Monday, July 20, 2015

The Loon Center

This was not taken at the Loon Center, but on Back Lake in 2010.
This is also on Back Lake in Pittsburg, NH, in 2012.
Among the day trips we took when our daughter and family were visiting was one to The Loon Center in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. They do not have loons in their part of the country and were very interested in learning more about them.  Mr. T and I have always loved loons and their calls, and also wanted to learn more about them.

It's free to visit the Loon Center, which includes a wonderful visitor's center, a fantastic and unique gift shop, and is also home to the trails of the Markus Wildlife Sanctuary.  The Loon Center is also the headquarters for the The Loon Preservation Committee, which has a mission to restore and maintain a healthy population of loons in New Hampshire.  They are doing a fantastic job but the work is ongoing, as might be expected.

I wish I had gotten more pictures, but hopefully I can add some in when we get the pictures from our son-in-law.  The only two we got were of Lake Winnipesaukee as seen from the trail.

We went into the visitor's center first.  There's an informative and very beautiful film to watch about loons.  I learned some things I didn't know!   After viewing the film,  the kids had a fantastic time doing the necessary activities to become Junior Loon Biologists.   The number of activities a child has to complete varies with age.  Some of the activities are quite easy, like counting the number of stuffed loons in the center or doing a simple jigsaw puzzle.  Others were a bit more complicated, like word searches and building a loon nest from the materials provided.  The kids loved this and were so excited to complete the necessary tasks!
A scan of a very informative brochure on loon behavior from the Loon Preservation Committee.
After receiving their awards, the kids were eager to get out on the trail.  Along the way, we were able to see a loon's nest with a loon sitting on it, though the staff at the center said there might not be eggs in the nest.  It was still very neat to see.  The trail is about 1.7 miles long and had enough twists, turns, boulders and muddy spots to make the kids very happy.

The gift shop contains probably hundreds of lake-themed and especially loon-themed items, everything from mugs to Christmas ornaments and much, much more.  I bought a really beautiful mug from the sale table and have been enjoying it so much.

If you live in New Hampshire or plan to visit, you will want to take an afternoon and spend it at the Loon Center.  I highly recommend it!

6 comments:

  1. How interesting that loons go that far inland! My daughter loves loons so much that I am going to tell her about this. She would very much enjoy it, I'm sure.

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  2. Are there any UGLY places up your way Mrs T??? Love all the pictures and teh info!!

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  3. Vee, aren't loons the most fascinating birds? I hope that your daughter may be able to make a visit to the Loon Center. The website itself is very informative and interesting. I had heard of the Loon Preservation Committee and their work, but had not heard of the Loon Center until I saw a gorgeous photo of a loon in our daily paper, and in the caption the Loon Center was mentioned. I looked it online, and voila! Another wonderful day trip was planned!

    Arlene, yes, there are definitely ugly places up this way -- mostly man-made! But summer and fall are definitely New Hampshire's time to shine, and everything is gloriously beautiful.

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  4. Anonymous9:25 PM

    I always think of loons as 'the sound of summer'

    You live in a very lovely part of the world Mrs. T.

    Les

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  5. I think we need to take a vacation in your neck of the woods. So many interesting things to see and do.

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  6. Les, we love the loons. One of our favorite things about our getaways to a lake up north (where the top photos were taken) is the sound of the loons calling. Yes, we live in a very beautiful area, especially in summer and fall. But your area is lovely too!

    Nikki, I think you need to take a family vacation in this area too! Let me know if you ever decide to, and we will have you over for a picnic or something!

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