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Hopkinton-Everett Lakes, Contoocook, N.H.

Flood Risk Management

Hopkinton and Everett Dams are part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's Hopkinton - Everett Lakes Flood Control Project and are located on two tributaries of the Merrimack River. Hopkinton Dam is on the Contoocook River which enters the Merrimack River at Penacook, New Hampshire and Everett Dam is located on the Piscataquog River which enters the Merrimack at Manchester, New Hampshire.

The two reservoir system is divided into three storage areas — two in the Contoocook watershed (Hopkinton Lake and Elm Brook Pool) and one on the Piscataquog River (Everett Lake). These storage areas, connected by two canals, act as separate reservoirs during minor floods, and as a single reservoir during moderate or major floods, providing protection to the major industrial, commercial and residential areas along the Merrimack River. These dams are two of the five flood control projects built by the Corps of Engineers in the Merrimack River Basin watershed.

Construction of Hopkinton Dam was started in November 1959 and completed in January 1963. In addition to the protection of the Merrimack River Basin, Hopkinton Lake provides protection to downstream communities along the Contoocook River. The dam is an earth dam consisting of rolled earth fill with rock slope protection. It is approximately 790 feet long and 76 feet high.

Construction of Everett Dam started in November 1959 and was completed in January 1962. As with Hopkinton Dam, it provides protection to the Merrimack River Basin and reduces flood levels in its downstream communities. Everett Dam is an earth dam consisting of rolled earth fill with rock slope protection. It is approximately 2,000 feet long with a maximum height of 115 feet.

At its maximum storage capacity, the Hopkinton-Everett Lakes complex is able to store approximately 51.2 billion gallons of water.

The Reservoir Regulation Team (RRT), located at the Corps' New England District Headquarters in Concord, MA, is the "nerve center" for all Corps-operated dams in New England. Using radio and satellite communications, RRT constantly monitors river levels and weather conditions and directs the operation of the dams during high flows.

Recreation Facilities/Activities

Hopkinton-Everett Lakes is a multiple use facility that provides many recreational opportunities for visitors to the 10,000 acre project. Hunting, fishing and hiking are just some of the activities enjoyed here. There are two developed recreation areas on the project: Elm Brook Park and Clough State Park.

Elm Brook Park offers picnic tables and grills, playground equipment, horseshoe pits, a swim beach (no lifeguards, swim at your own risk), a short nature trail, a boat ramp, and four picnic shelters which can be reserved in advance for a fee (unreserved shelters are available for use on a first come, first served basis).

A radio controlled model airplane flying field is available for visitor use (two people must be present to use the field). Interpretive programs are provided.

Canoeing on the Contoocook River is also a popular activity at Hopkinton Everett Lakes. In addition to the boat ramp in Elm Brook Park, a second boat ramp on Elm Brook Pool is located off of Route 202 / 9. There is no access fee charged for the use of this boat ramp.

Hopkinton-Everett Lakes provides approximately 26 miles of designated OHRV trails and over 30 miles of designated snowmobile trails. The designated trails are maintained by the State of New Hampshire's Bureau of Trails and all state rules and regulations apply within the project. Access to the OHRV trails is from the OHRV parking lot in Dunbarton only. Access to the snowmobile trails is from the OHRV parking lot or from State designated trails.

Operation of OHRVs or snowmobiles off of designated trails or in violation of posted signing is prohibited and may subject the operator to state and federal fines.

Biking is one of the many recreational opportunities that the Hopkinton Everett Lakes' reservoir offers. Visitors are allowed to bike on any of the trail systems

We recommend the use of proper safety equipment when biking on our trails. We also ask that patrons become familiar with and observe all safety rules, and that bikers stay on the trails to avoid damaging fragile habitats.

Fishing and Hunting are allowed on portions of the Hopkinton Everett Reservoir in accordance with State laws. Hunting is not permitted in recreation areas. To access NH State Laws click here.

Hunting for deer, pheasant, and small game is permitted during the state regulated hunting seasons. Licenses and season dates are provided on the Fish and Game Website.

Deer Hunters: tree stands are permitted for day use only. Stands found on the property unattended will be taken down.

Reservations and Fees


  • A Fee of $1.00 per person is charged up to $4.00 maximum per vehicle.
  • A Fee of $3.00 is charged for boat launching at Elm Brook Park.
  • An annual pass may be purchased for $30.00.
  • There is no fee for children 12 and under.


Shelter Area 1:

  • Weekend / Holiday Reservation Fee: $85/day.
  • Weekday Reservation Fee: $42.50/day.

Shelter Area 2:

  • Weekend / Holiday Reservation Fee: $60/day.
  • Weekday Reservation Fee: $30/day.

Shelter Area 3:

  • Weekend / Holiday Reservation Fee: $40/day.
  • Weekday Reservation Fee: $20/day.

Shelter Area 4:

  • Weekend / Holiday Reservation Fee: $40/day.
  • Weekday Reservation Fee: $20/day.

Note: Shelter reservations are made through the National Recreation Reservation Service at 1-877-444-6777 or online at www.recreation.gov.

Special Events

Special events that have been held at Hopkinton-Everett Lakes include: scout camping, dog trials, fire department training, fishing derbies, weddings, and triathlons.

There is a fee for special events, and the amount depends on the event.

Interpretive Programs

You are invited to our offerings of educational and recreational programs here at Hopkinton Everett Lakes. These family oriented activities include guided trail walks, water safety demonstrations, Junior Ranger programs, dam tours and much more.

Please contact us to set up a classroom visit or program. Programs are offered both in the classroom and on site.

All of our programs are open to the public and best of all there is no charge or fee.

A complete list of our upcoming events can also be found on our Facebook site.

Natural Resources

Beyond the primary mission of flood control, the Corps of Engineers recognizes and embraces the role of steward of the lands under our control. The management of these natural resources is directed to ensure their enhancement today and their preservation for the future.

Corps personnel, in conjunction with the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, manage the natural resources at Hopkinton - Everett Lakes.

Forest lands are actively managed for the benefit of wildlife, recreation, and forestry. In addition, several land tracts throughout the project are leased to local farmers for grazing and crop production. These practices are in place to ensure that both the wildlife and the land benefit.

Natural resources are managed to provide food, cover, nesting sites, and critical habitats for a variety of wildlife species. Resources are also focused on retaining some of the state's more ecologically critical habitats such as fens, vernal pools, spruce fir forests, and other important habitats.

In addition, there are the aquatic resources of our recreation pools and the Contoocook and Piscataquog Rivers.

Effective management requires good information and the staff of Hopkinton-Everett Lakes rely on many sources for natural resource management expertise. Information and expertise is utilized from natural resource specialists in the Corps of Engineers, from other federal and state agencies, and the academic community. With their assistance, the Hopkinton-Everett Lakes staff is able to focus their management efforts more efficiently and productively to ensure that, what is special here today, will be here tomorrow.


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Hopkinton-Everett Lake
2097 Maple Street
Contoocook, NH 03229
Phone: (603) 746-3601
Hopkinton-Everett Lake Directions