Contoocook River
Contoocook River is located in New Hampshire
Contoocook River
Contoocook River is located in the United States
Contoocook River
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
CountiesCheshire, Hillsborough, Merrimack
TownsJaffrey, Peterborough, Bennington, Antrim, Hillsborough, Henniker, West Hopkinton, Contoocook, Penacook
Physical characteristics
SourceContoocook Lake
 • locationJaffrey
 • coordinates42°48′4″N 72°1′38″W / 42.80111°N 72.02722°W / 42.80111; -72.02722
 • elevation1,007 ft (307 m)
MouthMerrimack River
 • location
 • coordinates
43°17′11″N 71°35′23″W / 43.28639°N 71.58972°W / 43.28639; -71.58972
 • elevation
242 ft (74 m)
Length71 mi (114 km)
Basin features
 • leftNubanusit Brook, North Branch, Warner River, Blackwater River
 • rightGridley River

The Contoocook River (/kənˈtʊkək/ ) is a 71-mile-long (114 km)[1] river in New Hampshire. It flows from Contoocook Lake on the Jaffrey/Rindge border to Penacook (just north of Concord), where it empties into the Merrimack River. It is one of only a few rivers in New Hampshire that flow in a predominantly northward direction. Four covered bridges span the river, one in the town of Henniker, one on the Hancock-Greenfield line, and two in the town of Hopkinton, New Hampshire with one being in the village of Contoocook, and the other in the populated place of West Hopkinton. Residents and tourists have made the Contoocook popular for fishing and whitewater boating.

The name Contoocook came from the Pennacook tribe of Native Americans and perhaps means "place of the river near pines". Other variations of the name include the Abenaki meaning "nut trees river" or Natick language meaning "small plantation at the river."[2][3]

The river gives its name to Contoocook, New Hampshire, a census-designated place (CDP) within the town of Hopkinton.

Principal tributaries

From south to north:

See also


  1. ^ New Hampshire GRANIT state geographic information system
  2. ^ Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts: A.J. Coolidge. pp. 424–426. coolidge mansfield history description new england 1859.
  3. ^ Day, Gordon M.; Michael K. Foster; William Cowan (1998). In Search of New England's Native Past. United States of America. pp. 61–64. ISBN 1558491511.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
Hopkinton Dam on the Contoocook River in Merrimack County