Summer Fun at the Saco River

The Saco River is one of the best parts about summer in the Mount Washington Valley! The water is cool, clean, and refreshing, and the river flows at a leisurely pace. It’s deep enough for a swim but safe enough for the whole family. Here are our tips on the best ways to spend a day at the Saco!


Tubing, Canoeing, and Kayaking

Floating the river is one of the best ways to spend a summer day. If you feel like a relaxing, care free excursion, tubing is for you. Just kick back and float! If you’d rather stay dry, perhaps a canoe is more your style. Bring a picnic basket and a partner for lunch on one of the many sandy beaches you’ll encounter on your trip!  


Swimming Holes and Rope Swings

There are countless swimming holes at the Saco, and taking a refreshing dip is a great (and free) way to cool off in the heat! However, your best bet if you’re staying in or around North Conway is First Bridge. It’s located just one minute from downtown North Conway, and offers plenty of parking. There’s a large grass lawn for picnics and frisbee! A short walk up a path and you’ll find an awesome rope swing into deep water. Or, clamber down the rocks and swim right at the bridge.


Rental Companies

There are several companies in town which take all the work out of a river float. You park in their lot, then they shuttle you and your boats or tubes up to a drop off point. You spend the day enjoying the gentle pace of the river and land back at their pick-up spot! The most established businesses in town are the Saco River Tubing Company, Northern Extremes, and Saco Bound. These companies will all ensure you have a smooth and enjoyable day on the Saco.



The Saco is a nice, wide, placid river that offers great fishing. It’s shallow enough to stand in, but has enough deep holes and fallen trees that the fish are plentiful. Sections of it are stocked, and other sections are naturally plentiful. Trout is the main fish you’ll hook on the line. There are a few tackle and bait shops in town, and the most centrally located of them is North Country Angler in North Conway. Guided fly fishing trips are also an option – check out Hill Country Guides!


Need a place to stay during your visit?

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