Springtime in New Hampshire is a great time to get out and explore, and we have the place for you to do just that. This adventure takes us to the largest outdoor sculpture park in New England, and it’s located right in southern New Hampshire! It’s the perfect combination of art and nature. See for yourself!
Nestled in and along the trails at Big Bear Mountain in Brookline you’ll find dozens and dozens of sculptures. They’re all part of Andres Art Institute Sculpture Park, a unique exhibit that combines art and nature. Artists from around the world are invited to come to this peaceful, serene setting as part of an annual symposium. They come here to create amazing works of art on location that are then placed on permanent display for the public to enjoy every day of the year. With miles and miles of trails to explore, here’s a sampling of what you’ll find in this wonderful outdoor exhibit.
#78 Human Boulder
Each symposium has a different theme. This piece, called “Human Boulder,” was created in 2014 when the theme was “Intimate View.” The artist, from Germany, sculpted the piece from rock and steel.
An artist from the Republic of Georgia created “Conscious” during the 2012 symposium. The theme that year was “Ancient Enigma.” The incredibly impressive piece is made entirely from granite.
As I walked along the trail, “Transitions” caught my eye. Created out of metal, granite, and marble, it was sculpted in 2003 by an artist from the Ukraine. Make sure you walk right up to and around it to get the full 360-degree perspective.
“Inside” from the 2007 symposium was made by a sculptor from Switzerland. It’s carved from granite. This is another piece you should explore by walking up to and around it…take a moment to pause and appreciate what the artist has created from a massive rock.
“Observatory” was created during the 2004 symposium by an artist from Argentina. The structure is made from steel and is an interesting configuration that just might make you pause, think, and observe.
Made from welded steel, “Seven” is one of the favorites that I saw on our trek. It was created during the 2016 symposium by an artist from the US. And if you think it resembles a towering set of seven televisions, you’re absolutely right.
A sculptor from the Czech Republic created “Debate” in 2001 from metal, glass, stone, and marble. This is another one of my faves. There’s such an incredible level of detail that you can really only appreciate if you take a few minutes to walk around each piece.
The symposium started back in 1999, and now there are more than 80 sculptures on the 140-acre site, so you can easily spend several hours exploring the miles of trails and scenic views. Another cool aspect? The park is pet-friendly!
If you’re looking for another outdoor activity, bring along your bike so you can hit the trail. If you head down the road from Andres Institute about 20 minutes or so, you’ll find your way to the Russell-Abbott State Forest, and the Greenville Recreational Rail Trail.
Talk about a hidden gem! The trail takes you through the forest and there’s plenty of scenery along the way. There’s mountain laurel to see, along with cool stone walls that line the trail, and there are a number of small streams and marshy areas. The path is relatively flat and eventually takes you to picturesque Pratt Pond. It’s a lovely spot to sit back and enjoy the view.
Be sure to wear good walking shoes if you’re headed to the park, and it’s always a good idea to pack some water, too. Just a reminder to follow our travels around the state on Facebook and Instagram! If you have suggestions on places you’d like us to explore, send them along! Until next time LFWK.