As spring returns to the North Country this year, so does the New Hampshire Maple Experience at The Rocks Estate. Scheduled to run March 12, 19-20, 26 and April 2, the Maple Experience offers visitors a chance to learn about and participate in each step of maple sugaring, a treasured rite of spring in the area.
“The Maple Experience program at The Rocks is really hands-on, and
that’s what sets us apart from other maple tours,” said Nigel Manley,
manager of The Rocks Estate. “Participants drill holes in the trees, put
taps in, and hang buckets. They also learn to identify different types
of trees, so they can tap their own sugar maples at home.”
Maple Experience visitors will enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride through
the historic Rocks Estate as part of the program. An interpretive guide
is on board each wagon, sharing some of the local history and
information about sugaring.
Maple Experience tours include a visit to the sugar house, tucked into
one of the many renovated historic buildings at The Rocks. Here,
visitors will watch fourth-generation sugar maker Brad Presby at work.
Guests are invited to purchase a New Hampshire Maple Experience
commemorative mason jar to fill at the sugar house with warm syrup to
Adjacent to the sugar house is the interactive maple museum and
education center, featuring maple sugaring artifacts from the extensive
collection of legendary Sugar Hill sugar maker Charlie Stewart.
Visitors will also enjoy a maple syrup tasting – paired with the
traditional fresh donut and sour pickle. Maple cooking demonstrations by
chefs from the Sugar Hill Inn, Chef Joe's Catering Service, Adair
Country Inn and Indian Head Resort. will be staged each day of the Maple
Experience at noon. Onlookers will be invited to sample the finished
product, and each recipe will be printed and available for visitors to
take home. Kingdom Kernels Kettle Corn will be onsite, with their delicious fresh popcorn in a variety of flavors including maple.
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 allowed as space allows.
The Rocks staff will be selling mixes from widely-famous Polly’s Pancake Parlor in Sugar
For those looking to turn the Maple Experience into a weekend-long
North Country stay, Hill. The Rocks is again partnering with local inns
to offer weekend vacation packages.