Massachusetts has many rivers that supported early American settlement and industry.
The Connecticut River forms the western border between Massachusetts and Vermont/New Hampshire. Facts about the Connecticut River in Massachusetts:
- It flows 410 miles from northern New Hampshire to Long Island Sound.
- The river passes through cities like Springfield, Holyoke, and Northampton, Massachusetts.
- It provided power for early industrialization and textile mills in Massachusetts.
- Today it offers recreation like fishing, boating, and hiking along its watershed.
The Merrimack River starts in central New Hampshire and flows through northeastern Massachusetts. Details about the Merrimack River:
- It runs 110 miles through Massachusetts, passing the cities of Lowell and Lawrence.
- Early textile mills utilized the Merrimack for hydropower starting in the 1820s.
- The river valley was the site of important early American Indian settlements.
The Charles River flows 80 miles through eastern Massachusetts into Boston Harbor. Facts about the Charles River:
- It passes through the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Watertown, and Waltham.
- The Charles River Basin between Boston and Cambridge is a popular recreation destination.
- It is heavily used for sailing, rowing, and college crew races.
Notable Lakes in Massachusetts
Major lakes in Massachusetts include:
- Quabbin Reservoir - One of the largest manmade public water supplies in the U.S.
- Indian Lake - A reservoir in central Massachusetts, used for recreation.
- Lake Chaubunagungamaug - Located in southern Massachusetts, it has one of the longest lake names in the world.
- Lake Cochituate - Provides water to Boston and surrounding communities.
Massachusetts' rivers and lakes were vital to the state's early industrialization and continue to provide ecological, recreational and economic benefits.