As winter wanes and the days warm up, sap begins to flow in sugar maple trees, signaling a sweet springtime tradition: boiling down the sap to make flavorful maple syrup at sugar houses across the region.
For a family-friendly, hands-on experience head to The Rocks Estate in Bethlehem for the New Hampshire Maple Experience, scheduled this year for March 11, 18, 19, 25 and 26 and April 1.
During The Maple Experience visitors are invited to tap a tree, stop by the sugar house to explore how maple syrup is made, and enjoy a tasting with the traditional pairing of syrup with donuts and sour pickles. Don’t miss the horse-drawn carriage ride through the magnificent 1,400 acre Rocks Estate where your interpretive guide will relate interesting facts about local history and sugaring.
Visit the Maple Museum to learn about all things maple, and join local chefs each day at noon for maple cooking demonstrations, including sampling the finished product and taking home printed copies of the recipes.
The Rocks and its gift shop will be open during Maple Experience days from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Maple tours are offered at 10 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:15 p.m., and 2 p.m. Reservations are recommended, with walk-in visitors welcome on a space available basis.
The Rocks staff will be selling mixes from the incomparable Polly’s Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, and Kingdom Kernels Kettle Corn will be onsite, with their delicious fresh popcorn in a variety of flavors including maple.
Want to make your visit a weekend-long experience? The Rocks partners with local hotels and inns with a Maple Experience Vacation Package.
The Rocks will once again host its popular Maple Dinner fundraiser, featuring local microbrews and a menu showcasing maple recipes. Reservations for the April 1 event are required; e-mail [email protected] or call (603) 444-6228. For more information about The Rocks Estate and its maple tours, visit www.therocks.org.
The Rocks is the North Country Conservation and Education Center of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (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.