Maple Season at The Rocks celebrates spring and sweet traditions BETHLEHEM, N.H.—Steam billows from the sugarhouse, silver-gray buckets hang from sugar maple trees, and the clop-clop of horses’ hooves serves as a soundtrack during maple sugaring season at The Rocks. As the days warm and lengthen toward springtime, the sweet traditions of sugaring are celebrated here.
“We created the New Hampshire Maple Experience to share both the history and the continuing practice of maple sugaring in New England,” said Nigel Manley, longtime manager at The Rocks, which serves as the North Country Conservation and Education Center for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. “This is a hands-on experience, and we encourage participants to learn about the process of turning sap into maple syrup, from identifying sugar maple trees to tapping a tree to collect sap.” Maple tours will be offered at The Rocks March 23-24, 30-31, and April 6. Participants will enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride through the historic estate, learning to identify different types of trees along the way. They’ll be invited to tap a sugar maple and take a tractor-drawn wagon ride to The Rocks’ own sugarhouse. There, fourth-generation sugar maker Brad Presby will demonstrate the process of boiling gathered sap into syrup.
Adjacent to the sugarhouse is an interactive maple museum, where visitors can see how sugaring has evolved over many years. No maple tour would be complete, of course, without a maple syrup tasting which includes fresh donuts. Maple tours run from 10 - 4. All activities are included in the cost of $15 ($12 for children). Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling (603) 444-6228 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the New Hampshire Maple Experience, Kingdom Kernels Kettle Corn will be on site with their delicious flavors – including, of course, maple. Smokin T’s of Lancaster will also operate a food truck, featuring maple-centric lunch items including a smoked ham and cheddar panini with maple syrup glaze and fresh-grilled burgers with maple bacon and chipotle mayo. In addition to onsite meals, they will offer to-go orders. Since Smokin T’s prepares food fresh, they ask that any large takeout orders are placed ahead of time via email at email@example.com through their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SmokinTsLancasterNH/. Maple syrup made from sap gathered at The Rocks will be available for purchase.
Maple syrup lovers should be sure to mark their calendars for the 8th Annual Maple Dinner at The Maplewood Country Club in Bethlehem, slated for the evening of April 6. Catered by Chef Joe’s, the dinner is a fundraiser for The Rocks Fire Fund.
The Rocks Estate 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 a non-profit membership organization founded in 1901 to protect the state’s most important landscapes and promote wise use of its natural resources. The landmark 1,400-acre property includes numerous buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers Agri- and Eco-tourism opportunities throughout the year. For more information please visit www.therocks.org.