Pemigewassett River

I hope everyone is getting a chance to enjoy some of this great fall weather we are having. I sure am. Several weeks ago on a warm sunny Friday afternoon I took a quick paddle up the Connecticut from the Newbury access. It was a beautiful afternoon and I had been foaming at the mouth all day waiting to get out of work and on the river. The water was mirror smooth and no wind, a picture perfect evening for a lazy paddle. Bob and Claire Meade of Haverhill had the same thoughts as I passed and chatted with them midway through my trip.

The following weekend I left my canoe in the garage and took an overnight backpacking trip with my faithful dog up into the Pemigawassett Wilderness area. It is located a little east of the Franconia State Park region. It has been a few years since my last excursion and it did not take long for my body to remind me that I was not as young as I used to be. Never the less we had a nice time taking in some beautiful scenery. The one item that impressed me the most on this trip was the amount of water flowing from this area. This is the main drainage basin for the headwaters of the Pemigawassett river and there seemed to be and endless number of brooks and streams flowing from every direction. Millions of gallons of cold, clean, crystal clear water.

We are very fortunate to live in an area where clean water is not a concern and its amazing how often we take this for granted. There are many areas around the world and even in our own country that do not have this luxury.

It is a special resource and along with the surrounding forests and wildlife it should be respected and treated with care. To us as canoeists and many other outdoor enthusiasts, wild, scenic woods and water are a cherished commodity. Now don't get me wrong. I am not a hard core environmentalist preaching forever wild and predicting doom and gloom. I prefer to be considered a middle of the road realist supporting a common sense approach to wise multiple use. Lets not lose sight of the fact that the history, culture and economy of the Northeast Region stems from these natural resources. Farming, logging, hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation have shaped our communities from their beginnings and will continue to do so in the future if we use our resources wisely.

In order for this to happen, we the general public need to get involved and become more aware of what is taking place around us. Presently there is a power struggle going on behind the scenes over the future of our land and resources. You do not hear a lot about it and what you do is generally one sided. Regardless of your position, if you want to have an effect on the out come you need to become involved in the process. Read the paper, watch tv and listen carefully to what you are being told. Make sure you hear both sides of the story, then apply some common sense to it all before forming an opinion.

Here are some interesting things happening around us right now that may be of interest to you. The Northern Forest Land Council is a group of individuals from the states of ME, NH,VT, and NY representing the interests of land owners, environmentalists, and state and federal government. They are working to form policies that will govern the use of our North Eastern forests in the future. For more information contact Susan Francher @ (603) 271-2214 or James Horton @ (802) 748-8787. There is also a plan to turn a section of the Connecticut river into a national refuge. There are a series of public hearings being held throughout the Connecticut river valley. You can contact the US Department of the Interior/Fish and Wildlife Service office for information. Happy Paddling!

Back to Potpourri    |    Back to Articles

Ask Hemlock Pete

Have a question? I'm happy to answer it - just email me at

Welcome Paddlers! Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert paddler, Hemlock Pete's Ultralight Canoes can help you chose the right equipment so you are ready to achieve your goals - be they for quiet water, rapids, racing, day trips, or camping.

We specialize in ultralight solutions and offer expertise in canoes and Wee Lassie boats, as well as all the related equipment. Our favorites are Wenonah canoes and Wee Lassie boats. Although we will work with any material we like to get folks set up with lightweight canoes so you can dedicate your time to the joy of being out on the lakes and rivers instead of struggling to move your boat between car and water.

Scott Edwards, "Hemlock Pete" himself, offers you decades of paddling expertise. He is friendly, down-to-earth, and provides superior customer service. You won't find a better, or more pleasant, deal elsewhere.

Hemlock Pete's Ultralight Canoes ~ 149 Richardson Road, Orange, VT 05641 ~ 603.667.5112

© 2000- Hemlock Pete's Ultralight Canoes. Unauthorized distribution or rebroduction prohibited.
All other copyrights and trademarks are property of their respective companies.

Website by