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Weekend Adventures with James & Mom .... featuring New York area weekend trips with James and his Mom as they search for fun, excitement and learning adventures! ....

Squam Lake Adventure

Squam Lake map

This way to see Squam Lake ...

What James says: Did you know that an American Black bear cub is born weighing only 8 ounces? Can you imagine a bear the size of a hamburger? Yeah me either, but it's true. Then, when it grows to be an adult, it can weigh anywhere from 200 to 600 pounds. Now that's a growth spurt.

The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center (SLNSC) has an awesome Black bear exhibit. There are two bears that live there, and you can see them from a tree house type of viewing area. It's open so you see them without fences and wires. It is pretty amazing.

Every other exhibit has a ton of information and fun facts about each animal. Besides the animal and raptor exhibits, which are incredible, my two favorite exhibits are the "Life Underground Exhibit", which has a people size chipmunk burrow, and the Gordon Children's Activity Center.

In the Children's Activity Center (my mom's favorite part) you can climb a giant spider web, crawl through tunnels, hear the sounds of nocturnal animals, create your own bugs, and climb in a two-story tree, all inside a building. It is good fun. We all liked this place, we had such a great time and still learned a lot.

This place is so very cool. It should be called The Squam Lakes Zoo, Playground, Garden, Learning and Natural Science Center, but then the name would be way too long to say ...

also in Travel -> New Hampshire Tourist Attractions


A Squam Lake resident
keeps his eye on visitors.

What Mom Says : The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center (SLNSC), 23 Science Center Road, Holderness, NH 03245 T: 603-968-7194, Squam Lake directions and admission.

The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is a non-profit environmental education organization that was started as a grass roots effort by the residents of Holderness, New Hampshire, as a way to preserve the area's natural assets.

SLNSC has made it possible for visitors to get "Nearer to Nature" since 1966. SLNSC is located in central New Hampshire's Lakes Region. With the help of wonderful live animal exhibits, first-rate natural science education programs, and terrific lake cruises, the Science Center has instructed and informed visitors about the importance of our natural world for more than forty years.

They earned accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in 2006. This accreditation is a publicly recognized badge of excellence. It is proof positive that SLNSC is committed to the highest standards in animal care, ethics, conservation, and education.

See for yourself at the center's three walking/hiking trails plus one exhibit trail. You can of course choose one or combine them, depending on your level of energy and how many kids you have with you.

The Mount Fayal Trail is for the enthusiastic hiker, not the "Sunday afternoon stroll in the park" kind of hiker. It is a steep, one mile loop up Mt. Fayal, elevation 1,067 feet. It is a gorgeous, hour long, hike and the view at the top is just spectacular, if you are up to it. It is a little rough on the young ones and the elderly.


James sniffs out one of
the interactive exhibits.

Next you have the slightly less challenging, 2/3-mile Forest Trail. This hike is also about an hour long and self-guiding trail booklets available at the trailhead. The 1/3 mile Ecotone trail is a short hike following the boundary between field and forest. This is an excellent habitat for numerous animals with its abundance of food and shelter.

The other milder-mannered path is the Gephart Exhibit Trail. This self-guided tour winds through the beautiful gardens and over ponds; in addition you can experience all the amazing exhibits of native animals, and hands-on learning centers. Though rather bumpy terrain, this area is handicapped accessible and motorized scooters are available for those who need them. The paths are rocky so if you have an all-terrain stroller bring it. Also bring lots of water and I would suggest a nice picnic lunch. You will work up an appetite.

Another really fun aspect of SLNSC is the Lake Cruise. You board a pontoon boat, with a trained guide and take a 90-minute tour of the wildlife on, around and above Squam Lake. Along the way, film buffs can also take in the site where they filmed "On Golden Pond."

In 2002, Bald Eagles came back to nest on Squam Lake after a 50 plus year absence. They are truly a sight to see, especially in the wild. Kirkwood Gardens is a one-acre garden full of beautiful fauna, birds and butterflies, and it is also really worth seeing. The whole family enjoyed the experience. Everything was open and kid-friendly.

During our hike the kids spotted a bullfrog by the marsh bridge. They were all very excited.

Must see - You could easily spend several days hiking and taking in the beauty of the place. If you only have one day to visit I would say the Gephart Exhibit Trail is not to be missed, especially if you are traveling with kids.


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