Monday, July 6, 2015

7/6/15: Exploring Polar Caves Park Rumney, NH

It is always cool to try new things and explore.  Next up in my series of posts on our family vacation to the White Mountains, New Hampshire is Polar Caves Park in Rumney.  It was an awesome place to explore and the caves were so fun to explore.
The Polar Caves  were formed about 50,000 years ago as the third continental glacier descended over New Hampshire’s White Mountains.  When the caves were originally discovered, the cold breeze exiting them was described as “polar,” giving the caves their name.  We were there on a very warm day around 83 degrees and it was nice an cool in the caves but not enough that we need jackets or sweatshirts.  In fact we were sweating and it was nice to cool down in the caves.
As you enter in you walk through a gift shop where you can buy your tickets and then out in to an open area with cute photo opportunities.  Local art students painted these for Polar Caves Park.  So cute!
I am not sure what is with all the large chairs like this in New Hampshire at attractions but we saw one also at the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort.
We headed to the caves first.  There are nine caves to explore.  I was expecting one continual long cave and was a bit apprehensive about it however this is not the case.  They are 9 small to large caves that you navigate through.  I never felt claustrophobic or had any issues despite some of the fears I had going in.
Here is one of the more difficult caves called Fat Mans Misery due to the tight spot you start in.  It was not bad at all.
For kids there is really no issue getting through due to their size.
The nice thing about the park is that there is a bypass for all of the caves.  If you start to enter and feel apprehensive there are always walkways to use to get around the cave and meet the rest of your group at the exit of the cave.  There are many stairs so make sure to wear walking shoes and not flip flops or sandals.
King Tut's Tomb was a favorite cave of ours.  Here are the kids as they enter.  As you can see here there are stairs leading to some of the caves.  The caves and paths are really well maintained.
A little spot to take a rest.
Here is a beautiful view of the park.
Here is another view from the top, there is an option of a hard or easy path that depends on how many stairs are involved.  The difficult path has 87 steps going up.  I am at the top of this set of stairs to take this picture.
The caves start out very easy to get you used to them.
We thought this cave was pretty "cool" too (pun intended).  This is The Ice Cave.  Here you can see the steps leading in to it.
Here is Lauren navigating down in to the cave.
Here you can see the ice in this cave.
Lauren posing for me in one of the caves.
Here is another picture of Fat Mans Misery.
There is The Mysterious Hanging Boulder.
This is the St. Bernard.  Doesn't it look like a dog?  So cool.
Here is a view of the Pyramid, Pointer and the St. Bernard.
Here you can see Evan climbing in to one of the caves.  The caves did have lighting.  I did at times use my iPhone to light up the path a bit for the kids so that they could see if there was some water on the rocks making them slippery.  We were lucky that we had a family of four in front of us that was talking to each other the whole time and telling each other what to expect.  It helped us know what was coming up and where to be careful.
Lauren striking a pose for me.
The most challenging of all the caves is the Lemon Squeeze.  Here you can see me in this area.  There is a sign that tells you put your left foot and shoulder in first and then push and pull yourself over the boulder.  Luckily in this cave there is another option called Orange Crush which is what the kids and I opted for and we made it!  This is the last of the caves.
Here you can see Lauren navigating through Orange Crush.  It took us about an hour to navigate through all of the caves at a leisurely pace.  I was slowing us down trying to take pictures.
Are you Chicken?  If so here is the path for you.
There are also nature trails to walk through.  Here is one of the Boulder trails.
There is also The Maple Sugar House and Museum.  It smells really good in there and has drinks, ice cream, souvenirs, and other snacks.
Back in the main area there are some animals to feed.  Here is Evan feeding the ducks.  You can buy a bag of corn in the gift shop as you enter for $1 a bag or wait till you get inside and buy corn out of dispensers for .25.
Lauren feeding the deer.
Evan giving the deer some corn.
Here you can see the duck pond as you are entering the park.
The kids posing with one of the Polar Bears.
There is also a Mine that you can pan for fossils.  There is an extra fee with this.
Here is the gift shop you enter in to the park through.  The prices were pretty affordable and there is also restrooms in this building and a snack bar with pizza, hot dogs, nachos, and drinks.
I highly suggest checking out Polar Caves Park if you are in the White Mountains, NH.
Find them online:  http://www.polarcaves.com/
Twitter:  @Polarcaves_rob
Disclosure:  I was provided with admission to Polar Caves Park for my family in exchange for review.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

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