Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Custom Maple Tours at The Rocks Estate

On weekends during maple sugaring season, syrup lovers flock to The Rocks to enjoy the New Hampshire Maple Experience. But sometimes folks are passing through during the week and miss out on the fun.

A young visitor from Texas learns how to tap a tree.
To accommodate those mid-week visitors, we’re offering private custom Maple Tours at The Rocks. The tours started quite by accident, really, when a few people called last year looking for a maple tour during the week. They ended up getting a two-hour private maple excursion with Rocks Estate manager Nigel Manley, and a new adventure was born at The Rocks.

“The thing I like the best when I’m on vacation is usually something that happens by mistake. You manage to meet the owner of a place, or you run into people who are really enthusiastic and knowledgeable about something you’re doing, and you learn from them,” says Manley. “People want that happy coincidence, and these custom tours allow us to make sure they get it.”

During the custom-made private Maple Tours, small groups – generally 2-5 people – get the full Maple Experience – in a timeframe that meets their specific scheduling needs. While the program can be adjusted to accommodate each group, generally it includes a short video covering the intriguing history of maple sugaring, a discussion on how to identify and tap a maple tree, a visit to the sugar house to learn what happens there, exploring the interactive maple museum, and a sampling of maple syrup.

“Both my 9-year-old and my teenager loved our maple tour,” says Tara Edelman, whose family visited last week for a custom tour at The Rocks. “It was really fun and informative.”

Custom tour visitors leave with a half-gallon of maple syrup – and many happy memories. To help hold onto the latter, Manley sets up a Pinterest board for each group with photographs from the day.

While maple sugaring season is short-lived, the custom Maple Tour is available year round – even when the sap is not running and the sugar house is not in operation. “It’s really exciting for people,” says Manley. “Even if they get to tap a tree in October instead of March, that’s pretty cool for them if they’re coming from someplace where maple syrup is not a regular springtime ritual.”

Beyond Maple Tours, The Rocks offers custom experiential tours year round, covering topics from the Estate’s formal gardens and captivating history to the art and science of growing Christmas trees and informative wildlife adventures.

Custom tours are $250 per group for two hours (and the maple tour includes a ½ gallon of syrup). To learn more or book a tour, call The Rocks at (603) 444-6228 or email info@therocks.org.

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