With 250,000+ visitors annually, the NH Heritage Museum Trail is an important draw for tourists with many members institutions looking ahead to a busy 2019.
Comprised of 17 museums, the NH Heritage Museum Trail is divided into the Seacoast, Merrimack Valley and Lakes Regions with stops in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tamworth, and Wolfeboro.
As for what drives people to The Trail, Alana Albee, director of The Libby Museum in Wolfeboro, cited the variety of programs, events and artifacts offered by each member.
“At The Libby, for example, you can get up close to a full-size moose, a 16-foot alligator, and huge loons and eagles,” she said. “If you’re interested in native American artifacts or love local artist’s work, we have these, too. For kids, we have scavenger hunts to keep them busy and motivated with free prizes, and they can discover trees and plants on our nature trail.”
At nearby Wright Museum, Executive Director Mike Culver said 2019 will be a particularly special year.
“First, it is our 25th anniversary, so that it special, but we are also hosting for the first time a Smithsonian Institute exhibition,” he said. “We are so proud to partner with the Smithsonian because it illustrates that although we are tucked away in the small town of Wolfeboro, what we present and how it is presented is worthy of national attention.”
Referring to Wolfeboro as “a hidden gem,” Martha Cummings, executive director of the NH Boat Museum said she looks forward to a year of expanded programming.
“We don’t just talk about the lakes or boating, we bring people into the water to experience it for themselves,” she said. “We provide numerous hands-on activities for people of all ages.”
In nearby Tamworth Village, visitors can visit Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm, the only country doctor museum in New England and one of only four in the United States.
“On this historical site, visitors can learn about the significant contributions once made by country doctors and early medical practices,” said the museum’s Dawne Gilpatrick. “It’s still a working farm today with numerous barns and buildings as well as a variety of gardens open to the public. Visitors are also welcome to interact with resident livestock.”
For Cummings, the Lakes Region branch of The Trail is unique because it combines history and culture with natural beauty.
“You can spend a day on The Trail and shop and eat at some pretty amazing places–you can easily make a weekend out of it,” she said. “We also have some amazing breweries in Wolfeboro starting to make a name for themselves here. There is plenty to do.”
While some museums are year-round, most seasonal institutions on The Trail open in May with some in June.
For more information about The Trail and any member museum, visit nhmuseumtrail.org.