Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The sugar maple's gift to autumn: crisp color

The springtime gift of the sugar maple tree is the sap used to make maple syrup and sugar. In autumn, the sugar maple offers another gift: crisp color that stretches from golden yellow to brilliant red and paints the hillsides like a calico quilt.

There is, perhaps, no more splendid time to visit The Rocks Estate and the New Hampshire Maple Experience than during the color explosion of autumn. The Maple Museum is open through Columbus Day for self-guided tours that will bring visitors into a landscape of color to the museum and sugar house, contained in one of many carefully restored historic buildings at The Rocks.

Guided maple tours are also available to bus groups and those looking for a personalized experiential tour

As always, our trails are open daily, from dawn to dusk, for visitors to meander and explore. Smart phone users may enjoy the Mobile Tour of The Rocks Estate, which uses QR codes to share the property’s history, modern day forest conservation and management efforts, and information about the varieties of Christmas trees grown on the farm.

Speaking of Christmas trees… tag-your-own Christmas tree season runs weekends at The Rocks from September 22nd - October 22nd. Take in the fall foliage as you search for and mark your own perfect Christmas tree, which you’ll be able to collect and pay for beginning November 17th, when The Rocks officially opens for the Christmas tree season. The two holiday shops will also be open at The Rocks during tag-your-own weekends.

So, whether you want to get an early start on your holiday shopping, are interested in learning more about the age-old tradition of maple sugaring, or just want to take in the unbeatable scenery of The Rocks Estate in autumn, we hope you’ll visit us this season!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rocks Estate offers year-round fun for groups and parties

Looking for a great place to host a party, or a fun and unique group outing? Well, The Rocks Estate can help you entertain in style!

The Rocks is a beautiful, versatile venue for events and parties large and small. Whether you’re looking for a fun place to bring your youth group for hands-on learning about the local environment and agriculture or a picture-perfect setting for your wedding, we aim to please!

We welcome groups to The Rocks year-round and offer a variety of experiential tours and natural history programs customized to your party’s interests. This year we’ve already played host to a Maple Experience birthday party, a Girl Scout Troop visiting the area from Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and a group touring the North Country in their antique cars.
The Rocks is also a popular venue for weddings. With unbeatable mountain scenery, beautiful formal gardens, and a versatile space to host large and small parties, we cater to brides and grooms to help make their wedding day one-of-a-kind special.

We invite you to call us (603-444-6228) or email to find out how we can help you create a wonderful party or group visit. Or just stop by The Rocks – the grounds and trails of the Estate are open year-round, dawn to dusk, and exploration is encouraged!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Celebrating Wildflowers at The Rocks Estate

With maple sugaring season a sweet, distant memory, we’re diving into summer this weekend with the celebration of the 32nd Annual Wildflower Festival at The Rocks Estate June 2. The event also kicks off the annual Fields of Lupine Festival, celebrated throughout the region.
Pink Lady's Slipper at The Rocks Estate

If you’d love to learn more about botany, are wondering which wild flowers and plants are edible, or just enjoy roaming the woods to explore nature’s beauty, the Wildflower Festival has something you’ll love!

The Maple Museum will also be open, of course, on Saturday and throughout the summer to self-guided tours of the New Hampshire MapleExperience. Self-guided maple tours are open June 1-Columbus Day weekend.

The Rocks boasts a diverse trails system meandering the Estate, and visitors are free to explore. Our Mobile Tour of the property provides information about the history and current conservation efforts at The Rocks – just use your smart phone to scan QR Codes at more than a dozen places and you’ll have additional information at your fingertips!

Several workshops and tours are planned for Saturday’s Wildflower Festival to entertain and educate visitors throughout the day, including birding walks through the historic Rocks Estate, a discussion on identifying various wildflowers, and the Floral Edibles workshop, where participants will learn which local native plants are edible – from fiddleheads and rhubarb to wild leeks and Johnnie Jump-Ups – and how to incorporate them into delicious meals at home.

Walks along the Mile Path, which is open only to guided tours, will also be offered during the Festival. The Mile Path meanders through the Estate, where the Glessner family, original owners of The Rocks, collected and planted an array of flowers. Guides will highlight the rich history of the Glessner family, who summered here beginning in the late 1880s, and the natural world they loved so much. The Mile Path walks are limited to 15 people per tour and fill quickly, so reservations are strongly advised. 

The Wildflower Festival runs this Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. The cost for the day-long Wildflower Festival is $15 and includes lunch and all programs. A $5 discount is given with each lupine festival book presented. For more information or to make reservations, please email us at or give us a call at (603) 444-6228.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Enjoy the N.H. Maple Experience this summer!

This year’s crop of maple syrup is bottled up and stashed away for the year, but the New Hampshire Maple Experience returns to The Rocks Estate June 1.

Visitors are welcome to take a self-guided maple tour anytime from June 1 through Columbus Day. The Maple Museum will be open for interactive learning (check out our panoramic view of the museum on our website), and the scenery along the path to the museum is unbeatable – the mountains of the Presidential range, carefully restored historic buildings, and summer wildflowers thriving right through until fall foliage season.

While you’re visiting The Rocks, we invite you to explore our extensive trails system (open daily, year ’round, dawn to dusk) and bring along your smart phone to explore our Mobile Tour of QR Codes that detail the estate’s history and modern conservation work. Dogs are welcome, too, but please keep them leashed!

Oh, and if you missed our fabulous chef demos during sugaring season this spring, you’ll find deliciousmaple recipes from area chefs on our website!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Self-guided Maple Experience Returns June 1

Thanks to all who joined our New Hampshire Maple Experience this spring! We had nearly 700 visitors during the seven days of Maple tours, and it seems a good time was had by all.

If you missed the fun during sugaring season, no worries – the Maple Experience at The Rocks Estate returns June 1, when we’ll open the interactive and informative Maple museum to self-guided tours.

As always, the extensive trails system at The Rocks is open daily, year-round. Maps are available at the information kiosk adjacent to the parking lot, and visitors (humans and leashed canines) are welcome to walk the trails from dawn to dusk.

Consider bringing your smart phone along as you explore the historic Rocks Estate. That way, you can take advantage of our new Mobile Tour. With more than a dozen Quick Response (QR) codes, the Mobile Tour enables smart phone users to pull up information about the history, wildlife habitat, and forest management efforts at The Rocks.

And, yes, there’s information about the Maple Experience on the Mobile Tour, too!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rocks Estate to host Maple Dinner April 14

If you love good food, you won’t want to miss our Second Annual Maple Dinner at The Rocks Estate! Last year’s inaugural Maple Dinner earned rave reviews, and we anticipate this year’s event to sell out quickly, so be sure to make your reservation early.

“This is a great way to celebrate spring and the conclusion of our maple sugaring season and to enjoy local food,” said Nigel Manley, manager of The Rocks Estate.

The Maple Dinner will be held April 14th at The Rocks, beginning at 6 p.m. Cost for the Maple Dinner is $40 per person, with $10 from each dinner donated to The Rocks Project Fund, which supports the year-round educational programs at The Rocks. The Rocks Estate is the North Country Conservation and Education Center of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

Returning to wow diners is Chef Joe of Sugar Hill, who will incorporate maple syrup throughout the menu. Dishes will include wood-roasted pork loin with apple maple cream, baked haddock with toasted walnuts and maple drizzle, roasted red potatoes, fresh grilled vegetables, and apple crisp with fresh cream. The Woodstock Inn Station &Brewery will offer two of its local micro-brewed beers to accompany the meal.

To make reservations or for more information, please e-mail or call 603-444-6228.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Last chance to get your Maple Experience!

This Saturday is the final day of the season for the New Hampshire Maple Experience at The Rocks Estate!

Join us for hands-on learning about the process and long tradition of maple sugaring. Along the way you’ll tour the beautiful and historic Rocks Estate via horse-drawn wagon, visit our on-site sugar house and learn from fourth generation maple sugarer Brad Presby, and enjoy delicious maple syrup samples.

If pancakes and syrup aren’t enough to satisfy your palate, you’ll want to time your visit to enjoy the maple cooking demonstration by Chef Kirk from the Sunset Hill House in Sugar Hill. He’ll be at the Maple Experience from noon-1 making Maple Marinated Barbeque Shrimp; an endive salad with candied pecans, dried cranberries, and crumbled goat cheese and topped with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette; and Maple Shortbread.

(For these recipes and others featured during past Maple weekends, check out the recipe page on the New Hampshire Maple Experience website.)

To find out more about the Maple Experience and all it includes, please visit the New Hampshire Maple Experience website. We hope to see you Saturday for the Maple Experience!