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New Hampshire whitewater, Merrimack River

Merrimack county, Franklin to Penacook section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.

 

CLASS I     18 miles
  If you're coming from Concord it's not a long drive at all to the put-in location, as you can see on the road map further down. The Franklin to Penacook stretch of Merrimack River in Merrimack County is 18 miles long and is rated by American Whitewater as a class I section. Getting some good exercise and just hanging out with mother nature have people coming from far and near. The average New Hampshire whitewater rafting or kayaking river
    tends to be harder to run than those in other states, so keep in mind that many of the sections here are not safe for beginners. If you're a camper you can camp at one of the great campgrounds nearby. There arenít any hotels
right nearby but if you're willing to drive a short distance then no problem but do book a room before you come because it is a very popular destination. Some people prefer whitewater rafting and some kayaking, either way around here you'll find a large number of good spots. This stretch has enough mileage for an overnight trip, so why not pack your sleeping bag too. There are a few other stretches in this river system that can be paddled  
as well. The natural beauty of Merrimack County and the cool fresh water beats anything.

Briefly about the general area:
Merrimack River State Forest is a wonderful forest area in the vicinity of Merrimack River, and you're sure to encounter some nice people from Canterbury here. Merrimack River is a good site of normal rain. For the duration of May this area sees the most rain, and the driest of the months is January. Summertime highs at Merrimack River usually tend to be in the 80's, and the nighttime is a little colder of course, mostly in the 50's. All through the wintertime the highs are regularly in the 20's while Merrimack River night low temperatures during the wintertime are in the 0's.

Merrimack River, Franklin to Penacook road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.

   

Map
map
Detailed Map


Stats
map
Stats for this river stretch


Weather
weather
Local weather forecast


OUTDOORS
These outdoors activities are available near Merrimack River.
 Whitewater Near Merrimack River:
Winnipesaukee River, Belknap / Merrimack County, 4 miles away
      Class III-IV - 1.25 miles long (Cross Mill bridge road to Franklin)
Merrimack River, Merrimack County, 4 miles away
      Class I - 18 miles long (Franklin to Penacook)
Winnipesaukee River, Belknap County, 6 miles away
      Class I-II - 2.1 miles long (Upper)
Blackwater River, Merrimack County, 6 miles away
      Class II-IV - 2.5 miles long (Route 127 to Snyder's Mill)
Pemigewasset River, Grafton/ Belknap County, 14 miles away
      Class II(III) - 1.6 miles long (Ayers Island dam to Coolidge)
Newfound River River, Grafton County, 15 miles away
      Class II-III - 1.5 miles long (Newfound lake to Bristol)
Smith River, Merrimack / Grafton County, 16 miles away
      Class IV - 1.75 miles long (Route 104 to Bristol)
Piscataquog River, Hillsborough County, 18 miles away
      Class II - 2.4 miles long (Goffstown)
Contoocook River, Hillsborough County, 18 miles away
      Class II(III) - 2 miles long (Henniker)
Contoocook River, Hillsborough County, 20 miles away
      Class III-IV - 3 miles long (Hillsborough to Henniker)
 Ski Areas Near Merrimack River:
Pats Peak, New Hampshire , 16 miles away, 710 foot drop, 8 lifts, 21 runs
Ragged Mountain, New Hampshire , 16 miles away, 1250 foot drop, 5 lifts, 45 runs
Gunstock, New Hampshire , 20 miles away, 1400 foot drop, 8 lifts, 45 runs
Tenney Mountain, New Hampshire , 22 miles away, 1400 foot drop, 4 lifts, 48 runs
McIntyre, New Hampshire , 22 miles away, 300 foot drop, 5 lifts, 11 runs
Crotched Mountain, New Hampshire , 25 miles away, 875 foot drop, 5 lifts, 23 runs
Abenaki, New Hampshire , 30 miles away, 100 foot drop, 2 lifts, 6 runs
Waterville Valley, New Hampshire , 31 miles away, 2020 foot drop, 11 lifts, 52 runs
Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire , 32 miles away, 1510 foot drop, 10 lifts, 62 runs
Loon Mountain, New Hampshire , 35 miles away, 2100 foot drop, 10 lifts, 45 runs
 Marinas Near Merrimack River:
Jay's Marina, Tilton , 10 miles away
Lakeport Landing, Laconia , 14 miles away
Thurston's Marina, Laconia , 17 miles away
Meredith Marina, Meredith , 17 miles away
Paugus Bay Marina, Meredith , 17 miles away
 Beaches Near Merrimack River:
Endicott Park Beach, Belknap , 17 miles away
Gilford Beach, Belknap , 19 miles away
 Hotels Near Merrimack River:
Super 8 Tilton/Lake Winnipesaukee, Tilton , 6 miles away
Holiday Inn Express & Suites TILTON - LAKES REGION, Tilton , 6 miles away
Hampton Inn - Suites Tilton, Tilton , 7 miles away
Econo Lodge Inn & Suites Tilton, Tilton , 8 miles away
Courtyard Concord, Concord , 9 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Merrimack River:
Thousand Aces Family Campground, Franklin, 3 miles away
Pine Grove Campground, Franklin, 5 miles away
Cold Brook Campground, Webster, 8 miles away
 Trails Near Merrimack River:
Wilmot Trail, Merrimack , 17 miles away
Onemile Trail, Merrimack , 20 miles away
Old Country Road, Hillsborough , 20 miles away
 Public Lands Near Merrimack River:
Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Boston - MA , 64 miles away
Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, Woonsocket - RI , 69 miles away
Rollins State Park, New Hampshire , 16 miles away
Winslow State Park, New Hampshire , 17 miles away
Wellington State Beach, New Hampshire , 18 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Merrimack River:
Canterbury Woods Country Club, Canterbury , 2 miles away
Mojalaki Golf Club, Franklin , 4 miles away
Beaver Meadow Golf Course, Concord , 7 miles away
 Lakes Near Merrimack River
Pillsbury Lake, Merrimack , 6 miles away
Webster Lake, Merrimack , 7 miles away
Lake Winnisquam, Belknap , 8 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.