River Bagging The New Hampshire 73

April 25, 2014

By Justin Chase

New Hampshire is home to some of the most beautiful waterways in the world. With mountain backdrops, protected wilderness shorelines, and classic New England covered bridges, they afford world-class adventures for paddlers of all kinds. From rushing whitewater to sleepy streams, New Hampshire has it all, including 73 fourth order (or higher) waterways. Therefore, I propose the following challenge: River Bagging the New Hampshire 73 (NH73).

The New Hampshire 73

The New Hampshire 73 (Click for Interactive Map)

Stream order hierarchy refers to the size of perennial rivers by noting their number of collective tributaries. The image below (retrieved from the University of New Hampshire Extension) explains the process of ordering waterways based on upstream confluence.

An Explanation of Stream Order

An Explanation of Stream Order

River order is measured from 1-12, with 4th being the first of the medium sized streams and 12th being the largest rivers. Orders 4-12 include all substantial waterways.

The alphabetical list below includes every stream and river for the NH73 and was arranged by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services as part of its general database.

The New Hampshire 73


Beginning of Fourth Order or Higher Segment

End of Fourth Order or Higher Segment

1. Ammonoosuc RiverJuncture of Crawford Brook in CarrollJuncture of Connecticut River
2. Androscoggin RiverJuncture of Magalloway River at Lake UmbagogMaine Border
3. Ashuelot RiverJuncture of Grassy Brook in MarlowJuncture of Connecticut River
4. Baboosic BrookJuncture of Riddle Brook in MerrimackJuncture of Souhegan River
5. Baker RiverJuncture of Ore Hill Brook in WarrenJuncture of Pemigewasset River
6. Bean RiverJuncture of North Outlet of Pawtuckaway Pond in NottinghamJuncture of North River in Nottingham
7. Bearcamp RiverJuncture of Atwood Brook in SandwichInlet of Ossipee Lake
8. Beards BrookJuncture of Shedd Brook in HillsboroughJuncture of Contoocook River
9. Beaver BrookJuncture of Golden Brook in PelhamMassachusetts Border
10. Bellamy RiverOutlet of Bellamy Reservoir in MadburyTidal Limit in Dover
11. Blackwater RiverJuncture of Frazier Brook in AndoverJuncture of Contoocook River
12. Cocheco RiverJuncture of Isinglass River in RochesterTidal Limit in Dover
13. Cohas BrookJuncture of Outlet of Massabesic Lake in ManchesterJuncture of Merrimack River
14. Cold RiverJuncture of Warren Brook in AlsteadJuncture of Connecticut River
15. Connecticut RiverOutlet of Second Connecticut Lake in PittsburgMassachusetts Border
16. Contoocook River
Note:The 1992 list placed the beginning of fourth order status at “Juncture of Town Farm Brook east of Jaffrey/Peterborough line.”
Juncture of outlet of Mountain Brook Reservoir, JaffreyJuncture of Merrimack River
17. Dead Diamond RiverJuncture of East & West Branches in Atkinson & Gilmanton GrantJuncture of Magalloway River
18. East Branch Dead Diamond RiverJuncture of Middle Branch in Atkinson & Gilmanton GrantJuncture of Dead Diamond River
19. East Branch Pemigewasset RiverJuncture of Carrigain Branch & northeast Tributary in Stillwater (Lincoln)Juncture of Pemigewasset River
20. Exeter RiverJuncture of Great Brook in ExeterTidal Limit in Exeter
21. Fowler RiverJuncture of Bog Brook in AlexandriaInlet of Newfound Lake
22. Frazier BrookJuncture of Kimpton Brook (Outlet of Eagle Pond) in WilmotJuncture of Blackwater River
23. Gale RiverJuncture of Ham Branch in FranconiaJuncture of Ammonoosuc River
24. Isinglass RiverJuncture of Nippo Brook in BarringtonJuncture of Cocheco River
25. Israel RiverJuncture of Mill Brook in JeffersonJuncture of Connecticut River
26. Lamprey RiverJuncture of North Branch River in RaymondTidal Limit in Newmarket
27. Little Massabesic BrookJuncture of Hook & Preston Brooks (Above Little Massabesic Lake) in AuburnJuncture of Sucker Brook
28. Magalloway River
Note: The 1992 list showed the Little River of Atkinson/Plaistow as #28. All subsequent river numberings in the current list have been reduced by one.
Maine Border with Second College GrantInlet of Lake Umbagog
29. Mascoma RiverJuncture of Indian River in CanaanJuncture of Connecticut River
30. Merrimack RiverJuncture of Pemigewasset & Winnipesaukee Rivers in FranklinMassachusetts Border
31. Mink BrookJuncture of Unnamed Tributary from north in Etna (Hanover) below Ruddsboro RoadJuncture of Connecticut River
32. Mirey BrookJuncture of Roaring Brook in WinchesterJuncture of Ashuelot River
33. Mohawk RiverJuncture of Hix Brook in Kidderville (Colebrook)Juncture of Connecticut River
34. Moose BrookJuncture of Perkins Brook in GorhamJuncture of Androscoggin River
35. Moosilauke BrookJuncture of Jackman Brook & Lost River in WoodstockJuncture of Pemigewasset River
36. Nashua RiverMassachusetts Border with HollisJuncture of Merrimack River
37. Newfound RiverOutlet of Newfound Lake in BristolJuncture of Pemigewasset River
38. Nissitissit RiverOutlet of Potanipo Pond in BrooklineMassachusetts Border
39. North RiverJuncture of Bean River in NottinghamJuncture of Lamprey River
40. North Branch [Contoocook River]Juncture of Outlets of Island Pond & Robb Reservoir (Bailey Brook) in StoddardJuncture of Beards Brook
41. North Branch Sugar RiverJuncture of Sawyer & Stocker Brooks in GranthamJuncture of Sugar River
42. Nubanusit BrookOutlet of MacDowell Reservoir in PeterboroughJuncture of Contoocook River
43. Ossipee RiverOutlet of Berry Bay in Effingham FallsMaine Border
44. Outlet of Massabesic LakeOutlet of Massabesic Lake in ManchesterJuncture of Cohas Brook
45. Partridge BrookJuncture of Glebe Brook in WestmorelandJuncture of Connecticut River
46. Peabody RiverJuncture of West Branch in Green’s GrantJuncture of Androscoggin RIver
47. Pemigewasset RiverJuncture of Harvard Brook in LincolnJuncture of Merrimack River
48. Pequawket BrookOutlet of Upper Pequawket Pond in MadisonJuncture of Swift River
49. Pine RiverJuncture of Beech River in OssipeeInlet of Ossipee Lake
50. Piscataquog RiverJuncture of Dudley Brook in WeareJuncture of Merrimack River
51. Saco RiverJuncture of Sawyer River in Hart’s LocationMaine Border
52. Salmon Falls RiverOutlet of Milton Pond in MiltonTidal Limit in Rollinsford
53. Smith RiverJuncture of Smith Brook in GraftonJuncture of Pemigewasset River
54. Soucook RiverJuncture of Pickard Brook in LoudonJuncture of Merrimack River
55. Souhegan RiverJuncture of South & West Branches in New IpswichJuncture of Merrimack River
56. South Branch Ashuelot RiverJuncture of Nester/Rockwood & Quarry Brooks in TroyJuncture of Ashuelot River
57. South Branch Baker RiverJuncture of Rocky Brook in DorchesterJuncture of Baker River
58. South Branch Piscataquog RiverJuncture of Middle Branch in New BostonJuncture of Piscataquog River
59. Spicket RiverJuncture of Providence Hill Brook & Outlet of Arlington Hill Reservoir in SalemMassachusetts Border
60. Stocker BrookJuncture of Eastman & Bog Brooks in GranthamJuncture of North Branch Sugar River
61. Stony BrookJuncture of Outlet of Wilton Reservoir in WiltonJuncture of Souhegan River
62. Sucker BrookJuncture of Clark Pond & Little Massabesic Brooks in Auburn VillageInlet of Massabesic Lake
63. Sugar RiverJuncture of Trask Brook in NewportJuncture of Connecticut River
64. Suncook RiverOutlet of Suncook Lakes in BarnsteadJuncture of Merrimack River
65. Swift Diamond RiverJuncture of Fourmile Brook in Second College GrantJuncture of Dead Diamond River
66. Swift RiverJuncture of Pequawket Brook in ConwayJuncture of Saco River
67. The BranchJuncture of Otter & Minnewawa Brooks in KeeneJuncture of Ashuelot River
68. Turkey RiverOutlet of Little Turkey Pond in ConcordJuncture of Merrimack River
69. Upper Ammonoosuc RiverJuncture of Keenan Brook in BerlinJuncture of Connecticut River
70. Warner RiverJuncture of West Branch & Outlet of Todd Lake (Andrew Brook) in BradfordJuncture of Contoocook River
71. West Branch Dead Diamond RiverJuncture of Roby Brook in PittsburgJuncture of Dead Diamond River
72. Wild RiverJuncture of Bull Brook in Bean’s PurchaseMaine Border
73. Winnipesaukee RiverOutlet of Paugus Bay, Lake Winnipesaukee in Lakeport (Laconia)Juncture of Merrimack River

Additionally, to best search for safe launch and landing sites, I recommend using Paddling.net’s incredibly awesome interactive map. They do a seriously great job over there.

Paddling.net offers Incredible Online Resources, Including an Interactive Launch/Landing Map. Perfect for Planning the NH73!

Screenshot of Paddling.net’s Interactive Launch & Landing Map

To consider a river bagged, I suggest paddling a reach of each river that is appropriate to your skillset, equipment, and conditions. Rivers change drastically from season to season and year to year, so take care to fully assess conditions before launching. Also, make note to ensure you’re paddling a reach of each river that is indeed fourth order or higher, and enjoy some wicked fun paddling.

See you on the water!

Justin Chase

Justin Chase

Justin Chase is author of the outdoor blog, Outdoors, By Cracky!

Justin’s favorite Kühl gear: Revel 1/4 zip “It’s seriously awesome.”

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