Franklin Pierce Lake, New Hampshire, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - New Hampshire - Monadnock -

Also known as:  Jackman Reservoir

Franklin Pierce Lake in New Hampshire’s Monadnock Region is a relatively unknown gem. Also known as Jackman Reservoir, the 520-acre lake sits on the outskirts of historic Hillsborough and is close enough to draw visitors from the surrounding states — if they find out about it!

Formed by damming the north branch of the Contoocook River by Public Service of New Hampshire, the lake is used as water storage and supply source for the Jackman Power Generation Station. Franklin Pierce Lake is likely the only lake in the country with a former president’s birthplace under its waters. The 14th president, who preceded Lincoln, was born in a small cabin that was flooded when the lake filled.

Franklin Pierce Lake has since developed into a highly desirable address at which to live. It is also well-loved by visitors who discover its vacation rentals for annual vacations. Much of the shoreline remains wooded and there is a no-wake zone for the benefit of canoeists, kayakers and fishermen. The lake is quite private with only small Manahan Park at the west end of town providing a swimming area and boat launch. The majority of the seven-mile shoreline is composed of private land and residences whose occupants enjoy the lake year round. All types of water sports are enjoyed here, including power boating, water skiing, tubing, pontooning and sailing. The newly-formed Franklin Pierce Lake Association is in the process of beginning to monitor the lake against invasive weeds and hopes to assure its continued health.

Franklin Pierce Lake is known as a superb warmwater fishery. Rainbow and brown trout have been stocked and, in an effort to encourage larger fish, there is no closed season on them. Other game fish caught are smallmouth bass, pickerel, horned pout or bullhead, white perch, northern pike and bluegill. Known locally as ‘hard water season,’ ice fishing is a favorite activity in winter. While others are out skiing at nearby ski slopes, the hardy fishermen bundle up and brave the ice for hours at a time. For once, they know they will have the lake to themselves, except for the occasional ice skater or ice boater. At night, the lake is dotted with the lights from their Coleman lanterns.

The Jackman Reservoir region is popular for recreational opportunities on dry land as well. The nearby Villages of Hillsborough (yes, there are several connected villages) are home to golf courses and recreational parks. Two state-owned forest preserves are partially within the town lines: Fox Research and Demonstration State Forest and Low State Forest. There are myriad opportunities for hiking, cycling and bird watching along the many trails. Not far north of Franklin Pierce Lake, Pillsbury State Park is an important link in the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, a 51-mile hiking trail that connects Mount Monadnock with Mt. Sunapee to the north. The diverse environments within the park, including many small lakes and wetlands, make it a favorite for watching wildlife, camping and canoeing. The Contoocook River Trail begins right in town with numbered markers that correspond to an informational brochure available at the library.

Hillsborough is still today made up of four villages: Hillsborough Bridge Village (the downtown), Hillsborough Center, Hillsborough Upper Village and Hillsborough Lower Village. History buffs can visit the Franklin Pierce Homestead near Franklin Pierce Lake, where the former president grew up listening to his father Benjamin, two-time governor of New Hampshire, talk politics and patriotism with visitors such as Daniel Webster. In nearby Concord, the Pierce Manse, family home after Franklin’s term as a senator, is preserved and available for tours. Hillsborough possesses five stone bridges (out of an original twelve), built without mortar, that carried traffic over the many brooks and creeks in the town. There are many nature-focused attractions in and around Hillsborough, along with the usual opportunities for shopping, dining, the arts and nightlife.

The visitor who selects a lake vacation rental at Franklin Pierce Lake will never be bored. The variety of activities in the immediate area are bound to keep an active family busy for the duration of their visit. There are usually vacation rentals available, but you should reserve lodging well in advance. Those who wish to locate more permanent lodgings will find that there are usually real estate opportunities to be found around the lake. Now may be the time for you to start planning your escape to Franklin Pierce Lake. Come for a week – stay for a lifetime.

Things to do at Franklin Pierce Lake

  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • State Forest
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Franklin Pierce Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Brown Trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • White Perch

Franklin Pierce Lake Photo Gallery

Franklin Pierce Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Public Service New Hampshire

Surface Area: 483 acres

Shoreline Length: 7 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 778 feet

Average Depth: 10 feet

Maximum Depth: 30 feet

Water Volume: 8,750 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1926

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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