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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

Our September Newsletter talks about the drought, climate change and river news.  #climatechange #drought #MerrimackRiver
Save the date! On September 20th at 8pm, PlumIsland Surfcasters are hosting fisheries biologist Micah Kieffer, who will present on "Sturgeon in the Merrimack River: a story of decline and recovery." Admission is free to members and $5.00 for non-members. Virtual attendance is FREE to all. 

For more information, visit

#sturgeon #merrimackriver #fisheries
Our partners at @groundworklawrence are holding their annual cleanup event on Saturday, September 24th. The Spicket River is located in our watershed and we are all connected by a need for clean water.

To sign up, and for more information, visit:

#rivercleanup #spicketriver #lawrencema
Sklar Waterfront Park is a beautiful, tucked away public space along the banks of the Merrimack river in the town of Merrimack, NH. Join MRWC here on Saturday September 17th for a 1 hour nature and history walk. 

We will learn about the area’s unique floodplain forest, and  the history of the park which was once the site of a ferry crossing that operated during the colonial era.

This is a FREE event, but pre-registration is REQUIRED! Registration link is in our bio. (Photo by CU Maps)
In this month's newsletter, we look back on the leadership of our Executive Director, look forward to September events, and get up to speed on MRWC projects.
Want a way to challenge your fitness while enjoying the Merrimack River? Join us for the Merrimack River Trail Triathlon! 
The Friends of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail is hosting a 4k bike, 2k paddle, and 3k trail run along the river in Concord, NH on Sunday, September 11th, 2022. Join as an individual or as a relay team. And there's even a fun run for the kids! You can register for the race here.

Not ready to race but still want to support the triathlon? MRWC is looking for volunteers to help prepare the site and provide support the day of the race. 

More information about the triathlon can be found at (Link in bio!)

All proceeds will go to FMRGT to help build the Merrimack River Greenway Trail, a multi-purpose recreational trail along the Merrimack River in Concord, NH.

#concordnh #triathlon #merrimackriver
The Talbot Mills dam removal project team took advantage of the low flows this past month to collect data along the dam in order to better understand what the river will look like once the dam is removed. The Lowell Telemedia Center visited the project team and developed a great video about the project. Here's preview of the video with MRWC's Susie Bresney. You can view the entire video on the LTC Youtube page. 

Thanks to the @LTCLowellMA team!
Parts of Massachusetts are experiencing critical drought conditions. Droughts are hard on people and crops, but they can also be challenging for native wildlife. Fish are especially vulnerable, but extended dry weather can impact other wildlife species like moose and bear. Click to learn more.
Looking to beat the heat? Check out our artist-in-residence @katedelaney's mural at the Lawrence Public Library. The mural is accompanied by a display of climate-related books, and can be viewed (and checked out!) weekdays 9-5, Thursdays 9-8. 


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