Every year on Memorial Day weekend, Steve and I pack up Waldo and head to a part of NH I haven’t explored yet. I pick a basecamp and spend the next 2 weeks exploring the surrounding towns. This year, we chose the Lakes Region. Although I have already toured Bridgewater, we chose the Newfound RV Park as home for the next two weeks.

Steve and Diesel relaxing after we got setup

Steve and Diesel relaxing after we got setup

The park from atop Waldo

The park from atop Waldo

Tucker - The self-walking dog

Tucker – The self-walking dog

Wayne getting Tucker ready for their walk.

Wayne getting Tucker ready for their walk.

Wayne and Tucker enjoying the nature trail at the Newfound RV Park

Wayne and Tucker enjoying the nature trail at the Newfound RV Park

A comfy place to visit with friends, old and new.

A comfy place to visit with friends, old and new.

Over dinner at the Bridgewater Inn Japanese Steakhouse and Tavern, Steve and I decided the first town we were going to visit was Holderness. We had a specific reason for wanting to go to Holderness. It is home of The Squam Lakes Nature Science Center.


After doing some online research, we decided to buy a membership. After viewing the list of reciprocating zoos, aquariums and nature centers, to us, it was a no brainer! We were anxious to see what the center had to offer. Many people do not like zoos, feeling the animals are worse off then they would be in the wild. To some extent, I understand those feelings and immediately, the Center put my fears to rest…


The Center depends on volunteers and it is easy to see how many selfless people support the Center…



After a walk around the information center where there were wonderful exhibits about the cycle of life in nature. How everything is connected, from the seeds that drop from trees to the impact humans have…


As we headed out to the exhibits, we passed a bat house…


Our first stop was the coyote home. Informational signs about the lives and importance of coyotes surrounded the enclosure. There were 3 coyotes lounging in the sun and this guy seemed quite content…


I wasn’t able to get a good picture of the skunk exhibit, so we moved on to the bobcats. As they lazed in the sun, I had to look twice to see them. They blend in almost perfectly with  their surrounding. Wow, are they beautiful! (as a side note, we had one visit our yard in Peterborough a month or so ago). …



The next exhibit was probably my favorite. The mountain lion. Steve and I watched and photographed for at least a half hour. The mountain lion’s grace and power could not be ignored…



Steve captured this image, while I was taking his picture.

Steve captured this image, while I was taking the picture above.

I was still enthralled with the mountain lion as we came upon the river otters. Their antics and fun nature made them comical to watch…


Next we headed to the black bear exhibit (I’ve had them in my yard also). The enclosure was huge and the bear gave us plenty to watch…





At the second viewing platform, we saw a family settling onto the benches for a rest while bear watching…


We headed to the avian exhibits where I caught a raven enjoying his lunch…


When we arrived at the raptor exhibit, we encountered a family taking in the sights. They told us they come here every year. One of their rituals is to let the kids measure their arm span against the wingspan of the great horned owl and broad-winged hawk to see how much they’ve grown since last year…

Measuring up

Measuring up

We encountered the same family on the wetlands boardwalk. I enjoyed listening to the excited voices of the kids as they saw tadpoles, perch and other aquatic life…


Not everything at the Center is about wildlife. There is also a great exhibit about the geology of New Hampshire…


I left the Center with a much better understanding of New Hampshire’s biodiversity and how we all play a role in its health.

Almost directly across for the Center is the Little Church Theater. If we were going to be here longer, I might be inclined to catch a show!


There are several public boat launches in Holderness, some can accommodate larger vessels and some are better suited for kayaks and canoes…


It was getting very near lunchtime as we walked around the area between Squam Lake and Little Squam Lake. We enjoyed watching the boats pass through from one to another…


And the vivid colors of the kayaks available at the Squam Boat Livery


After ogling the boats and lamenting not having brought our kayaks, our now noisy stomachs could not be ignored any longer. We opted for lunch at Walter’s Basin. A window seat gave us a great view of the lake and those who were enjoying the fine weather…



With our bellies full, we headed out to explore more of the lakes wonderful sights. Some things we saw seemed in such contrast with each other. On the lake side of the road, there are beautiful waterfront homes and boat sheds. It quickly became obvious fun was the number one priority…

Yes...it is a rooftop waterslide!

Yes…it is a rooftop waterslide!

And privacy was the number two priority…

Yes...the house is on an island in the lake.

Yes…the house is on an island in the lake.


On the opposite side of the road there were stately farms…



And quiet country homes, not meant to be seen from the road…


Being Memorial Day weekend, we were not the only ones taking in the scenery…


As we moved inland, we saw another side of Holderness. Laid back farms…


Wondrous mountain and lake views…





And pieces of history…


To complete our tour of Holderness, we stopped on the campus of the Holderness School. A small but lovely campus, seemingly deserted after graduation…




With everything there is to do and see in Holderness, it is a wonder we didn’t spend the entire two weeks there.


Have you ever been to Holderness? What is your favorite memory from your visit?

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16 Comments on “Holderness”

  1. Robin S. Kent May 26, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    Great Post. Thanks for all the pictures and descriptions.

    • Touring NH May 26, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

      Your welcome. It is a place I wish I had discovered sooner!

      • Robin S. Kent May 26, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

        That’s the story of my life;-)

  2. marthaschaefer May 26, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

    What a great tour!! Love the shots of the nature science center. Hope you are having fun!!

    • Touring NH May 26, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

      I’m having a great time. Definitely learning things about NH I didn’t know.

  3. New Hampshire Garden Solutions May 26, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

    That’s a great place to visit! I’m hoping they’ll keep the bear and mountain lion right there.

  4. Sue Slaght May 31, 2015 at 12:05 am #

    I really like the idea of you picking an area and then exploring it thoroughly. What excellent photos of the animals! I could watch the otters all day. 🙂

    • Touring NH May 31, 2015 at 8:56 am #

      Thank you Sue. The antics of the otters were hilarious! I should have done a video. Date: Sun, 31 May 2015 00:05:47 +0000 To: LauraLMahoney@msn.com

  5. seekraz June 1, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    What a nice little photo travelogue….well captured, Laura.

    • Touring NH June 1, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

      Thank you. It is a really neat town to explore.

      • seekraz June 1, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

        You’re welcome….and I can tell that it is. 🙂

  6. Marie Keates June 2, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

    You got some wonderful photos. I especially liked the otters and the mountain lion. I can’t imagine having such creatures roaming wild though. The most I have to contend with on a walk is the odd pony or cow, if I’m lucky a deer. We do have a large zoological park here, Marwell, but it’s been a long time since I last visited.

    • Touring NH June 2, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

      I’ve encountered almost all of the animals except the mountain lion in my travels. I really enjoy seeing wildlife in their natural surroundings.


  1. Highlights from 2015 | Touring NH - December 28, 2015

    […] I really was off to a slow start this year. I didn’t notice at the time, but my first three towns this year all started with the letter H. May found me in the beautiful town of Holderness… […]

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