A day trip to visit the Polar Caves in New Hampshire is a fun and exciting day for families! Located in Grafton County of New Hampshire; It is on the southern side of the White Mountains. If you've never been, you will want to set aside a day to go exploring in Rumney, NH.
This is a full day trip depending on where you live. And even if you are close by, you will want to give yourself 2-3 hours at the Polar Caves and at least 1 hour at the Quincy Bog. You will also want to be prepared, pack snacks, water and other road trip essentials. Let's get ready for this day of adventure!**
What are the Polar Caves?
The Polar Caves is a fun nature hike where you get to climb, shimmy, and squeeze through glacier-formed caves while enjoying the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
This family-owned nature attraction is less than two hours from Boston! From their website, 'The Polar Caves were formed from glaciers that moved across the landscape. As boulders fell, they formed passageways, around and through, we then built boardwalks and stairs to allow for deeper exploration'.
In my opinion, the caves are awesome! They are set up in a way that when you follow the trail and trail map, you should get to all 9 caves. Each cave is unique and exciting in its own way.
If you are squeamish around tight spaces, you can walk around most of the caves, instead of going through the caves. I love that they built stairs into the caves to make it easier to get down into them.
Is this really worth the long drive?
My boys were not thrilled with us, when I told them we were going on an almost 2 hour drive to visit the Polar Caves. To be honest, I hadn't been since I was a young kid and I really had no idea what to expect. I was super hopeful they would enjoy it.
They came along (of course, they didn't really have a choice) and at the end of the day, they were happy we drove up to New Hampshire for the day. Yes, total win because even my 12-year old said it was worth the drive. They loved it!
Polar Caves of New Hampshire
These caves of New England, should not be missed.
There are 9 caves and crevasses to explore. Although there are stone steps, wooden boardwalks and such, footing can still be unstable, so take your time to explore and walk through the caves at your own pace.
If you love to hike, you will love this. Truth be told, there were a few times that I had to sit on my butt and scoot through because I was unstable on my knees, but I am proud to say that I made it through the caves, except for the Lemon Squeeze Cave.
The Lemon Squeeze Cave
Have you heard of the Lemon Squeeze Cave in NH? Well, I'm not sure how many adults can actually make it through this, so I opted for a nearby cave exit. My oldest loved it and squeeze right through. I'm not sure how he did it to be honest!
The walls are narrow and you literally have to squeeze through it - fear of getting stuck is what kept me from even trying! My husband did try it, but said his shoulders were too broad and so that kept him from going any further.
What to know before you go
A: Yes, the Polar Cavs has an update COVID-10 website page dedicated with safety measures.
A: Wear sneakers or any other type of non-slip, grip shoe, as there will be walking and climbing up, down and over rocks. Footing may be unstable hiking through and around the caves.
A: Wear a light sweatshirt, as the Polar Caves temperature can get a little chilly inside the caves. We purchased a couple of long sleeve light sweatshirts from their gift shop as we were all wearing shorts and t-shirts when we arrived.
A: Check the Fun Pass Book - Your Pass to the Best Savings in New England! It has a buy one get one coupon within the book. To take advantage of the coupon, during the summer of Covid, you can call and reserve your tickets over the phone. Don't forget to still bring the fun pass book with you, when you pick up your tickets.
A: Leave your pet at home, they are not able to visit the Polar Caves with you.
A: Nope! Kids must stay with you. Do not let them just run off.
A: I'm not sure of their rules, but honestly I had a water in my bag. You'll be hiking/walking and exploring. If it's warm out, you or your kids will be asking for water.
A: Bring a few quarters to feed the ducks and animals after your hike!
A: No, there are many stairs and narrow spots, it's best to carry or let your child walk if able to.
**COVID-19 - for up-to-date information on how to purchase tickets ahead of time and their process, be sure to check the Polar Caves Park website for information before leaving your home.
Before heading home, you may want to opt for a hike through Quincy Bog Natural Area. This is also located in Rumney and is right down the street from the Polar Caves.