both rivers. This and other continuous monitoring serves to maintain the overall quality of water within the reservoir. The water of these tributaries to the Wachusett Reservoir has been of high quality for decades.
About 35% of the Quinapoxet sub-basin is protected open space (Worcester reservoirs' surface water included). The City of Worcester owns the land that immediately surrounds each of its reservoirs and approximately 25% of its entire water supply watershed. It is a highly protected forest with no public access. Furthermore, the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) owns much of the land. The Town of Holden owns over 600 acres (2.4 km2) as the Trout Brook Conservation Area, and the Massachusetts Audubon Society owns several hundred acres in the Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, in addition to other properties within this sub-basin.
The lower Quinapoxet rates on alert for biology, chemistry and hydrology. Chaffins Brook is considered a "moderately septic polluted stream", and its lower reach has noxious aquatic plants in an impoundment. Trout Brook in Holden is considered to be high quality habitat and have limited disturbance. There are a number of medium yield aquifers surrounding Holden center, and to protect this resource the town has passed an aquifer protection bylaw.South Nashua River
The South Nashua River is a river in Massachusetts that flows 5.1 miles (8.2 km) through Clinton and Lancaster. It starts at the Wachusett Dam on the Wachusett Reservoir and ends by joining the North Nashua River to form the Nashua River.Squannacook River
The Squannacook River is a 16.4-mile-long (26.4 km) river in northern Massachusetts. It is a tributary of the Nashua River and part of the Merrimack River watershed flowing to the Atlantic Ocean.
The river rises within West Townsend, Massachusetts, at the juncture of Walker Brook, Locke Brook, and Willard Brook. Walker and Locke Brooks rise within Greenville, New Ipswich, and Mason, New Hampshire, while Willard Brook rises in Ashby, Massachusetts. The Squannacook flows east and southeast through Townsend and West Groton, Massachusetts, and joins the Nashua River in wetlands just east of Woodsville. The river is dammed three times in Townsend and twice in West Groton. Its watershed covers 73 square miles (190 km2), of which 18% is permanently protected. It has been designated an Outstanding Resource Water.
There has been a conversion of one of the former mills on the Groton portion of the river. The former E.H. Sampson Leather Board Mill became a senior citizen/ nursing home. Riverside is located next to West Groton Square.Stillwater River (Nashua River tributary)
The Stillwater River is part of the Nashua River watershed. This river is part of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority system that supplies drinking water to the greater Boston area.
The Stillwater River rises in Princeton, Massachusetts, the watershed generally known as the Upper Worcester Plateau, or the Monadnock Upland. This watershed tops at Wachusett Mountain, the highest feature in the area. Water flowing east from this high ground feeds the Nashua River Watershed, and water flowing west feeds the Ware River or the Millers River, both heading to the Connecticut River. The Stillwater flows 8.1 miles (13.0 km) through Princeton and Sterling before joining the Quinapoxet River at the Wachusett Reservoir in West Boylston to form the south branch of the Nashua River.
The Stillwater and Quinapoxet rivers are the two major tributaries to the Wachusett Reservoir, which serves as the primary source of water for 2.5 million consumers in 43 communities of central and eastern Massachusetts. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), operates stream-flow monitoring gages near the mouths of both rivers. This and other continuous monitoring serves to maintain the overall quality of water within the reservoir. The water of these tributaries to the Wachusett Reservoir has been of high quality for decades.
About 47% of the Stillwater sub-basin is permanently protected open space. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority owns much of the land. The Town of Holden owns over 600 acres (2.4 km2) as the Trout Brook Conservation Area, and the Massachusetts Audubon Society owns several hundred acres in the Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary in addition to other properties within this sub-basin.Wachusett Dam
The Wachusett Dam in Clinton, Massachusetts impounds the Nashua River creating the Wachusett Reservoir. Construction started in 1897 and was completed in 1905. It is part of the Nashua River Watershed.
This dam is part of greater Boston's water system, maintained and controlled by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). Its discharge is into the Nashua River. When it was completed in 1905, the Wachusett Reservoir was the largest public water supply reservoir in the world. At that time, the Wachusett Reservoir Dam was the largest gravity dam in the world as well.Wachusett Reservoir
The Wachusett Reservoir is the second largest body of water in the state of Massachusetts. It is located in central Massachusetts, northeast of Worcester. It is part of the water supply system for metropolitan Boston maintained by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). It has an aggregate capacity of 65 billion US gallons (250,000,000 m3) and an area of almost 7 square miles (18.2 km²). Water from the Wachusett flows to the covered Norumbega Storage Facility via the Cosgrove Tunnel and the MetroWest Water Supply Tunnel. The reservoir has a maximum depth of 120 feet (36.5 m) and a mean depth of 48 feet (14.6 m).
The reservoir serves as both an intermediate storage reservoir for water from the Quabbin Reservoir, and a water source itself, fed by its own watershed. The reservoir is fed by the Quinapoxet, and Stillwater rivers, along with the Quabbin Aqueduct, which carries water from the Quabbin Reservoir. It is part of the Nashua River Watershed and is the headwaters of the Nashua River. Because it is an intermediate storage reservoir, its water levels are kept relatively constant while the Quabbin Reservoir fluctuates based on precipitation and demand. At times when the Wachusett Reservoir becomes high due to its own watershed producing a large amount of runoff such as during snow melting, the flow from the Quabbin is shut off and water from the Ware River flows backwards down the Quabbin Aqueduct into the Quabbin Reservoir for storage.Wekepeke
Wekepeke is the name of an aquifer and brook in Sterling, Massachusetts, United States. The aquifer has a land surface area of 11.5 square miles (30 km2).Whitman River
The Whitman River is an 8.4-mile-long (13.5 km) river in Massachusetts that flows through Ashburnham, Westminster and Fitchburg. It arises from Lake Wampanoag in Ashburnham, travels through a couple of ponds in Westminster, and ultimately joins Phillips Brook in Fitchburg to form the North Nashua River.
|Gulf of Maine|
|Long Island Sound|
|Upper New York Bay|
|Gulf of Maine|
|Long Island Sound|