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Difficulty II(III)
Length 2 Miles
Flow Range 6.20 - 10.70 FT
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 4.5 [FT] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 05/01/2018 10:18 pm

River Description

This is a nice easy class II medium size river. At higher levels it has a big water feel to it with large waves, holes, and turbulance. But even at high water all these features are easily run or avoided. The toughest stretch is a broken dam just upstream from the bridge to the takeout. Scout this drop from the bridge before you run. At medium and high levels there is a nice surfing wave at the outflow through the broken section of the dam. The river starts out with quickwater and class I rapids after the bridge in the center of town the difficulty picks up to class II. Be catious in high water (above 9') this section can increase in difficulty.

Technical info

Put in elevation........419'
Take out elevation......383'
Total drop..............36'
Average drop/mile.......18'
Distance................2.0 miles
River width average.....70'
River geology...........Small to medium granite boulders
River water quality.....Fair to good, clarity fair to good.
Scenery.................The river runs through the center of Henniker, 
                        starts and ends in a rural area.
Wildlife................Deer, Merganzers, Blue herons. 


Put in
I-93 from southern NH just before Concord take I-89 north
Approximately 9 miles take the exit 5 ramp to Rt 202 West (Henniker/Keene).
Take the Henniker/Bradford exit.
Take a left (east) on NH 114.
Approximately 1/2 mile to the blinking light in Henniker center take a right onto Western Ave.
Approximately 1 mile look for a wide shoulder on the left just after the Henniker police station.

Alternate directions from Rt 101 Manchester. Rt 114 North to Downtown Henniker. Cross the bridge and take a left onto Western Ave. Follow it to the put in.
Take out
Head back to the intersection of NH-114 and continue straight through the intersection, this is now Main st.
Take a right at the "y" intersection just past the Main Street businesses
Continue 1/2 mile over a bridge then take an immediate left on a dirt road alonge the river. This is the take out.

Rapid Descriptions

Rivers of the lower Contoocook region

Class - Mile - 0


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Scott M
5 years ago

The take-out is on Ramsdell Rd, off of 114. From town, go down 114 for about 1/2 mile, then Left on Ramsdell. There is a small park at the bridge with plenty of parking.

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Lora Fulton
8 years ago

Seven of us ran this river today (3/18/2012). There were no strainers or any other debris to look out for. We had a nice float down the first section and plenty of play on the lower section.

Gage Descriptions

USGS gauge located upstream on the class III-IV section. This section can be run at a slightly lower level than the upper. This section is usually runnable between late March and late May and often runable at other times. Forecast

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.

Date Flow Result Factor  
2001-04-22 High Fatality Solo Paddling Read More



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Protecting Access to New Hampshire Rivers

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Northeast boaters can celebrate that another beloved whitewater gem has been protected. Paddlers on the Winnipeseaukee River are now assured that the put-in on the Lower Winni in Northfield, NH will be forever protected thanks to the donation of a parcel from Gloria Blais in memory of her husband Roger. Gloria donated the land to the Town of Northfield for the purpose of assuring that future generations of boaters will have access to the river. Protecting river access to the Winni is part of an ongoing effort by AW in the northeast region to protect river access.

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Bellows Falls (VT) Flow Study Reveals Hidden Whitewater

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

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American Whitewater and Merrimack Valley Paddlers have reached an agreement to purchase a 10-acre parcel fronting on Contoocook River in Henniker, NH. The land serves as an important launch point for whitewater paddlers enjoying the popular section of the river that runs from Hillsborough to Henniker. This section of the Contoocook River contains rapids ranging in difficulty from Class II to Class IV.


Alex Barham


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1209413 05/01/18 Alex Barham Location
1193477 05/08/04 n/a n/a