Watson Park is the generous gift of Harold and Barbara Watson. This park was formally dedicated in 2010 for the purpose of protecting and maintaining open space in a natural atmosphere for the people of Merrimack to enjoy a tranquil outdoor setting in Merrimack’s Town Center.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE TOWN HAS REOPENED ACCESS TO THE SOUHEGAN RIVER FROM WATSON PARK ON A TRIAL BASIS. IF PARK VISITORS ARE GOOD AND DON'T TRASH THE PARK OR THE RIVER, THEN IT WILL REMAIN OPEN. IF WE START SEEING SIMILAR PROBLEMS TO WHAT OCCURRED IN 2020; THEN THE GATES WILL BE CLOSED AND LOCKED AGAIN.
Access to the river is down a steep slope and done so at your own risk. This trail down to the river is not ADA Accessible.
The Souhegan Watershed Association is now conducting Water Quality Tests for E.Coli Bacteria on the river at Watson Park every two weeks during the summer months. The following scale dictates whether it is safe to go into the water based on the test results.
The results of the Water Quality Test conducted on 8/23/2022 are an E.Coli Level of:160.7 which is a Red Flag. Water Quality Advisory in effect. Swimming not recommended due to risk of increased illness. Do not ingest water, shower after swimming, wash hands before eating. Children, elderly or those with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable.
Watson Park is the generous gift of Harold and Barbara Watson. This park was formally dedicated in 2010 for the purpose of protecting and maintaining open space in a natural atmosphere for the people of Merrimack to enjoy a tranquil outdoor setting in Merrimack’s Town Center. Bounded on the south by the Souhegan River and on the east by Baboosic Brook, Watson Park is the anchor for the planned trail system leading west along the Souhegan and north along Baboosic Brook. A master plan has been developed for the Park with spaces set aside to tell the long history of its industrial past, as well as generous room for informal recreation.
The Pavilion at Watson Park was build by the Rotary Club of Merrimack who donated the Pavilion to the Town. The pavilion is a great space to host small weddings, birthday parties, or other seasonal outdoor events. Interested parties must fill out the Watson Park Pavilion Rental Application and submit it to the Parks & Recreation Department for approval. There is no fee associated with renting the pavilion but please be sure to review the parks rules and regulations to make sure it will work for your event.
General Park Rules & Regulations:
Three new beach volleyball courts were added to Watson Park in July 2019. These are free and open for public use. Reservations will not be accepted for their use. Due to deed restrictions, organized leagues will not be scheduled on these courts.
In April 2020; lights were added to the Beach Volleyball Courts to allow play until 9:00 pm as well as to provide lighting in the winter for Ice Skating.
441 Daniel Webster Highway
Merrimack, NH, 03054
ICE SKATING RINK - RULES & REGULATIONS
1. This is a Skate at Your Own Risk Facility and is free to use.
2. The outdoor skating areas are maintained for the enjoyment of all users. Be aware of others around you and their abilities
3. Please obey all posted signs.
4. This rink is designed for recreational use only. It is not designed for competitive hockey games as there are no safety barriers. No permits will be issued for any organized program.
5. No person is allowed to kick any other groups off of the ice.
6. There are no ice skate rentals available on site.
7. Lights will be available in the evenings and will turn on automatically at dusk and turn off automatically at 9:00 pm.
8. A Porta Potty will be available in the parking lot which is cleaned and maintained regularly.
Occasionally, the rink will be posted as closed if conditions are not optimal or if usage will damage the ice. If you visit the rink and see a closed sign, please stay off the ice. We will do our best to provide timely updates on this website and also our Facebook Page whenever any closures need to occur.
The Ice Skating Rink is maintained by the Public Works Department. In the event of a snowstorm it may take them a day or so to clear the snow off the ice as their focus is on plowing the Town Roads. In that scenario, they will work to reopen the rink as soon as possible.
HOW THE RINK IS MAINTAINED:
The Ice skating rink is maintained by the Public Works Department and they begin setting up the rink in November each year. The length of the season is determined by the weather. Most years, the rink is able to open in late December or early January. Most years, the rink closes in late February.
Making an ice skating rink isn't as simple as flooding the floor with gallons of water and waiting for cold weather. The Public Works Department must apply the water carefully and slowly, in order to insure ideal thickness. An ice surface that is too thick requires more energy to keep frozen and is prone to getting soft on the top. A surface that is too thin is also dangerous because skaters risk cutting straight through the ice and poking holes in the plastic liner.
It takes between 12,000 and 15,000 gallons to form an ideal rink surface. The Public Works Department forms the ice in several different layers. Each layer is allowed to fully freeze before the next layer can begin. When creating a new ice surface, temperature conditions are very important. Ideally the ice surface should be cared for daily. All snow and shavings should be removed before reapply thin coats of water evenly distributed over the entire rink using the multi layering technique.
Please note: Ice conditions can vary greatly with a temperature change as small as a few degree.
Long story short: we appreciate your understanding and patience when temperatures fluctuate. In order for ice to freeze it must remain below 32 degrees consistently.