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Lower Blackwater and Contoocook

A self-supported trip created by fssnowshoe

Trip Overview

Put in off the Tyler Road/Riverdale Cemetery (Webster, NH) access point and paddle down the Blackwater to its confluence with the Contoocook River and continue to the Takeout at 17 Island Road Penacook, NH. There is no river access at the confluence so you must continue downstream. Other access points to take out are possible it just depends how far you want to carry your boat. Trip is mostly quick water/flatwater with one good set of riffles on the Contoocook. We encountered 3 blow downs on the Blackwater that required portages plus several "scooch" over or unders. Water level was low

Safety Notes

There is cell phone access the entire way and in places the road is nearby but in others it could be a hike.

Gear Notes

Good shoes to deal with the portages around the blow downs, no open toed sandals. Clothing treated for ticks.


At the time of the paddle the stream gauge for the Contoocook at the Hopkinton Dam (upstream) was 625 CFS

Portage Notes

Steep and muddy banks in places made finding a good takeout point a crap shoot. Blow downs are complex and do not allow for a simple lift over. I paddled this river in 2019 and encountered only 1 blow down so the river is actively at work.

Trip Details

  • Trip Dates: 5/20/2020
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water, River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Number of Portages: 3

Trip Location