The Rocks Estate
The Rocks Estate in Bethlehem, is best known as a popular New Hampshire Christmas tree farm. But as the North Country Conservation & Education Center for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, the 1,400-acre property offers much more.
Beyond the neat rows of Christmas trees lined by perfect stone walls lies a world of history, wildlife, and experiential learning. Choose a beautiful tree at Christmas time, discover the sweet process of creating maple syrup in early spring with the hands-on Maple Tours, enjoy the revival of vernal pools as the snow melts, the full bloom of summer, and the kaleidoscope of color in the fall.
Originally the summer home of the well-heeled Glessner family, The Rocks Estate includes several buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A maintained trails system welcomes visitors year-round, meandering through the Estate, leading guests on short, easy strolls or longer hikes, past magnificent views of the Presidential Range and preserved wildlife habitat.
Visit The Rocks — to find a tree, enjoy a picnic in the formal gardens, look for wildlife, or just enjoy the view!
Maple sugaring has been a sweet tradition for centuries in New Hampshire, where smoke rising from sugar houses tucked into the woods signals spring’s arrival. As the days warm, sap begins to flow through sugar maple trees, ready to be crafted into sweet maple syrup, sugar, and candy. New Hampshire sugar makers produce some 90,000 gallons of maple syrup each year – no small feat when you consider it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup!
The New Hampshire Maple Experience explores and demonstrates this maple tradition, from the techniques used by Native Americans and early European settlers of the region to the operations of the modern sugar maker.
Housed in a 1906 building on the historic Rocks Estate in scenic Bethlehem, with stunning views of the White Mountains, The New Hampshire Maple Experience includes a working sugar house and interactive museum housing maple artifacts from the extensive collection of legendary sugar maker Charlie Stewart of nearby Sugar Hill.
Springtime guests at The New Hampshire Maple Experience are treated to a hands-on demonstration of the sugaring process, helping to tap trees and talking with fourth-generation sugar maker Brad Presby as he boils the clear sap into sweet syrup at the Maple Experience sugar house.
Visitors of The New Hampshire Maple Experience during summer and fall months, when the sugaring operation is dormant, take a virtual tour of the sugaring process, filmed in the sugar house and narrated by Presby. They’ll also explore the adjacent museum and learn about making maple syrup and sugar, from identifying a sugar maple tree to tasting the finished product.