Kayaking in the Monadnock Region

A white water bottle with the Jack Daniels Inn logo sits in a cupholder on a kayak in the foreground. In the background a man paddles out in his own kayak in the water

Enjoy a day on the water in the region!

Getting out onto the water is a peak summer experience wherever you are. Here in Peterborough, we are surrounded by some beautiful waterways. What better way to enjoy them than with a kayak or canoe? To help you get the best out of summer kayaking in the area, we’ve listed a few places below!

A covered bridge sits in the background while a kayaker paddles toward it to go underneath

Powdermill Pond is a picturesque New England spot that’s even more enjoyable on the water.

Located on the Greenfield/Hancock line, the Powdermill Pond boat launch offers opportunity to explore both up and downstream along the Contoocook River and into the waterways of Powder Mill Pond itself. Heading over a covered bridge will get you to the boat launch from Rt. 202, where you can park and unload your kayak or canoe and begin paddling out. We highly recommend you bring a waterproof camera on your journeys. From the boat launch you can easily head underneath the covered bridge itself to access the downstream waterways, providing you a chance of some amazing shots of the covered bridge in the process!

A kayaker maneuvers his kayak on the water. Rocks can be seen head on the edge of the waterway.

Paddle around Edward MacDowell Lake this summer!

Edward MacDowell Lake in Peterborough is a manmade lake thanks to the dam created by the US Army Core of Engineers. Among the opportunities this site offers, we’ve talked about hiking in the fall and great pet walks , but taking a kayak or canoe out onto its waters is another one worth experiencing. Paddle out onto the water for a leisure boating moment surrounded by nature, or even fish! This lake also draws many birds, too, whose presence can be enjoyed from a new perspective as you glide through the peaceful waters.

Two kayaks rest in the reeds at the bottom of the image, while the sun sets over the waterway in the distance.

A sunset over Spoonwood Pond!

For a longer kayaking experience, head over to Nubanusit Lake in Hancock and Nelson. Motorized boats are allowed in most of the lake, but for those looking to kayak or canoe, we suggest heading up toward the northern curve of the lake for a chance at spotting some wildlife. With conservation land hugging the water, eagles are often spotted nesting here. Bring a camera just in case, then head over to the portage at the top of the lake into Spoonwood Pond.  Only accessible via portage Spoonwood often hosts loon on it’s quiet waters and offers unique views of Mount Monadnock while you paddle out as well!

Two kayaks sit next to each other in a shallow brook between the reeds

Clear skies and warm weather for kayaking is one of the best way to pass time in the summer!

For folks that may not have their own canoes and kayaks, don’t fret! Pelletiers Sports in Jaffrey can arrange rentals, as well as drop off/pick up at select locations. EMS in Peterborough also has kayak rentals, making it that much easier to head out onto the water while in the area! Call ahead to make sure you’re able to snag one and enjoy a day (or more!) of kayaking.

The tip of a kayak is visible at the bottom of the image on a river. Ahead is another person kayaking with green trees on each side.

There’s even more places to enjoy than the one we listed!

The best part about this list is that all of these places are just as enjoyable in the fall as well as summer, making them worth repeat visits. If you’re looking for even more suggestions, your hosts at the Jack Daniels Motor Inn can help make your stay even more enjoyable with some recommendations while you’re here!

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