Boston Kayaker

Kayaking on Ashuelot River - from Keene NH to Swanzey NH


Rating: Two Stars - This stretch of the Ashuelot River is calm and mostly knee-deep thru-out. I have to get out of my kayak twice to drag it on the river side around downed trees (easy portages). Passed under one covered bridge and took out just before the second one. Paddle time was 2 hours and 35 minutes.

  Put in at West Street
  in Keene NH.
Take out at Main Street
  in Swanzey NH.
Estimated distance
  = 6.5 miles
Ashuelot River
  Park
  Cresson Covered
  Bridge
Thompson Covered
  Bridge
Colony Faulkner
  Dam
Homestead Mills
  Dam - breached

Disclaimer: It is your responsibility to determine the legality, suitability and safety of this route for yourself.

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Kayaking on Ashuelot River - from Keene NH to Swanzey NH

Other resources:
Ashuelot River Local Advisory Committee: Atlas of the Ashuelot River
Ashuelot River Local Advisory Committee: Atlas of the Ashuelot River (cached copy)


Number of original photos on this page : 97
All photos in this website are original and copyrighted.




At Ashuelot River Park on West Street in Keene NH.
Trip date is August 2014.


Colony Faulkner Dam in Ashuelot River Park.


At the launch area below the Colony Faulkner Dam.


The put in below the Colony Faulkner Dam at the Ashuelot River Park.





The Boston Kayaker getting ready to launch on Ashuelot River.


The Boston Kayaker just launched on the Ashuelot River from West Street in Keene NH.
To the left from the put in is the Colony Faulkner Dam.





Turned right (south), the West Street bridge over the Ashuelot River.





The Boston Kayaker's son on West Street bridge.











Long stretches of this route are shaded by trees.


Island Street bridge over the Ashuelot River.


Next is Winchester Street bridge.














Ashuelot Rail Trail bridge.











Route 101 / Route 12 bridge over the Ashuelot River in Keene NH.


























Have to get out of my kayak and drag it across this tree.

















Water is clear, knee-deep and sandy bottom.
































I was hoping to see a passage thru . . .


Have to get out of my kayak a second time to go around.





























Cresson Covered Bridge on Sawyer's Crossing Road.

































































These boulders tell me I am nearing the rock gardens just above the covered bridge take out!





The Thompson Covered Bridge.
Take out is on right before the bridge.





Approaching the covered bridge, will veer to the right early . . .


Got stuck on the rocks . . .








The Boston Kayaker's son.
Paddle time was 2 hours and 35 minutes.


At Main Street in West Swanzey NH on the west side of Thompson Covered Bridge.


The Homestead Woolen Mills Dam on the Ashuelot River.

Information sign:
"The Homestead Woolen Mills Dam on the Ashuelot River was a rock-filled, timber crib dam, a common dam type in the 19th century. It was originally built in the 1850s to power woolen and woodenware mills. In the late 19th century, it served the Stratton Mills and the West Swanzey Mfg. Co.
Homestead Woolen Mills Inc. took over the mill buildings and dam in 1911. The company employed many residents of the area until it closed in 1985. The dam was used only for water control after the 1920s until its removal in 2010.



The remnants of the Homestead Woolen Mills Dam viewed from the covered bridge.


Thompson Covered Bridge.