FUN FACT: Mountain lions are powerful leapers and can jump 15 to 18 feet vertically and 30 to 45 feet horizontally! (Squam has a display that shows just how far 30 to 45 feet is.)

Squam Lake

Visitors can compare their reach to the wing span of different birds at Squam Lake Science Center.

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center – Holderness

Take a walk on one of the short self-guided hiking trails, stroll through Kirkwood gardens, or step aboard an educational cruise on Squam Lake at this interactive science center. Be sure to walk along the ¾-mile Live Animal Exhibit Trail, where visitors learn about – and see up close – native New Hampshire species from barred owls and black bears to white-tailed deer and river otters.

Seacoast Science Center – Odiorne State Park, Rye

Featuring exhibits on the ocean, touch tanks that allow hands-on learning, and daily educational programs, this nonprofit marine science education center is the place to learn about the sea – and seashore – around us. The science center offers daily educational programs for a variety of ages.

McLane Audubon Center – Concord

This Audubon center has live animal displays, including a reptile room and raptor mews showcasing a bald eagle, peregrine falcon, screech owl, and other impressive birds of prey. Miles of gentle trails wind through various bird habitat, from hardwood forests to an old apple orchard and along Great Turkey Pond, home to many species of water birds. New Hampshire Audubon offers educational programs – here and at its other centers – throughout the year.

Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center – Laconia

Housed partly in a carefully restored 1883 barn and partly in a cutting-edge energy efficient building, Prescott Farm hosts programs throughout the year for children, families, and adults, ranging from exploring the pond to discovering wildflowers to moonlit hikes.

The Rocks & Bretzfelder Park – Bethlehem

With several miles of trails weaving through The Rocks and nearby Bretzfelder Park, both managed by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, there is plenty to learn about the natural environment. Many trails are marked by interpretive signs covering topics from vernal pools to maple sugaring. Both properties host educational programs through the year, including the Bretzfelder Park Family Educational Series in August.

Harris Center for Conservation Education – Hancock

Situated in a historic estate on 34,500 acres of conserved land, the Harris Center hosts programs for a variety of ages and on topics ranging from forest bathing to hawk watching, as well as activities including hikes with small children, pond paddles, and medicinal plant walks.

Beaver Brook Association – Hollis

Founded in 1964, this environmental center boasts 35 miles of trails and 13 theme gardens and offers learning opportunities for all ages, from wildlife tracking to guided group hikes. The website has links to maps of the trails to help visitors identify wildflowers and trees, locate nesting boxes, and learn other tidbits about this environment.

Tin Mountain – Albany

Featuring a network of trails that traverse wetlands, forests, and open fields; an energy-efficient Nature Learning Center; and a carefully preserved barn from the 1800s, Tin Mountain Conservation Center serves up an array of programs for children, adults, and families – from lectures and slideshows to guided hikes and field trips.

Loon Center – Moultonborough

Located on the north shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, the Loon Center is the headquarters for the Loon Preservation Committee and features displays, exhibits and videos about New Hampshire’s loons and other wildlife species. There is also a gift shop on site, and the 200-acre Markus Wildlife Sanctuary offers several walking trails.

Mount Major – Alton

Rising to an elevation of 1,785 feet above the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee’s Alton Bay, Mount Major is a popular hiking spot. With the Forest Explorer app from the Forest Society, which has conserved some of the land around Mount Major, visitors can use their smartphones to learn about the natural and human history of this place, choose from multiple trail options to the summit, and embark on a scavenger hunt.