A wonderful segment of the mainstem Nashua River runs from Still River to Groton, approximately 17 miles, with a single portage around the beautifully restored Ayer Ice House Dam. This scenic paddle passes through the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge where a wide variety of birds and wildlife may be seen. Above the Ayer Ice House Dam, the river wanders through the Groton Town Forest and Sabine Woods, past the mouth of the Squannacook River (worth exploring), under historic Fitch’s Bridge, and into the oxbows of Pepperell Pond above the Pepperell Dam. This is a great adventure any day but is particularly outstanding in autumn when the trees along the banks reach the peak of their fall color. While out on the water, you will feel like you’re miles from the nearest civilization. Please check the watershed for additional information:
Canoes and kayaks can be launched in Stow at the boat launch. Best time is spring and early summer. Late summer the project becomes very weedy.
Delaney Wildlife Management Area
Bare Hill Pond
Harvard's Town Beach & Parking Area are restricted to Harvard Residents & Taxpayers but canoes & kayaks can be launched at the town boat ramp.
- The best times to paddle are before 10am and after 8pm when motor boats must travel at headway speed.
- The cost to residents to launch a canoe/kayak is only $10 but you must buy a Beach sticker if you wish to park.
- Canoes/Kayaks can be rented by residents when the Town Beach is staffed with lifeguards.
- Non residents can launch kayaks for a fee of $10 per launch.
TO AVOID DELAYS, BUY YOUR BEACH STICKER ON LINE BEFORE COMING TO PADDLING LESSONS!
Beginning and Advanced canoe and kayak lessons are avilable in each Beach Lesson Session of the summer. Requirements:
- Must be at least 10 and 16 or younger by 6/29.
- Must pass 10 minute swim test fully dressed, shoes, socks, long pants, long shirt. Must pass the test every time they take a youth boating class.