Sewall’s Falls Multi-Use Recreation Area
Acquisition History: In the early 1980’s, plans were under way to build a new hydroelectric dam 1,500 feet downriver from an existing, but deteriorating, dam on the Merrimack River in the area known as Sewall’s Falls in Concord. In 1984, before construction could begin, the original 1892 dam breached during high water. The natural restoration of this now free-flowing stretch of river brought to light its importance to fish, wildlife, and recreation. As a result, NH Fish and Game, with the help of Governor Sununu, successfully negotiated the purchase of the Sewall’s Falls area to protect valuable fish and wildlife habitat, and to provide public recreational opportunities. The property was purchased in 1987 with funding provided by the US Fish and Wildlife Service Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program.
Description: Sewall’s Falls covers approximately 5 miles of the Merrimack River, its shoreline and some of the associated upland. The banks are steep in places, and densely vegetated. The land that fronts the river consists mostly of oak-pine forests. A boat ramp and parking are located off Sewall’s Fall Road and car-top access and parking is located off Second Street. This stretch of river provides class II and III whitewater boating opportunities.
Common Wildlife: This corridor of the Merrimack River is an important fishery, providing stretches of spawning, nursery, and resting habitat for native and anadromous fish species. The area is important to wintering waterfowl and bald eagles. Great blue heron, osprey, and belted kingfishers hunt here. Be on the lookout for spotted sandpipers, tree and bank swallows, and cedar waxwings. Riparian furbearers include mink, otter, and raccoon. This section of the river provides important habitat for Atlantic salmon and freshwater mussels. Upland, deer and turkey inhabit the woodland.
Special Notes: A map and trail description can be obtained from the City of Concord’s hiking trails website. Brook and rainbow trout are stocked in the Merrimack River annually.
Directions: The north end of the recreation area is accessed from Sewall's Falls Road. Take Exit 17 off I-93 and turn left onto Hoit Road. Turn right on Mountain Road and drive approximately 1 mile, then turn right on Sewall's Falls Road. The entrance to the parking lot is on the left, shortly after you cross a bridge.
DeLorme N.H. Atlas and Gazetteer coordinates: Page 27, C14
A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program
This Wildlife Management Area was funded in part by the Federal Aid in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Your purchases of hunting equipment and ammunition make a difference to New Hampshire's wildlife resources and our way of life. Learn more.