Canoes on the Squannacook River – Photo by Nancy Ohringer

Recreation in the Nashua River Watershed: A Benefit of Conservation

It was the dedication of an outdoorswoman that initiated the formation of the Nashua River Watershed Association in the 1960s. Marion Stoddart’s passion for the natural world, in combination with that of hundreds of NRWA members over the decades, has fueled the conservation efforts of the Association.

Our mission is to balance human needs with protection of natural resources, most specifically our precious water resources. Protecting water resources means protecting land resources—forests, fields, riverside greenways—whose use profoundly affects water quality and quantity. The benefits of those conservation efforts go beyond preservation of natural resources. For example, conservation brings economic benefits, ranging from higher property values for homeowners to choice locations for businesses. A very appealing by-product of conservation is the creation of numerous recreational opportunities.

Willard Brook State Park - Photo by Kim King

While recreation is not, in and of itself, the mission of the NRWA, we recognize the important role it plays in conservation efforts. People need to know about and value the natural resources in our watershed before they commit to helping protect those resources. A great first step is to get out and enjoy our waterways and trails. We think much of our support comes from those who have fallen in love with a special stretch of river or a favorite path in the woods.

Whether you like to paddle, fish, hike and walk, bike, observe wildlife, or just sit and enjoy a beautiful view, there is something for everyone. We hope you will take the opportunity to explore new places and enjoy old favorites, and we hope you ask a friend to join you, so you can introduce them to the wonderful natural places of the Nashua River watershed. And, we invite you to come back to our site and share your story and photos—tell us what you saw, let others know about a great hiking trail, or report on your river trip by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Enjoy the wonders of our watershed!