Pemigewasset River Boating

The Pemigewasset River starts from tributaries in a federally designated wilderness area in Franconia Notch, so the water is clear, clean and cold. For many miles the current is shallow and swift, but eventually getting wider and deeper as it flows south towards Franklin NH. For boating purposes, the Pemi river runs the range of whitewater rafting in the north to leisurely cruising the calmer waters in the south.

Pemigewasset River Whitewater

Pemigewasset River Whitewater

For those looking for the NH whitewater experience, there are many water routes on the Pemi to choose from around Franconia Notch. They vary between class I and class V rapids, so no matter your experience you can find a place to enjoy the river and all the wildlife among this pristine and mostly undeveloped area. Many whitewater enthusiasts consider this section of the Pemigewasset one of the best regularly run rivers in all of New England.


Pemi River Kayaking

Pemi River Kayaking

Further south, the wider, calmer stretch of the Pemi River around Franklin Falls Dam is a good place to cruise, paddle, waterski or just explore the banks and local wildlife. Small motor craft can be launched at the Shaw Cove boat ramp. Canoes, kayaks and light craft can put-in at Shaw Cove, Coolidge Woods, or the Periwinkle Field boat launch at Profile Falls. Stay at one of our NH cabin rentals and launch from our own private beach and boat ramp. This stretch of the river has very little boat traffic and lots of nature to observe and explore.


NH Safe Boating Tips

Boating License — All boat drivers with engines more than 25 horse power must have a valid New Hampshire Boating Certificate.

Wear Life Jackets — State law requires one personal flotation device for each person in a boat, and all children age 12 or under MUST wear an approved PFD.

Know the Water — Always carry a map of wherever you are boating.

No Littering — Dumping trash is illegal, and punishable as a misdemeanor.

In an Accident — Personal safety is first, then promptly report injuries and damage.

Don’t Drink and Drive — Boating while intoxicated is against NH law.

Don’t Overload the Boat — Observe weight limits to avoid accidents.

Use Your Lights — All boats operating between sunset and sunrise must have visible lights.

No Hunting from the Boat — Hunting is prohibited from a boat while under power from a motor.

Wildlife Safety — Killing or deliberately harming water birds with a boat is punishable as a misdemeanor.


Pemigewasset River Boating article by Pemi Shore Cottages.