With 2018 in the proverbial rear-view mirror, Jeff Barraclough, new president of the NH Heritage Museum Trail, said all member institutions are looking forward to a busy 2019 season.
“We collectively saw probably more than a quarter million visitors in 2018,” he said. “I think we all expect to exceed that number this year.”
In trying to predict 2019, Barraclough said that may be difficult given that this will be the first year The Trail operates as three distinct, but connected regions.
“We divided the Trail into the Seacoast, Merrimack Valley and Lakes regions to encourage tourists and potential visitors to visit all museums within a certain part of the state,” he said. “It makes it more manageable for them.”
The different regions have also created synergies between member museums.
“For example, the NH Boat Museum, Libby Museum, and Wright Museum developed a Loop Tour on Fridays in the summer with boat and trolley tours,” he said. “We want to work together to provide visitors with great experiences that bring to them to multiple museums.”
In 2019, The Trail will also partner with Granite State Ambassadors, a group of volunteers who work at rest stops and other travel areas to help guide tourists to points and places of interest.
“We are offering their volunteers free admission to all of the museums in order to help them learn about all the features The Trail has to offer,” he said.
For Barraclough, who is also Director of Operations at the Millyard Museum in Manchester, the most important thing for The Trail in 2019 is to continue to promote member institutions.
“Art, culture, history, family-friendly events and more, we have it all on The Trail,” he said. “We want everyone to come and see one of the most unique cultural assets offered in New Hampshire.”
Comprised of 17 museums, the NH Heritage Museum Trail is divided into the Seacoast, Merrimack Valley and Lakes Regions with stops in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tamworth, and Wolfeboro.