A GSA Journey Up North – Squam Lakes Natural Science Center

By: GSA Mary O, GSA Mill Falls at the Lake Class of 2015

Since March 2020, there has been a ‘hold’ on a GSA Social Get-Together at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, NH.   On June 12, 2023, the event was finally held with about 20 GSA members anxious to enjoy one of New Hampshire’s major attractions.  Attendees were able to enter the park at opening and explore the Center the entire day.  All the animals on view were those native to New Hampshire:  Black bear, fox, coyote, owls, mountain lion, bees, frogs, etc, etc.  A new addition is the Water Pavilion, as well as the Children’s Play area.  The 90-minute cruise of Squam Lake was both relaxing and informative with sightings of about 8-9 loon, ducks, and eagle with an eaglet in the nest. There was so much to explore and enjoy…both for the school group children as well as the GSA
adults. A great place for a family outing! Thank you, Amanda, and all the folks at the Squam Lake Center who helped make this happen.

Here is some feedback from GSAs who attended:
A perfect sunny day in Holderness. The turkey sandwich from the wonderful and eclectic Squam Lake Market Place was delicious. GSA’s blended well with the multiple school groups as we investigated the animals being housed throughout the park. Topped off with an entertaining and refreshing pontoon boat tour of the lake and returned home with 2 fabulous plants from Kirkwood Gardens. ~Kathryn S.

We all had a terrific time at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center. I had the opportunity to chat with one of the staff, Beverly, outside the Welcome Center. She was great about giving me a brief overview of the Center, and then asked a few questions about the Granite State Ambassadors. I was pleased to explain who we were, and about some of the special events and informational Welcome Centers we staff throughout NH. ~Sue 2

It was a perfect weather day. The science center and the cruise on Squam Lake were informative and interesting. My favorite part was talking to and getting to know other GSA’s. Great event! ~Jeanne L

To reiterate, it was a fantastic day. I have been to the Science Center years ago. Although it hasn’t changed, I enjoyed the available exhibits. A great place to spend a morning or afternoon or even a day if you take in the trails. Great for all ages, especially young families. It was very clean. The boat ride? It was fantastic. All my years visiting the Lakes Region I was never on Squam Lake. Tom, our tour guide, was awesome. I learned so much. ~ Nance L

The Squam Lake Natural Science Center visit was a total success. The exhibits are wonderful. Imagine all the animals are from NH. I did not visit the gift shop. I brought my own lunch. I always love visiting the Kirkwood Garden. So many spring flowers were in bloom! And the highlight of the day was the cruise on the lake. I always wanted to take that trip. Our guide pointed out many spots that I know from the land. It was so interesting to see the Squam Lake Association, Rattlesnake trail, Rockyledge camp, Walter’s Basin, etc. from the water. And I met some GSA members that I had not met before!!  Thanks so much to Sue and Mary for making the visit happen. ~Roz L

This was my first visit to Squam Lake Science Center, though I’d heard about it from my kids when they went with school years ago. What a fantastic place. I did not get to see it all, but every exhibit I saw was hands on, informative and kid and family friendly. I loved the boat ride on Squam Lake, again, very informative. Thank you for your hospitality. The best part of the trip is that now I know how to tell visitors what a wonderful place this is for all ages.  ~Jonas T

Exploring one of the most spectacular lakes in New Hampshire with a boat full of friends lifts your spirits.  What a great day. ~Mark L

Loved being able to see the bear, mountain lions and bobcat! The walking trails are very well designed with lots of information all along the way. And the cruise was beautiful…having never experienced Squam, it was a great introduction to an area I’d love to visit again! Thanks for the opportunity. ~Elizabeth S

What an amazing day! I had never been to the Science Center before and was very impressed on how well the entire place was laid out and taken care of. I had not realized it was all outside. Great place for kids and a lovely environment to walk. The narrated boat ride was fantastic and so relaxing. Tom, our guide, did an excellent job. Will definitely recommend the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center to our guests! ~Sue1

The entire science center was incredible, I felt. What I found so impressive was the way each animal area was so perfectly planned to meet the natural surroundings typical for each creature. For example, high rock and boulder areas for the mountain lions, water and woods for the otters, great wooded expansion
for the bear.  Without exception, every exhibit was planned perfectly for BOTH animals and people! ~Bruce F

I had never been on Squam Lakes before, so I enjoyed the boat tour and history of the area from our knowledgeable Captain, Tom. It was interesting to hear how five different towns around the Lake agreed on how to protect the Lake with building codes.  It has been years since I’ve been to the Science Center, and it did not disappoint. Very clean, well-marked trails, and the paths were easy to walk on. The animal
exhibits were very informative, and really highlighted our amazing NH wildlife! I also appreciated the explanations on using composting toilets – learning opportunities everywhere! Thanks again, ~Karen B

Enjoyed the whole visit but especially the cruise. Tom provided so much interesting info and was able to look at beautiful scenery plus loons. Loved the macaroons from the Squam Lake Market. ~Roz W

What a great GSA experience at Holderness Science Center! The exhibits were great and the cruise, delightful. ~Ruth B

I loved visiting the gardens. They were having a plant sale and I bought 2 at a great price! The boat ride was informative, beautiful scenery, and very relaxing. ~Faye T

The day at Squam Lakes Science Center was so relaxing, one could appreciate the sweet air, quiet, wooded atmosphere, clean, wide trails -even with a hundred school kids visiting. Kirkwood Gardens seemed to specialize in native plants and every plant was labeled. Loved the opportunity to meet more GSA people, though didn’t take enough advantage of it. Thank you both for the opportunity, and for all you did to make it possible. ~Carol L

More photos here