Fields and forest near Fitchburg, MA - Photo by Al Futterman

Nashua River Watershed Statistics

Total Drainage Area: 538 square miles
Massachusetts Drainage Area: 454 square miles
New Hampshire Drainage Area: 74 square miles
Total Length of Nashua River: 56 miles
Massachusetts Total Length of Nashua River: 46 miles
New Hampshire Total Length of Nashua River: 10 miles
Major Tributaries: Nissitissit, North Nashua, Quinapoxet, South Nashua, Squannacook, and Stillwater Rivers
Total Forest Area: 62.6%
Total Residential Area: 13.3%
Total Agricultural Area: 11.9%
Approximate Surface Area of Lakes, Ponds and Reservoirs: 6,818 acres


The Nashua River is one of the few rivers in the world that flows north.

An award-winning children’s story was written about the clean-up of the Nashua River, A River Ran Wild, by Lynne Cherry.

The name Nashua comes from the native word for the river “Nash-a-way” meaning “river with the pebbled bottom.”