New Hampshire Rivers Management and Protection Program

Souhegan River Nomination

VII. RESOURCE ASSESSMENT

  1. Natural Resources
  1. Managed Resources
  1. Cultural Resources
  1. Recreational Resources
  1. Fishery

Identify the type and location of any high quality recreational fisheries or areas with such potential which are present in the river (as determined by the NH Fish and Game Department). Also indicate areas that have potential to be significant fisheries.

As discussed earlier, the majority of the fishing in the River is for stocked trout.

  1. Boating

Describe any significant recreational boating opportunities which are present on the river, including whether it is used for motorized boating. Indicate if the river is cited as significant for recreational boating in a publication of a national, regional or statewide recreation organization. Refer to the NH River Protection and Energy Development Project to determine the river's significance as a recreational boating river. Also note if boaters are attracted from beyond the local area and if there are areas with potential to be significant boating resources.

The western sections of the Souhegan River from Greenville to Wilton provide whitewater canoeing and kayaking during the spring and other periods of high water. Both the Appalachian Mountain Club's (AMC) River Guide and the New England Whitewater River Guide identify these sections of the River as good intermediate whitewater. The AMC guide classifies the rapids in this section as Class II, III and IV. This stretch of the River is very popular with canoers and kayakers because it provides good training runs, the water is clean, the area is easily accessed and the ice melts early in the spring. The Boston and New Hampshire AMC's and the Merrimack Valley Paddlers organize numerous trips on the Souhegan River every year.

A Souhegan View

The stretch of the River between Wilton and Milford provides limited opportunities for canoeing and kayaking because the water is generally very low and portages are required around the dams. Below the Route 122 bridge in Amherst, the River is flat and provides excellent opportunities for family canoeing. The water is shallow with a sandy bottom and there are numerous spots to picnic and wade. Below the Seaverns Bridge in Merrimack, the River quickens as it flows through a series of ledges called Indian Ledges. Passage for canoes and kayaks at this point is again limited to periods of high water. The stretch of River below Seaverns Bridge is impassable to watercraft because of Wildcat Falls.

The Souhegan Watershed Association sponsors annual trips on all of the accessible sections of the River. The River is impassable to motor boats except in he western reaches on the impoundments.

  1. Other Recreational Opportunities

List any other recreational areas, facilities, or opportunities or potential for such on the river or in the river corridor (e.g., hiking, camping, picnicking, etc.). Indicate ownership, if known.

In addition to the recreation areas listed below, numerous groups and the SWA have discussed a trail along the entire length of the Souhegan River.

Recreational Area Ownership Location
Taft Land - hiking, nature study NH Fish & Game Greenville
Town Forest - hiking, nature study Town of Wilton Wilton
SPNHF Land - hiking, nature study SPNHF Wilton
Souhegan River Scenic Easement - picnicking, river access NHDOT Greenville/Wilton
The Horseshoe - swimming, picnicking private Wilton
Milford Fish Hatchery - hiking, nature study, picnicking NH Fish & Game Milford
Town Land - hiking, nature study, picnicking Town of Milford Milford
Keyes Field - field sports, water access, tennis Town of Milford Milford
Emerson Park - walking, picnicking, summer concerts Town of Milford Milford
Kaley Park - river access, recreational fields Town of Milford Milford
Amherst canoe port - river access, swimming Town of Amherst Amherst
Route 122 Access - river access Town of Amherst Amherst
Sherburne Site - hiking, nature study Town of Amherst Amherst
Eighty Acres - hiking, picnicking Town of Merrimack Merrimack
Turkey Hill Bridge Site - hiking, river access Town of Merrimack Merrimack
  1. Public Access
List any existing public access sites located along the river. These may be formal or non-formal access points. Include the type of public access (e.g., canoe only), related facilities (e.g., parking), and if known, ownership at each site.

Location Type of Access Related Facilities Ownership
Taft Land, Greenville canoe limited parking NH Fish & Game
Captain Clark Bridge, Wilton canoe limited parking NH DOT
Green Bridge, Milford canoe parking on-street
Keyes Field, Milford canoe parking, rec. fields Milford
Kaley Park, Milford canoe parking Milford
Route 122 Bridge, Amherst canoe limited parking Amherst CC
Amherst Canoe Port canoe limited parking Amherst
Turkey Hill Bridge, Merrimack canoe parking Merrimack
Seaverns Bridge, Merrimack canoe limited parking Merrimack
  1. Other Resources