New Hampshire Maple Tours at The Rocks Estate.
BETHLEHEM, N.H.—Maple tours are back on tap at The Rocks Estate this spring. Discovering the history of maple sugaring, participating in the process of tapping trees and making syrup, riding a horse-drawn wagon through the scenic Rocks property, and tasting treats have made these tours a favorite springtime tradition.
“Last year nearly 800 visitors participated in the Maple Experience in just six days (last year),” said longtime Rocks Estate manager Nigel Manley. “We collaborate with a number of area businesses to provide a fun and educational program for visitors of all ages.”
Maple tours at the 1,400-acre Rocks Estate, owned by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, are scheduled for March 12, 19-20, 26-27, and April 2, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Reservations are recommended.
Visitors learn how to identify the sugar maple trees that produce the sweet sap for making syrup, hear the history of maple sugaring, and see part of the process demonstrated at the on-site New Hampshire Maple Experience.
The Experience is housed in a renovated historic building, which features a working sugar house and Museum featuring a collection of sugaring artifacts from the late Charlie Stewart, a legendary sugar maker from nearby Sugar Hill. Fourth-generation sugarer Brad Presby will demonstrate the modern techniques of turning maple sap into sweet syrup.
In continuing its tradition of partnering with area businesses, The Rocks has again teamed up with the famous Polly’s Pancake Parlor in nearby Sugar Hill to offer a tasty twist to the popular sugaring program. Polly’s will offer an abbreviated menu at The Rocks from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. each day of The New Hampshire Maple Experience. Polly’s waffle and pancake mixes will be available for sale again this season.
Kingdom Kernels Kettle Corn of Lower Waterford, Vt., will also be onsite, offering fresh-popped corn in two varieties Original of course, Maple Kettle Corn.
With the 2010 opening of the N.H. Maple Experience museum, The Rocks also offers off-season tours during the summer and fall. Visitors from June 1 through Columbus Day may visit the Maple Experience for a virtual sugaring experience, with a brief video shown in the sugar house outlining the sugaring process, and a tour of the museum.
For those looking to turn the springtime Maple Experience into a weekend-long North Country stay, The Rocks collaborates with local inns to offer weekend vacation packages. Visit http://www.therocks.org/vacations.php to find participating lodging establishments.
The Rocks is also planning a maple dinner in partnership with Cabin Fever Maple Whiskey and Chef Joe’s in Franconia. The April dinner will be a fundraiser for The Rocks.
For more information, please visit http://www.therocks.org. For Maple Experience reservations and other inquiries e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 603-444-6228.
The Rocks is the North Country Conservation and Education Center of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (http://www.forestsociety.org). The Forest Society is non-profit membership organization founded in 1901 to protect the state’s most important landscapes and promote wise use of its natural resources.
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