Through spectacular live animal exhibits, natural science education programs, an informal public garden, and lake cruises, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, NH has brought people Nearer to Nature since 1966. The Science Center is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA and is the only AZA-accredited institution in northern New England.
The mission of Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is to advance understanding of ecology by exploring New Hampshire's natural world. Located on Route 113 in Holderness, exit 24 off I-93. The live animal exhibit trail is open daily from May 1 through November 1, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last admission at 3:30 p.m.). Offices are open year-round from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
There are many natural exhibits where native animals reside. Spend a day among black bears, mountain lions, raptors, river otters, bobcats, and more. Take a self-guided tour of the animal exhibit trail (plan at least two hours). Explore their hiking trails, relax and learn on a Squam Lake Cruise, enjoy the beauty of Kirkwood Gardens, and shop naturally in the Howling Coyote Gift Shop.
Plan at least two hours to walk the 3/4 mile live animal exhibit trail which meanders through open meadows, mature forests, and marsh boardwalks on a packed gravel path.
The Gephart Trail is informally and frequently called the live animal exhibit trail or live animal trail on their website and in other published pieces. The Gephart Trail is named in memory of William Stephen Gephart (1951-1968). His parents, F. Thomas Gephart and Sarah Lou Taylor Gephart, shared that love of earth's mysteries and helped others to know it through their support of the Science Center.
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center has educated and enlightened visitors since 1966 about the importance of our natural world thanks to the vision, energy, and generosity of people such as the Gephart family. Tom and Sally were involved in the early days and both served terms on the Board of Trustees, as later did their son John.
If you’re planning a visit to the Lakes Region this is an attraction to not be missed. For more information call them at (603) 968-7194, visit their website, https://www.nhnature.org/ or FaceBook page, https://www.facebook.com/nhwildlife/.