Harris Center for Conservation Education, Hancock

Harris Center for Conservation Education, Hancock

83 Kings Highway Hancock, New Hampshire 03449

Official Website
Harris Center For Conservation Education Trails webpage

About this Location

The Harris Center for Conservation Education is dedicated to promoting understanding and respect for our natural environment through education of all ages, direct protection and exemplary stewardship of the region’s natural resources, conservation research, and programs that encourage active participation in the great outdoors.

In the early 1900s, people from crowded cities like New York and Boston began to discover the clean air and quiet nature of the New Hampshire hills. Among them was Dr. L. Vernon Briggs of New York City. Beginning in 1928, he purchased many parcels of property that grew into a 3,000-acre estate near Skatutakee Mountain and Lake Nubanusit.

Vernon’s granddaughter, Eleanor, would visit in the summers. It was on this land, away from the fast-paced life of the city, that Eleanor first connected with the forests, fields, and lakes of New Hampshire.

In 1966, Eleanor learned that a developer had purchased some of her grandparents’ land and was preparing to subdivide it. At the young age of 29, she decided to save the land and bought it back, piece by piece. “Remembering what happened to my childhood home on Long Island, N.Y., I began to visualize skyscrapers around Norway Pond. One morning I woke up with a jolt of anxiety and decided the only way to calm down was to do something about my fears.”

Eleanor Briggs established the Harris Center for Conservation Education in 1970, using her grandparents’ house as a conservation education center.

She named the organization after her cat, Harris, who she felt “represented a certain wildness, humor, savvy and strong instinct, all elements needed for a successful environmental education center.”

Notable Trails

The AllTrails website has a description and map of a hike at the Harris Center.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from Official Website

Last updated October 21, 2023