Take me to the river

Take me to the river: Canoe, kayak and paddleboard the rivers of New Hampshire

Kayaking-new-hampshireThe history of New Hampshire is written on its waterways. Before the roads and highways, before the railroad, heck, before the invention of the wheel, native residents lived and traveled with ease via rivers, lakes and ponds. Today we paddle for fun, fitness, and to get a closer view of nature. In almost every corner of the state you can find a boat launch and place to rent a person-powered vessel (canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard, or SUP) if you don’t already own one.

Please note: New Hampshire lakes and streams can vary in terms of water depth and flow. Personal flotation devices for each adult are required on all vessels: for children the law is that they must be WEARING the personal flotation device. See details.

Here is a brief overview of the rivers and some outfitters that you can explore. Click here to see a list of the state’s water access sites.

Great North Woods: The Connecticut River originates at the outlet of the Fourth Connecticut Lake which abuts the Canadian border. It flows through the Third, Second and First Connecticut Lakes (listed North to South), all of which offer easy boating access. A recommended Connecticut River launch site for downstream paddling is just over the state line in Canaan, VT; with a take out side in Colebrook, N.H. Click here for boat rental information.

White Mountain Region: To the east of Mount Washington and the Presidential Range, the primary river for canoe and kayak activity is the Saco River which flows through Maine to the Atlantic Ocean. Check out this outfitter for a canoe/kayak pick up and delivery service. See additional outfitters here.

In the Western White Mountains, the go to rivers are the Connecticut and the Pemigiwasset,  Outfitters include Ski Fanatics and Outback Kayak.

Lakes Region: The Bear Camp River, not far from Lake Ossipee, travels through farmland and forests. Outfitters include Canoe King and Plymouth Ski and Sport Shop.

South Central Merrimack Region: Paddle the mighty Merrimack River with help from Quickwater Canoe in Boscawen, or explore the Contoocook River with help from Contoocook River Canoe Company.

Mondanock Region: The historic Ashuelot River is home to a multitude of fish species and feeds into the Connecticut River. Explore the Ashuelot with help from the Ashuelot River Campground’s rental shop.

Seacoast Region: This region has a variety of rivers, several of which feed into New Hampshire’s Great Bay, a tidal estuary of more than 6,000 acres. Seven Rivers Paddling offers rental, livery service, and tours.

Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region: Explore the part of the Connecticut River that winds through this scenic area. The Ledyard Canoe Club in Hanover offers rentals of canoes, kayaks and SUPs.


Chili Campfire Bake

Chili-Campfire-Bake-2Make this delicious chili over the fire with a rack that sits on the fire and skillet. This recipe calls for a can of chili, or you could bring a bag of frozen home-made chili to give your camp meal a taste of home!


  • 1 (16 oz) box elbow macaroni pasta
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chili
  • 1 (7 ounce) bag corn chips
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt to taste


  1. Pour the whole box of pasta into a large skillet (approximately 12 inches in diameter). Pour 3 cups of cold water into skillet. Make sure the water covers the pasta. Turn the burner to high, then set your timer for 10 minutes (optional: add a bit of salt to taste).
  2. Cook on high, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Add chili and bring to a simmer.
  4. Remove from heat and top with corn chips and Cheddar cheese. Serve immediately.

(Thanks to SixSistersStuff for the recipe!)

NH Camping & RV Show — Largest ever presented by an association

Booth-DSC_0748The 45th Annual NH Camping & Recreational Vehicle Show did not disappoint, with more attendees and vendors than ever before. The show had something for everyone. It featured dealers with the latest RVs, trailers, pop-ups as well as vendors providing camping essentials. Over 50 campgrounds participated in the show providing a one-stop-shop for attendees planning future camping trips.

Vendors of the show have been happy with New Hampshire Camping & RV Show’s yearly success. “This year’s show was phenomenal, everything was well organized from set up to tear down and tons of advertising which translated into an amazing amount of customer traffic. It was nonstop action from open to close each day.” said Ray Panzino, General Sales Manager at Cold Springs RV “The shuttle buses ran consistently and non-stop which made it easy for customers to get in. We had the most successful NH show ever.”

Giving Back

Thanks to the generous nonperishable food donations from attendees at this year’s show, the New Hampshire Campground Owners’ Association was able to provide 6,894 pounds of food to those in need throughout New Hampshire. This is the sixth year that NeHaCa has run a food donation drive at their show. “We are proud of the generous and helpful spirit of our camping community and are grateful to those who contributed to the food drive,” said NeHaCa Executive Director Jeremy Sprince. “Their donations will make a difference in the lives of those struggling to avoid hunger.