Suncook River

The Suncook River is a 35.7-mile-long (57.5 km)[1] river located in central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Merrimack River, which flows to the Gulf of Maine.

SuncookRivSuncookNH
The Suncook River in the center of Suncook, NH

Course

The Suncook River begins at the outlet of Crystal Lake in the town of Gilmanton, New Hampshire. The village of Gilmanton Ironworks is located at the lake's outlet. The Suncook flows south two miles to the Suncook Lakes (Upper and Lower) in Barnstead. Below the lakes, the river passes through the village of Center Barnstead and enters the town of Pittsfield, whose village is centered on a 19th century dam on the river.

The river continues south through the towns of Chichester and Epsom, and then forms the town boundary between Pembroke and Allenstown. Shortly before reaching the Merrimack River, the Suncook drops 70 feet (21 m) in 0.5 miles (0.80 km), a natural waterpower site that led to the growth of the village of Suncook.

2006 flood

On May 16, 2006, the Suncook River, responding to the highest rainfall amounts in at least 70 years (more than 8 inches dropped by a low-pressure system in 3 days on Concord, New Hampshire), rose to flood level (see New England Flood of May 2006) and backed up behind an old mill dam, which produced a shallowly-sloping pool that overtopped a sand and gravel quarry, connected with a downstream section of channel, and cut a new shorter channel at 25–50 meters per hour in the town of Epsom.[2] Two previous channels, around Bear Island, were left dry. The new river course, approximately a mile long, is the largest channel change in a river in New Hampshire since systematic topographic mapping began in the state in the early 20th century.[3]

Suncook river course change from space
The old and new channels of the Suncook River, as seen from space.

On 3 September 2018 there was news that work began to stabilize the Suncook River in its new course.[4]

Artistic tributes

In 1934, the American composer Alan Hovhaness (1911–2000), who spent time with his maternal family members in Pittsfield, New Hampshire during his youth, wrote a fantasy for cello and piano entitled Legend of the Sunkook [sic] Valley (Op. 1, no. 4).

See also

References

  1. ^ New Hampshire GRANIT state geographic information system Archived 2013-08-03 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Perignon, M. C. (2007). Mechanisms governing avulsions in transient landscapes: Analysis of the May 2006 Suncook River Avulsion in Epsom, New Hampshire (S.B. Thesis). Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  3. ^ Walter Alarkon, "A river doesn't run through it", Concord Monitor, June 4, 2006
  4. ^ https://www.concordmonitor.com/suncoock-river-flood-erosion-fix-13028572

Coordinates: 43°07′39″N 71°27′51″W / 43.12750°N 71.46417°W

Bear Brook (Suncook River tributary)

Bear Brook is a 10.0-mile-long (16.1 km) stream located in central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Suncook River, part of the Merrimack River (and therefore Gulf of Maine) watershed. Its entire course is within Bear Brook State Park.

Bear Brook begins at the outlet of Hall Mountain Marsh near the four-corner intersection of the towns of Allenstown, Deerfield, Candia, and Hooksett. The brook descends to the north, through Deerfield, then turns west and reenters Allenstown. Nearing Deerfield Road, the brook is impounded by Catamount Pond, with a state park beach and picnic area. The brook flows northwest from the pond and reaches the Suncook River in less than a mile.

Belknap Mountain

Belknap Mountain is a mountain located in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States, south of Lake Winnipesaukee. Like the county, the mountain and the associated surrounding Belknap Mountains are named after Jeremy Belknap (1744–1798), a renowned preacher, historian, and author of The History of New Hampshire. The mountain is within Belknap Mountain State Forest.

The peak of Belknap Mountain is the highest point in the county. Although of only modest elevation, the isolation of the Belknap Mountains gives Belknap Mountain 1,850 ft (560 m) of relative height above the low ground separating it from the White Mountains, making it one of the fifty most topographically prominent peaks in New England. Belknap Mountain is flanked to the northwest by Gunstock Mountain, the site of the Gunstock Mountain Resort ski area. The summit of Belknap Mountain features an active fire tower.

Belknap Mountain stands within the watershed of the Merrimack River, which drains into the Gulf of Maine in Massachusetts. The east and northeast sides of Belknap Mountain drain into Poorfarm Brook, thence into Lake Winnipesaukee, the Winnipesaukee River, and the Merrimack. The west side drains into Gunstock River, thence into Lake Winnipesaukee. The south side drains into Manning Lake, thence into Crystal Lake, the source of the Suncook River, and thence into the Merrimack River.

Belknap Mountains

The Belknap Mountains are a small mountain range in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire in the United States. The range lies in the towns of Gilford, Gilmanton, and Alton in Belknap County. The highest peak, Belknap Mountain, with an elevation of 2,382 feet (726 m) above sea level, is the highest point in Belknap County. Belknap Mountain State Forest covers the central part of the range, including the summit and slopes of Belknap Mountain.

The range extends for approximately 8 miles (13 km) in an arc that begins at New Hampshire Route 11A in Gilford and runs south, then curves east through the northern end of Gilmanton, before ending in the town of Alton, where it overlooks Alton Bay of Lake Winnipesaukee.

The named summits in the range, from northwest to southeast, are Mount Rowe (1,690 ft or 520 m), Gunstock Mountain (2,240 ft or 680 m), Belknap Mountain, Straightback Mountain (1,890 ft or 580 m), and Mount Major (1,786 ft or 544 m). A cluster of several unofficially named summits with elevations ranging from 1,806 to 2,001 feet (550 to 610 m) are on the main crest of the range between Belknap Mountain and Straightback Mountain, surrounding Round Pond, itself located near the crest of the range at 1,652 feet (504 m) above sea level. A secondary ridge extends southwest from Belknap Mountain to the Gilford/Gilmanton line, containing, from north to south, the summits of Piper Mountain (2,044 ft or 623 m) and Whiteface Mountain (1,670 ft or 510 m).The range is entirely in the Merrimack River watershed. The northeast side of the range drains via several small brooks to Lake Winnipesaukee, the outlet of which is the Winnipesaukee River, which drains westward to form the Merrimack. The west side of the range drains via the Gunstock River into Lake Winnipesaukee, and the extreme southwest end of the range, near Whiteface Mountain, drains west via the Tioga River to the Winnipesaukee River. The south side of the range, including Round Pond, drains south via the Suncook River to the Merrimack.

Mount Rowe and Gunstock Mountain form the slopes of Gunstock Mountain Resort, a major ski area for central New Hampshire.

Big River (New Hampshire)

The Big River is a 14.9-mile-long (24.0 km) river located in central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Suncook River, part of the Merrimack River (and therefore Gulf of Maine) watershed.

The Big River rises in high ground in the southern corner of Alton, New Hampshire and flows southeast through corners of New Durham and Farmington into Strafford. Running up against the Blue Hills Range, the river reverses course, turning west into Barnstead, where it meets the Suncook River in the village of Center Barnstead.

Center Barnstead, New Hampshire

Center Barnstead is an unincorporated community in the town of Barnstead in Belknap County, New Hampshire. It is the largest of several villages in the town.

New Hampshire Route 28 bypasses the village to the northwest, connecting Pittsfield to the southwest and Alton to the northeast. New Hampshire Route 126 begins at Route 28 and passes through the village before continuing southeast towards Strafford and Barrington. The village is located along the Suncook River and was a station along the former Suncook Valley Railroad. Center Barnstead has a separate ZIP code (03225) from the rest of the town of Barnstead.

Crystal Lake (Gilmanton, New Hampshire)

Crystal Lake is a 455-acre (1.8 km2) water body located in Belknap County in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire, United States, in the town of Gilmanton. Crystal Lake is at the head of the Suncook River watershed. Water flows into Crystal Lake from the Belknap Range through Manning and Sunset lakes to the north. Water from Manning Lake enters Crystal Lake via Nelson Brook. Other waterways flowing into Crystal Lake include Wasson Brook and Mill Brook. Water flows out of a dam from the southern end of Crystal Lake via the Suncook Lakes and Suncook River to the Merrimack River. Shoreline development along Crystal Lake consists primarily of summer cottages, with a few year-round residents. Belknap Mountain and Mount Major can be seen from the shoreline.

Gilmanton Ironworks, New Hampshire

Gilmanton Ironworks (alternately Gilmanton Iron Works) is an unincorporated community in the town of Gilmanton in Belknap County, New Hampshire, in the United States. It is located near the eastern boundary of the town, along a stretch of the Suncook River south of the outlet of Crystal Lake. New Hampshire Route 140 runs through the village, leading east to Alton and west to the center of Gilmanton and then Belmont.

Gilmanton Ironworks has a separate ZIP code (03837) from the rest of the town of Gilmanton.

Halfmoon Lake (Barnstead, New Hampshire)

Halfmoon Lake is a 283-acre (1.15 km2) water body located in Belknap County in central New Hampshire, United States, in the towns of Barnstead and Alton. The pond is part of the Suncook River watershed, flowing south to the Merrimack River.

The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including largemouth bass, chain pickerel, horned pout, and white perch.

Jenness Pond

Jenness Pond is a 267-acre (108 ha) water body located primarily in Rockingham County in southern New Hampshire, United States, in the town of Northwood. A small portion of the pond at its northwest end lies in Pittsfield in Merrimack County. The pond's outlet, Jenness Brook (called Narrows Brook farther downstream), is a feeder of Northwood Lake, part of the Suncook River / Merrimack River / Gulf of Maine watershed.

The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery and contains largemouth and smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, and horned pout.

List of rivers of New Hampshire

This is a list of rivers and significant streams in the U.S. state of New Hampshire.

All watercourses named "River" (freshwater or tidal) are listed here, as well as other streams which are either subject to the New Hampshire Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act or are more than 10 miles (16 km) long. New Hampshire rivers and streams qualify for state shoreland protection (and are listed here in bold) if they are fourth-order or larger water bodies, based on the Strahler method of stream order classification.

Little River (Big River tributary)

The Little River is a 4.9-mile-long (7.9 km) river located in central New Hampshire in the United States. Its outflow travels via the Big River, Suncook River, and Merrimack River to the Gulf of Maine, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Little River drains the west side of the Blue Hills Range in Strafford, New Hampshire. It begins at the outlet of the Willey Ponds and flows northwest, joining the Big River just north of the village of South Barnstead.

Little Suncook River

The Little Suncook River is a 4.0-mile-long (6.4 km) river located in central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Suncook River, part of the Merrimack River (and therefore Gulf of Maine) watershed.

The Little Suncook begins at the outlet of Northwood Lake in the town of Epsom, New Hampshire. Flowing west, it passes through Bixby Pond (also known as Cass Pond), passes the villages of Epsom and Gossville, and joins the Suncook River near the Epsom Traffic Circle.

U.S. Route 4 parallels the Little Suncook for the river's entire length.

Locke Lake

Locke Lake is a 149-acre (60 ha) water body located in Belknap County in central New Hampshire, United States, in the town of Barnstead. It is fed by Halfmoon Lake and drained by Webster Stream. It is surrounded by the Locke Lake Colony, a private development. There is no public access to the lake.

The lake is part of the Suncook River watershed, flowing south to the Merrimack River.

Northwood Lake

Northwood Lake is a 653-acre (2.64 km2) water body located in Rockingham and Merrimack counties in central New Hampshire, United States, in the towns of Northwood and Epsom. The town of Deerfield occupies part of the southern shore. The outlet of the lake is the Little Suncook River, flowing west to the Suncook River, a tributary of the Merrimack River.

The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including smallmouth and largemouth bass, chain pickerel, and brown bullhead, and white perch.Milfoil is present in the lake.

Pittsfield, New Hampshire

Pittsfield is a town in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 4,106 at the 2010 census.The central village in town, where 1,576 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Pittsfield census-designated place (CDP), and is located on the Suncook River near the junction of New Hampshire routes 28 and 107.

Pleasant Lake (Deerfield, New Hampshire)

Pleasant Lake is a 479-acre (1.94 km2) lake located in Rockingham County in central New Hampshire, United States, in the town of Deerfield. The eastern shore of the lake forms the boundary between Deerfield and the town of Northwood. Water from Pleasant Lake flows north to Northwood Lake, then west via the Little Suncook River to the Suncook River, a tributary of the Merrimack River.

The lake is classified as a cold- and warmwater fishery, with observed species including brown trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, chain pickerel, brown bullhead, and white perch.

Suncook, New Hampshire

Suncook is a census-designated place (CDP) in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 5,379 at the 2010 census. Approximately 2/3 of Suncook is located in the town of Pembroke, with the remainder in Allenstown.The village of Suncook formed along the falls of the Suncook River, which drops 70 feet (21 m) in one-half mile (1 km) just before joining the Merrimack River. Much of the center of the village is occupied by 19th-century factory buildings which once used the river's energy for hydropower. The buildings have now largely been converted to other uses. Much of Suncook's late 19th-century commercial village center has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Suncook was once home to the Suncook Valley Railroad, a shortline railroad company that operated northwest to Concord and northeast to Barnstead. The railroad operated on former Boston and Maine track that was sold to the company. The Suncook Valley Railroad went bankrupt in 1952 and all its track was torn up.

Suncook Lakes

The Suncook Lakes are a pair of lakes located in Belknap County in central New Hampshire, United States, in the town of Barnstead. Upper Suncook Lake encompasses 402 acres (1.63 km2), while Lower Suncook Lake covers 295 acres (1.19 km2). The lakes are connected by a 1,000-foot-long (300 m) channel, spanned by a road bridge. A dam at the outlet of Lower Suncook Lake controls the water level of both lakes. The lakes are located along the Suncook River, a tributary of the Merrimack River. There are three islands on Lower Lake.

Lower Suncook Lake has an average depth of 9 feet (2.7 m) and a maximum depth of 16 feet (4.9 m), while Upper Suncook Lake has a greater average depth and a maximum depth greater than 40 feet (12 m). The lakes are classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including smallmouth and largemouth bass, chain pickerel, horned pout, and white perch. Rainbow trout can be found in the deeper Upper Suncook Lake.

Sunset Lake (Lakes Region, New Hampshire)

Sunset Lake is a 253-acre (1.02 km2) water body located in Belknap County in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, United States, in the towns of Gilmanton and Alton. Water from Sunset Lake flows south to Crystal Lake, the head of the Suncook River, which flows to the Merrimack River and ultimately the Gulf of Maine.

The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including smallmouth and largemouth bass, rainbow smelt, chain pickerel, brown bullhead, sunfish, and yellow perch.

Tributaries
Lakes
Towns
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Gulf of Maine
Long Island Sound

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