Squam Lakes Offers Many Options to Explore Nature

Lake cruise tours available

Press release

The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center offers a wide variety of in-person and Zoom-based programs as well as a full schedule of science cruises on Squam Lake. To purchase tickets or register for any of these events and learn about upcoming programs and membership, visit NHNature.org or call 968-7194. For a full schedule of cruises, visit NHNature.org.

The cost for trail admission, mentioned repeatedly below, is $18 for adults and seniors; $13 for youth ages 3 through 15; free for ages 2 and under; and free for members. The last trail admission is at 3:30 PM.

Caterpillars in Residence with The Caterpillar Lab: Sunday, August 1 and Monday, August 2, 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center hosts The Caterpillar Lab for a five-day exhibit featuring a huge variety of New England caterpillar species with plenty to see and touch. Educators from The Caterpillar Lab will teach all about metamorphosis and tell incredible but true stories about the strange and surprising adaptations of these creatures. 

Some caterpillars are camouflaged to look like twigs or snakes. Some have stinging spines or brightly colored baubles. Visitors will learn about these little-known native critters munching on their food plants right at eye level. Cost is included with trail admission.

For more information, visit TheCaterpillarLab.org. The Caterpillar Lab exhibit is generously sponsored by Cottage Place on Squam Lake and by Belknap Landscape Company.

 Virtual Ecology Series: Restoring New Hampshire’s Bald Eagles: Tuesday, August 3, 7 to 8 PM

During this virtual presentation, Chris Martin will discuss the recovery of the Bald Eagle population in New Hampshire and describe the management efforts and partnerships that helped to restore these amazing birds.

 A conservation biologist who has worked for NH Audubon for nearly 31 years, Chris has focused on recovery of the state’s endangered and threatened birds of prey, including Peregrine Falcons, Northern Harriers, and Ospreys, in addition to eagles, in close collaboration with New Hampshire Fish and Game. He recruits, trains, and supervises an enthusiastic corps of volunteer raptor watchers who monitor these species all across the state. Cost: No charge to attend. Advance registration required. 

All About Birds Day: Thursday, August 5, 9:30 AM to 5 PM

Celebrate birds and the opening of the new Raptor Exhibit at the Science Center. Visitors will get up close to live raptors at Pop Up Animal Encounters throughout the day. Docents and naturalists will be stationed at the new exhibit to answer visitor questions. Cost is included with trail admission.

Have to Have a Habitat Day: Tuesday, August 10, 9:30 AM to 5 PM

Food, water, shelter, space, air, and sun – all living things need the same six things to survive. Their habitat is where they live and find these survival essentials. Visitors will meet some live animal ambassadors at trailside Pop Up Animal Encounters throughout the day and learn about the habitats they call home. Cost is included with trail admission.

Giant Water Bugs to Copepods: Upper Pond Exploration: Thursday, August 12 and Thursday, August 19, 10 to 11:30 AM

Explore the Upper Pond to learn about life below the surface of the pond. Participants will scoop nets into the pond to discover the life teeming below the surface. From the giant water bug with its built-in snorkel to the almost microscopic copepods supporting the food chain, the diversity of organisms that call the pond home is amazing. Waterproof boots and bug spray are highly recommended. This program is for ages five and up. Cost: $9 for members, $11 for non-members.

Virtual Ecology Series: The Elusive Saw-whet Owl: Tuesday, August 17, 7 to 8 PM

Some current scientific research is focused on Saw-whet Owls to learn more about the migration patterns of these small and elusive owls. At this virtual presentation, bird banders Trudy Battaly and Drew Panko will share their work banding Saw-whet Owls and tracking their movements using radio telemetry in southeastern New York. There will even be a cameo appearance by one of our ambassador Saw-whet Owls!  Cost: No charge to attend. Advance registration required.

Annual Meeting for Members: Saturday, August 21, 8:30 to 10 AM
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center holds its Annual Meeting for Members at the Science Center’s Lake Cruise Headquarters. All members are invited to enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast before the business meeting starting at 9 AM. Business includes electing officers and trustees, honoring retiring trustees, recognizing employee service, and presenting the Horizon Award. Cost: No charge, but reservations are requested by calling 968-7194 x7 or emailing Mary.Noyes@nullNHNature.org.

Leafhoppers to Lacewings: Field Exploration: Wednesday, August 25, 10 to 11:30 AM

Head into a field armed with a sweep net to discover the many shapes, sizes, and types of insects that call this natural community home. From leafhoppers that eat plant sap with their sucking-piercing mouthparts to the carnivorous lacewing with its delicate lace-like wings, be astounded by the wild diversity of insects. This program is for ages 5 and up. Cost: $9 for members, $11 for non-members.

Squam Lake Cruises

Squam Lake Cruises are not recommended for children under age 3.  All Squam Lake Cruises are 90 minutes in length on canopied pontoon boats. Cruises depart on Route 113 across from the Science Center. Advance reservations required by purchasing tickets at NHNature.org.
Cost: $27/adult; $25 senior (age 65+); $23 youth (ages up to 15). Members receive a $4 per person discount. To purchase cruise tickets and see the full cruise schedule, visit NHNature.org.

Discover Squam Cruise: Daily at 11 AM and 1 PM

This unforgettable guided tour has something new to delight everyone. Learn about the natural history of Squam Lake, look for majestic Bald Eagles, and listen for the haunting call of Common Loons. Hear about the people who have lived on its rocky shores surrounded by scenic mountains for over 5,000 years. Cruise on this beautiful lake where On Golden Pond was filmed almost 40 years ago.

Loon Cruise: Mondays and Fridays at 3 PM, through August 27

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center and the Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) are offering cruises that focus on Common Loon conservation, biology, and monitoring. A Science Center naturalist joins an LPC biologist who guides the tour and discusses the work LPC does across the state and on Squam to protect these extraordinary birds. The cruise route is chosen to maximize Loon observations.

Cruise with a Naturalist: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 PM

Uncover the rich natural history of Squam Lake with an experienced naturalist educator. Observe Common Loons and Bald Eagles and their nesting sites along with other wildlife. Learn how animals survive and adapt to their aquatic world. Gain an appreciation and deeper understanding of Squam Lake from mountain ranges to island stories to quiet spots during this memorable lake experience. 

 Ongoing Events

StoryWalk: Open Daily

Stroll along the trail by the Squam channel as you read On Meadowview Street one page at a time. Written by Henry Cole, the story is about Caroline and her family, who have just moved to Meadowview Street. But where’s the meadow and where’s the view? When a small wildflower begins to grow in her backyard, Caroline and her family soon transform the yard into a wildlife habitat.

StoryWalk surrounds the Holderness Town Gazebo behind the Holderness Post Office at Curry Place. Presented in partnership with Holderness Library and Holderness Recreation Department. Open daily from June 25 through September 6. StoryWalk is generously sponsored by Meredith Village Savings Bank. Cost: No charge, and no reservations required. 

About Squam Lakes Natural Science Center

The mission of Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is to advance understanding of ecology by exploring New Hampshire’s natural world. Through spectacular live animal exhibits, natural science education programs, guided Squam Lake Cruises, an informal public garden, and Blue Heron School, a nature-based Montessori early learning center, the Science Center has educated and enlightened visitors since 1966 about the importance of our natural world. 

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is located on Route 113 in Holderness, an easy drive from Exit 24 off I-93, and public trails are open daily from May 1 through November 1 with programming throughout the year. 

The Science Center is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is the only AZA-accredited institution in northern New England. For further information about the Science Center, call 968-7194 or visit NHNature.org.