New Hampshire is a state in the northeastern region of the United States, known for its beautiful mountain ranges, forests, and lakes. It is home to several rivers that originate from the White Mountains and run through the state before flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. In this article, we will discuss the five longest rivers in New Hampshire, their features, and the role they play in the state’s economy and environment.
The Pemigewasset River
The Pemigewasset River is the longest river in New Hampshire, stretching for a length of approximately 65 miles. It originates in Franconia Notch and flows through the White Mountains and several towns, including Lincoln, Woodstock, and Plymouth before joining the Winnipesaukee River to form the Merrimack River. The Pemigewasset River is known for its scenic beauty, popular recreational activities, and rich history. It was once an important trade route for Native Americans and Europeans and played a crucial role in the state’s logging industry.
The Connecticut River
The Connecticut River is the second-longest river in New Hampshire, running for approximately 410 miles from its source in Connecticut to its mouth in Long Island Sound. It forms the border between New Hampshire and Vermont, and also between New Hampshire and Massachusetts for a short distance. The Connecticut River is an important natural resource, providing drinking water, irrigation, and hydroelectric power to several communities along its course. It is also a popular destination for recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and hiking.
The Androscoggin River
The Androscoggin River is the third-longest river in New Hampshire, with a length of approximately 178 miles. It originates in Maine’s Umbagog Lake and flows through New Hampshire before joining the Kennebec River in Maine. The Androscoggin River played a significant role in the state’s industrialization, serving as a source of power for mills and factories in towns such as Berlin and Gorham. Today, the river is experiencing a resurgence, with efforts underway to restore its water quality and promote its recreational potential.
The Merrimack River
The Merrimack River is the fourth-longest river in New Hampshire, stretching for approximately 117 miles. It originates in Franklin, New Hampshire, and flows through several towns, including Concord, Manchester, and Lowell, Massachusetts, before entering the Atlantic Ocean at Newburyport, Massachusetts. The Merrimack River is an important economic resource, providing drinking water, hydroelectric power, and transportation to several communities along its course. It is also a popular destination for recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and hiking.
The Saco River
The Saco River is the fifth-longest river in New Hampshire, running for approximately 130 miles. It originates in the White Mountains and flows through Fryeburg, Maine, before entering the Atlantic Ocean at Saco Bay. The Saco River is known for its scenic beauty, popular recreational activities, and historic significance. It was once a vital transportation route for Native Americans and European settlers and served as a source of power for mills in the 19th century.
How Length is Measured
The length of a river is measured from its source to its mouth, which is the point where it flows into another body of water. It is important to note that the length of a river can vary depending on the method of measurement and the definition of its source and mouth. For example, some sources include the length of tributaries in the total length of a river, while others do not. However, the lengths of the five rivers discussed in this article are widely accepted and recognized.
Other Notable Rivers in New Hampshire
In addition to the five longest rivers, New Hampshire is home to several other notable rivers, including the Contoocook River, the Suncook River, the Lamprey River, and the Winnipesaukee River. These rivers contribute to the state’s biodiversity, recreation, and economy.
The five longest rivers in New Hampshire, the Pemigewasset, Connecticut, Androscoggin, Merrimack, and Saco Rivers, are important natural resources that have played a significant role in the state’s history and development. They provide drinking water, irrigation, hydroelectric power, and transportation to several communities along their course. They are also popular destinations for recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and hiking. It is important to recognize and protect these rivers and their ecosystems for future generations to enjoy.
- “New Hampshire Rivers.” New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. 2021. .
- “Pemigewasset River.” White Mountains Attractions Association. 2021. .
- “Connecticut River.” Connecticut River Joint Commissions. 2021. https://www.crjc.org/.
- “Androscoggin River.” Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce. 2021. .
- “Merrimack River.” Merrimack River Watershed Council. 2021. https://www.merrimack.org/.
- “Saco River.” Saco River Corridor Commission. 2021. .