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Difficulty II-III(IV)
Length 3.9 Miles
Flow Range 350 - 1500 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 second ago N/A
Reach Info Last Updated 05/04/2018 4:30 pm

River Description

This section is listed in Let it Rain.


Drawdowns of Mascoma Lake likely make this section runnable in the fall. For some hairy stuff, check out the Downtown section.


The United State Geologic Survey discontinued reporting flow and stage levels at their gage station located at the Mascoma Lake out flow.  The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services took over the gage shortly thereafter and started posting information at their site.  Click Here.

The only reason for a maximum level in is because of strainers on the banks. The actual difficulty of the whitewater does not change much (just a little pushier and fewer rocks).


There is a gauge located in another branch of this system which could be used for correlation. However, there is no 75th percentile or paddler observations to base any correlation off of. If you run this section please check the online gauge and leave a comment with the flow and a description of the run.

Rapid Descriptions


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Brad Walker
1 year ago

Paddled 8/7/2018 not sure level, the 2 gauges I saw were toppled in the water. See photo of dam to see what the overflow looked like. At this point the area had gotten several inches of rain, but things had already peaked a good 24 hours before I got the chance to get on. Only did 1/2 the listed run - from the lake down to where Rte 4 and the Rail Trail intersect just a bit past the I89 overpass. BONY run, minimal features to surf at. You can see plenty of potential when there is good flow... as it was, it was merely a nice break from flatwater lake paddling while shadowing family walking the Rail Trail. If you are camping in the area with non-paddlers, this is great - they can do the trail and with loads of bridge crossings, you can chat with each other as you go. The section I did was free of wood. No portages needed (I started at Mascoma Lake Campground beach and did portage the dam onto river left). Though bony, all passable. Nice deeply wooded run giving a good sense of seclusion. Rubber at high levels beware, decent amount of metal objects scattered throughout the run, not bad, but aside from the cart wheels and the giant safe, I did notice some rebar-like rusty posts and such here and there. I'll upload photos looking up at some areas that very likely become fun rapids at higher levels. I stopped where I did due to my family on the trail petering out. It was shallow enough I wasn't terribly sad to get off the run and besides, being alone, I didn't want to accidentally encounter the Cl V drop that I couldn't remember exactly where it was supposed to be :)

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Merrimack Valley Paddlers
4 years ago

Jimmy and I paddled yesterday. Strainers are everywhere, but all passable. However, the long left channel that starts just above the beaver pond is hopelessly blocked. Takeout, now upstream of the water works on left, has a rather steep climb-out. One must hike across a river bridge on the rail trail to exit. Alden Bird, in Let it Rain, says there is no permission to park alongside the rail trail below the old mill, but his description of a portage river left of the dam is invalid, for the takeout is now fenced off by the water works. If you positioned a cart, you could walk, carry or drag 1/2 mile back to the covered bridge parking area., I have run the dam off a jump platform far right, just left of a barrier rock below, but a friend's paddling hobby ended when he got carried along the boil line until he was spit out at the far left end.

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Ben Selleck
5 years ago

The route 4 bridge is under construction and there is a cable across the river at this location just under the water at 300. There are a couple full width strainers after the left turn just after rte 4.

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Jeffrey Clayman
12 years ago

Ran river 5/5/08. Clear and open all the way to covered bridge. No obstructions.

Gage Descriptions

Tell us about this gauge by leaving a comment.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports




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Protecting Access to New Hampshire Rivers

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AW, MVP Protect Land and Access on the Contoocook River (NH)

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Alex Barham


Skip Morris


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1209423 05/01/18 Alex Barham Location and Info
1209495 05/04/18 Alex Barham
1190968 10/13/05 Skip Morris n/a
1199817 04/13/11 Skip Morris