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Difficulty II-V
Length 3.3 Miles
Flow Range 1200 - 2500 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 54 minutes ago 664 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 05/01/2018 9:33 pm

River Description

It's unfortunate this river does not appeal to most paddlers. It starts out with a difficult class V stairstep drop that is usually chocked with lumber making it unrunnable. You can access the river below the falls and start out with class IV action for half a mile, then it diminishes to class III for another half mile then the remaining part of the river is generally class II to the takeout.
The river is small about the size of the popular Souhegan river in southern NH. It is somewhat remote with no other access between the put in and take out. Therefore novice to intermediate paddlers will want to portage the class IV water at the start. This is best done by a snomobile/Mtn. biking trail that follows the upper portions on river left (opposite bank from the put in). Intermediate and advanced paddlers may be somewhat bored on the lower sections but the wilderness scenery can make up for the lack of challange.

Put in

Interstate 93 to exit 28 (Campton / Waterville Valley)
If you are coming from the south take a left (right from the north) on route 49
Proceed over the Pemigewasset river bridge (this is one possible take out) to the intersection of NH route 3
Take a left then an immediate right then another right onto Ellsworth Hill road
About 3 miles take a right on Puckerbrush road
About 1 mile take a right on Tyler Way
Follow road to the end (about 1 mile) until is dead ends at a small condo complex by the class V falls. From here you can carry downstream a little to the class IV rapids.
Note: Parking here at the put in may not be appreciated by the residents of the condo complex. Please unload boats here and park back up the hill at the community tennis complex. You can also access the river here at the tennis complex but you will need to portage Branch brook falls. To portage the falls put on the river and ferry across to river left. Use the trail that follows the river on that side to carry downstream from the falls.

Take out

There are three possible takeouts. To access the one furthest downstream, park by the Pemigewasset river bridge crossing as mentioned above in the put in paragraph. Cross the bridge and take left onto a short dirt road to the river right take out. Note: you will paddle a very short distance on the Pemi once Branch brook empties into it.
Another possible take out is at the Branch Brook campground.
Take a right into the campground which is on route 49 shortly after the Pemigewasset bridge crossing. During the Summer camping season this takeout may not be accessable unless you are a guest at the campground.
Another possible take out is on the Route 3 bridge crossing over Branch Brook
Take a right on route 3 north for a 1/4 mile to the bridge crossing. You may be able to park a vehicle at Thornton Collision center or Chelsey's market just before the bridge.

Rapid Descriptions


Gage Descriptions

There is no gage for this section. Look at the Route 3 bridge crossing just to the north of Thornton Collision Center. If this looks runnnable then the upper sections should be fine.
Look for it to run in April and early May with a little rain.

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


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1209477 05/03/18 Alex Barham Location
1193806 05/07/03 n/a n/a
1209403 05/01/18 Alex Barham Location