Nashua River – Photo by Sarah Connell Campbell

Sample Pages from "The Nashua River Canoe and Kayak Guide" 6th Edition


Table of Contents

Sample Text

Sample Map


Petapawag Boat Launch

Nashua River Watershed Paddle Launch Sites

Are you looking to see if there is river access in your community?  This list is arranged by community, and subdivided by river.  Detailed descriptions of these launch sites, directions to the launches, and detailed information about the river segments accessible from each launch, can be found in the NRWA Canoe and Kayak GuideView launch locations on Google map.



On the Nashua River

        Hospital Road/Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge Launch


On the Nashua River

        Petapawag Boat Launch

On the Squannacook River

        West Groton Water Department Launch


On the Nashua River

       Still River Depot Road/ Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge Launch


On the Nashua River

        Rt. 117/Seven Bridge Road Launch

On the North Nashua River

        North Main Street Launch

        Pellechia Canoe Launch

        Main Street Bridge Launch


On the Nashua River

        Rt. 119 Car-top Only Launch

        Kemp Conservation Area Launch (Note : this launch may not continue to be open to the public. Contact the Pepperell Conservation Commission for up-to-date information-- (978) 433-0325.)

       Canal Street Launch

        Downstream of Pepperell Dam Launch

On the Nissitissit River

        Prescott Street Bridge Launch


On the Nashua River

        Walker Road Upstream of Ayer Ice House Dam Launch

        Walker Road Downstream of Ayer Ice House Dam Launch


On the Stillwater River

        Moore’s Corner Launch


On the Squannacook River

        Stone Bridge/Canal Street Launch

        Off Elm Street Launch

        Harbor Pond Launch (upstream of Harbor Pond Dam)

        Rt. 119/Main Street Launch (downstream of Harbor Pond Dam)

New Hampshire


On the Nissitissit River

        Bond Street Launch

        Rt. 13 (behind Sunoco) Launch

        South Main Street Bridge Launch


On the Nashua River

        Rt. 111/Depot Road at Runnells Bridge Launch (Note : Private property; must contact landowner will ahead of time to secure permission--(215) 266-7242 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..) 

On the Nissitissit River

        West Hollis Road/Brookline Street Launch


On the Nashua River

        Tilton & Winchester Streets Launch

        Mine Falls Dam Launch (upstream of Mine Falls Dam)

        Millyard Technology Park Launch (Note : Private property for permission to use ramp to access the river contact (603) 598-1275.)

        Main Street Bridge Launch

On Mine Falls Canal

        Mine Falls Pond and Canal Launch  


Nashua River – Photo by Sarah Connell Campbell

Nashua River Canoe and Kayak Guide

Helpful Links
Purchase Guide
Sample Text & Map
Launches by Town + Map
Stream Gages
Pond Maps

One of the best ways to appreciate our rivers is to get out on the water, whether by canoe, kayak, fishing boat, even paddleboard.  To help ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure, we've created the Nashua River Canoe and Kayak Guide.  The Guide provides information on the Nashua River and its tributaries, the Nissitissit, Squannacook, North Nashua, and Stillwater Rivers. This full-color, pocket-sized guide contains 120 pages of information on canoe launch locations, river hazards, what to expect on each segment of our rivers, including sixteen full color maps.

The Nashua River Canoe and Kayak Guide is available for purchase at the NRWA River Resource Center at 592 Main Street (Rt. 119) in Groton, MA beginning June 12, 2017.  It can also be purchased using our online order form, with a modest shipping charge. Order online now.

Thank you to our Nashua River Canoe and Kayak Guide sponsors:

River Club Sponsor

Nashoba Paddler, LLC


Robert & Sarah Porter

Charles River Canoe & Kayak

Squan-A-Tissit Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Additionally, we thank the individuals who donated to the "Canoe & Kayak Guide Project" at the NRWA Auction.

MCC logoFunding provided by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  Funding was also provided by a grant from the Groton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.



Bare Hill Pond

Nashua River Watershed Pond Maps

Beyond the rivers, our watershed has dozens of ponds to explore. For example, Bare Hill Pond in Harvard and Paradise Pond in the Leominster State Forest are lovely places to paddle, with islands and coves to investigate. Most ponds have public access; a quick check with the local town clerk will clarify accessibility and boat launch fees, if any.

Pond Access Information

Mass Fisheries & Wildlife
On-line Pond Maps 

NH Fish and Game
Boating and Fishing Sites 


Featured Photo Gallery

We’re thrilled to receive your watershed photos and stories, and we enjoy sharing them here in our Featured Photo Gallery. Like the photo above sent in by Tony Kvenvold of Harvard, MA. He took this picture of Barred Owls (can you see the second one to the right of the one in the foreground?) in his backyard. One was a parent owl teaching its youngster how to hunt for voles. According to Tony, they were very successful!

Feel free to send us a wildlife photo, a picture of a plant you couldn’t identify, or snapshots of landscapes and interesting places in our watershed. And be sure to tell us a little bit about your picture. Submit your images and stories by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., NRWA Communications Manager. Then visit our website frequently to see what’s new!


Deer and fisher kits by Helen Yetman-BellowsMore Critter Cam Images from Townsend

We enjoyed the first images Helen Yetman-Bellows of Squirrel-EzeTM Friends Artisan Boutique in Townsend sent in from her critter cam, and we thought it would be great to share a few more. 

Thank you again Helen!


Deer and fawn by Helen Yetman-Bellows

Peekaboo deer by Helen Yetman-Bellows

Deer herd by Helen Yetman-Bellows


Bobcat from Helen Yetman-BellowsCritter Cam Images in Townsend

Helen Yetman-Bellows of Squirrel-EzeTM & Friends Artisan Boutique in Townsend decided to see who visits her woods.  Here are some of the wildlife images that were captured on her critter cam. 

Thank you for sharing these Helen!

Red fox by Helen Yetman-Bellows Wild turkey from Helen Yetman-Bellows Black bear from Helen Yetman-Bellows

Raccoon by Helen Yetman-Bellows

Turkey vulture by Helen Yetman-Bellows







 Bobcat by the Nashua River in Pepperell - photo from Andy Padla and Deb Taylor

Bobcat by the Nashua River in Pepperell, MA

This beautiful bobcat was spotted by Deb Taylor while she and Andy Padla were paddling their kayaks on the Nashua River in Pepperell.  Clean water, protected greenway, and large areas of conservation land make it possible for large mammals, like the bobcat, to reside in our watershed.  Photo from Andy Padla and Deb Taylor.



Pandora Sphinx Moth Caterpillar, side view - photo by Pam GilfillanPandora Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha pandorus) Caterpillar

This large caterpillar (roughly 4" long) was found on the porch of Groton resident Judy Adams. Judy reports that when she went to pick it up, it pulled its head (at the right end in the photo) back into its body, creating the impression that the head was at the opposite end of the body. Curious as to its identity, Judy brought it to the NRWA River Resource Center.  Staff onsite were equally mystified and took some photos to use for identification.  Shortly thereafter, Judy called to report she had found her caterpillar through online research, identifying it as the larvae of the Pandora Sphinx Moth.  At last report, the caterpillar was feasting happily on Virginia creeper in Judy's yard, preparing for the day it will pupate in the next phase of its life to become a moth.  A big thank you to Judy for bringing her "mystery caterpillar" to our office!  Caterpillar photos by Pam Gilfillan; moth photo by Michael D. Cheuvront/Wikimedia Commons.

   Pandora Sphinx Moth Caterpillar, overhead view - photo by Pam Gilfillan  Eumorpha Pandorus or Pandora Sphinx Moth - photo by Michael D. Cheuvront, Wikimedia Commons

Red Fox mother and kit - photo by Applewild Upper School Head Erica Reynolds HagerRed Fox Family at Applewild School in Fitchburg

The students at Applewild School are enjoying a great view of Red Fox family activities near their school building this spring.

Thank you to Applewild School for sharing these fun photos! Photos by Applewild Upper School Head Erica Reynolds Hager.


   Mother fox playing with kits- photo by Erica Reynolds Hager  Papa fox - photo by Erica Reynolds Hager Fox kits at play with mother on watch - photos by Erica Reynolds Hager

Volunteers pull invasive water chestnut from the Nashua River - photo by Martha MorganVolunteers at Water Chestnut Pull on the Nashua River

Jacob, 13, from Groton and his family were amongst the volunteers who helped to pull invasive water chestnut from the Pepperell Pond impoundment of the Nashua River.  Thank you to all of those who volunteered their time!  View a slideshow of the chestnut pull created by Denise Hurt. 
Photo by Martha Morgan.


Juvenile Cooper's hawk - photo by Mark ArchambaultJuvenile Cooper's Hawk

This juvenile Cooper's hawk was spotted in Mark's backyard in Nashua, NH.
Photo by Mark Archambault.





Beaver-in-the-Nashua-River-near-the-Steamline-Trail-in-Fitchburg, MABeaver (Castor canadensis)

This beaver was seen swimming in the North Nashua River near the Steamline Trail in Fitchburg, MA.
Photo by Jackie Clarke.



Black-bear---Photo-by-Carolyn-UphamBlack Bear (Ursus americanus)

On the hunt for food, a black bear checks out this yard in Townsend, MA.
Photo by Carolyn Upham.




Two black bears were spotted in this yard in Fitchburg, MA, where one was seen laying on the ground eating apples. This image was captured as the bears moved on. Photo by Ralph Baker.Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

Two black bears were spotted in this yard in Fitchburg, MA, where one was seen laying on the ground eating apples. This image was captured as the bears moved on.
Photo by Ralph Baker.


Canoeing-on-the-Nissitissit-River---Photo-by-Buddy-DoughertyPaddling the Nissitissit River

Every spring members of the Brookline Conservation Commission and the Nissitissit River Land Trust organize a paddle on the beautiful Nissitissit River, a tributary of the Nashua River.  Seen here are longtime NRWA friends Betty Hall (waving) and Nashoba Paddlers owner Diane Carson (paddling).
Photo by Buddy Doherty.



Fishing-on-Peperll-Pond---Photo-by-Jeff-CronstromSunset on Pepperell Pond

The Pepperell Pond impoundment above the Pepperell Dam on the Nashua River between the towns of Pepperell and Groton, MA is known for great fishing, particularly for bass. This lovely sunset was captured by fisherman Jeff Cronstrom.



Flying-squirrel---Photo-by-SandersonFlying Squirrel

That is not an Eastern Bluebird nesting in that bluebird box. It’s a flying squirrel, the only nocturnal squirrel.  Flying squirrels do not actually fly, they glide. They have a patagium (furry membrane) between their front and hind legs that is expanded for gliding. Note the large eyes for nighttime vision, and the flat tail used for stabilizing and braking as it glides. Photo by Bill Sanderson.


Mulpus-Brook-in-June---Photo-by-BrockelmanMulpus Brook

This photo was taken by NRWA volunteer water monitor, Richard Brockelman, at his sampling site on Mulpus Brook in Lunenburg. The brook is flowing fast and high due to heavy rains.



Photo-by-Buddy-DoughertyHeron Rookery

This Great Blue Heron rookery is in Brookline, New Hampshire. Herons nest in colonies and reuse the nests from year to year.
Photo by Buddy Doherty. 




Did you ever think fungus could be so beautiful? This fungus is a type of Polypore, a group of mushrooms that includes bracket fungi. They’re generally found growing on rotting wood. This beauty, floral in its design, was spotted in the Groton Cemetery.
Photo by Dorothy J. Woodle.

Photo-by-Nancy-OhringerWhat do you see?

This fun photo was taken during an NRWA Eco-Adventures program. This young man is enjoying looking at various items under a microscope. Can you tell what he was looking at?  If you’re not sure, look a second time at the barrel of the scope where you’ll spot his escaped subject.
Photo by Nancy Ohringer.




Pileated-Woodpecker---Photo-by-Leo-LaverdurePileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)

Easy to identify simply by its size (18”), the Pileated Woodpecker has a bright red crest, white and black stripes on its face and neck, and black body. A special treat to see.
Photo by Leo Laverdure.





Studying-turtles-on-the-Nashua-RiverInvestigating Turtles

Russell Byron-Kelly stops to investigate turtles basking on a dead log while enjoying a paddle on the Dead River, just off the Nashua River in Groton.
Photo by Charlene Kelly.



Titmouse-and-chickadee-at-a-birdbath---Photo-by-Wynne-TreanoCan you identify the bird on the left?

Many birds thoroughly enjoy a backyard bird bath. One wonders what the Black-capped Chickadee on the right thinks of his soggy friend. The bird on the left is a juvenile Tufted Titmouse who, perhaps, got a bit carried away with his swim.
Photo by Kristopher Kvenvold. 


Water-lilyFragrant Water-Lily (Nymphaea odorata)

This common white water-lily blooms from June to August on many ponds. This one was photographed on Pepperell Pond, the impoundment of the Nashua River above the Pepperell Dam. Photo by Martha Morgan.