Explore the Merrimack

Boating, kayaking or canoeing

Great! You’ll find a wide variety of experiences and environments—ranging from lake-like calm water to fierce (and sometimes dangerous) rapids and tidal flows.

Here is information on each of the four major regions of the Merrimack:

the Four Major regions of the Merrimack:

Lower Mass

From the sea to the Great Stone Dam in Lawrence, 30 miles.  Most of this stretch is tidal, which can present challenges for paddlers—particularly when the tide is going out.  This is the busiest stretch of the river, with thousands of power boats docked at marinas, resting on moorings, or entering via boat ramps.  Many miles of excellent water for powerboating.  Some kayaking happens along this part of the river, but in many areas you’ll contend with wakes and confusing currents.

Upper Mass

From the Great Stone Dam in Lawrence to the New Hampshire border, 19 miles.  A wide variety of boating options (kayaks, canoes, power boats, crew boats).  This region has 2 dams—in Lawrence and Lowell.

Lower N.H.

From the Mass. border to Garvin’s Falls dam in Bow, 35 miles.  This area also supports a good variety of boating options, though it can be shallow and tricky in some parts. Not an ideal place to bring a deep-draft boat.  There are 3 dams—in Manchester, Hooksett and Bow.

Upper N.H.

From Bow to the river’s headwaters, in Franklin—30 miles.  This is the arguably the best region for paddlers.  A wide range of water conditions (ranging from calm to rapids). Long stretches of wild, unpeopled shorelines, this area is eligible for inclusion on the national list of Wild and Scenic Rivers.  Tends to be shallow and rocky in many spots.

Join the fun

Come learn with us! The Town of Tewksbury and the Merrimack River Watershed Council are holding a public meeting to discuss flooding issues in town, both informed by a recent town-wide survey, and engineering analysis. We will also be discussing green infrastructure as a solution to this flooding, with specifics on what green infrastructure is already in place and what may be implemented in the future.

The meeting will be held at the Tewksbury Library (300 Chandler Street) on May 23rd, 6-7 pm.
Space is limited, so sign up soon! Visit our website to register and learn more: www.tewksbury-ma.gov/flooding
Looking for a weekday escape? There are still spots on our FREE guided hike around Pinnacle Park on Monday at 1pm! Register through the link in our bio, and bring a friend!

#pinnaclepark #hikenh #newhampshire #freeevent #hooksettnh #Merrimackriver
Last week our NH team wrapped up our spring tree planting initiative to better protect source water throughout the watershed. In total, 975 native trees and shrubs made it into the ground- WOW! 

We were pleased to welcome Karl Honkonen, a Forest Watershed Specialist in the US Forest Service’s Eastern Region, on his visit to one of the restoration sites. Here in Concord, trees were planted within a narrow strip between a road and a stream to slow road salt runoff and prevent future erosion. Stay tuned for more tree planting highlights! @u.s.forestservice 

#drinkingwater #sourcewaterprotection #treeplanting #ecologicalrestoration
Come learn with us! The Town of Tewksbury and the Merrimack River Watershed Council are holding a public meeting to discuss flooding issues in town, both informed by a recent town-wide survey, and engineering analysis. We will also be discussing green infrastructure as a solution to this flooding, with specifics on what green infrastructure is already in place and what may be implemented in the future.

The meeting will be held at the Tewksbury Library (300 Chandler Street) on May 23rd, 6-7 pm.
Space is limited, so sign up soon! Visit the event registration link in our bio, or visit www.tewksbury-ma.gov/flooding to register and learn more. @tewksburydpw
It's a busy month on the Merrimack! Come enjoy the river at one of our educational and recreational events. Whether you like hiking, kayaking, or learning about the river, there's something for you!  For the most up-to-date information, check the "upcoming events" page on our website, linked in our bio. 

Check our our May events schedule: https://conta.cc/3w3nzNA

#outdooreducation #recreation #MerrimackRiver #ConcordNH #NewburyportMA #ManchesterNH #freehike #hikeNH #hikeMA
Happy #ArborDay from MRWC. Did you know that planting trees along the riverbank can help prevent erosion? It also reduces excess nutrients from runoff entering our drinking water source. 

Want to be part of the solution? Join us for a our next tree planting in Concord, NH this Thursday at 10am. The link to sign up is in our bio. #treeplanting #concordnh #volunteernh #ecologicalrestoration 

(Pictured: seedlings planted in Bradford, New Hampshire earlier this month)
On Tuesday, we were on the banks of the beautiful Merrimack River in Lowell to celebrate the partnerships behind cleaning up the Merrimack River, with Congresswoman Lori Trahan, Mayor Sokhary Chau, City of Lowell, MA and the UMass Lowell Bellegarde Boathouse.

Matthew Thorne, executive director of the MRWC, said every resident in Lowell, Lawrence and Methuen receives their drinking water from the Merrimack River, making it extremely important to ensure that water is clean and free of contaminants.
An amazing photo from @mariesapienza of the Merrimack River in Salisbury, and Tom's Toothpick!

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