If you are wondering where the “polar” comes from in the name of Polar Caves Park (705 Rumney Rte. 25, Rumney, 603/536-1888, www.polarcaves.com , 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily May–mid-Oct., $14 adults and children over 9, $10 children 4–9, free children under 4), it’s courtesy of the glaciers that rammed through this valley in the last ice age. As the glaciers finally began to melt and recede 11,000 years ago, some gargantuan ice blocks fell from the cliffs above, cracking and eroding the granite here into a series of twisting passages and caves.
A boardwalk built through the middle of the destruction gives visitors a close-up view of the power of water to conquer even solid rock. Polar Caves Park is a bit hokey with all of its polar bear imagery and efforts to appeal to the family demographic, but you really can’t do much to spoil the force of Mother Nature.
Also at Polar Caves Park, a maple syrup museum, a petting zoo, and a boulder maze for the kids to get lost in.