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Contoocook River facts for kids

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Contoocook River
Bridges over the Contoocook River in Contoocook, New Hampshire.jpg
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Country United States
State New Hampshire
Counties Cheshire, Hillsborough, Merrimac
Towns Jaffrey, Peterborough, Bennington, Antrim, Hillsborough, Henniker, West Hopkinton, Contoocook, Penacook
Physical characteristics
Main source Contoocook Lake
1,007 ft (307 m)
42°48′4″N 72°1′38″W / 42.80111°N 72.02722°W / 42.80111; -72.02722
River mouth Merrimack River
242 ft (74 m)
43°17′11″N 71°35′23″W / 43.28639°N 71.58972°W / 43.28639; -71.58972
Length 71 mi (114 km)
Basin features

The Contoocook River is a 71-mile-long (114 km) 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."

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:

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