Archive | Land Protection

Saving Special Places conference to be held April 7 in Alton

Saving Special Places, New Hampshire’s annual land conservation conference will be held on Saturday, April 7, 2018, at Prospect Mountain High School in Alton. This year’s conference will offer 30 workshops. Topics will include conservation planning; farmland conservation; wildlife habitats and species; legal issues; “creative ways to connect,” and more. Additionally, the event provides networking opportunities with colleagues and practitioners in land conservation. For more information, go to savingspecialplaces.org.

Andrew Brook Trailhead Update

A popular destination in winter as well as warmer seasons, Lake Solitude is the reward of a two-mile ascent up the Andrew Brook Trail. Access to the trail is now protected by the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests. Photo by John Welch/johnwelchphoto.com.

A popular destination in winter as well as warmer seasons, Lake Solitude is the reward of a two-mile ascent up the Andrew Brook Trail. Access to the trail is now protected by the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests. Photo by John Welch/johnwelchphoto.com.

Members of the hiking community around Mount Sunapee put their enthusiasm for a popular trail to Lake Solitude to work and quickly helped the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests (Forest Society) raise funds to conserve the property where the trail begins.

The Forest Society purchased the 33-acre trailhead property, off Mountain Road in Newbury, in order to protect access to the Andrew Brook Trail, said Jane Difley, the Forest Society’s president/forester.

“So many people who love this trail assumed that the trailhead was part of  Mount Sunapee State Park, but in fact it was privately owned and therefore vulnerable when it came up for sale,” Difley said. “Now that the Forest Society owns it, public access is protected, and we want to thank the fans of this trail for helping to secure it.”

The Andrew Brook Trail is a 2-mile ascent up Andrew Brook on the eastern side of Mt. Sunapee to Lake Solitude, a pristine pond surrounded by conifers. It then meets up with other trails leading to the scenic White Ledges area and to Mount  Sunapee’s peak. Read more…

 

Forest Society working to buy popular trailhead for Mt. Sunapee hike to Lake Solitude

winter hiker smaller CDeegan IMG_1868

A hiker ascends the Andrew Brook Trail in Newbury. Courtesy photo.

When the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests (Forest Society) posted on Facebook a plan to buy a property in Newbury that hosts the trailhead of a hiking route to Lake Solitude on Mt. Sunapee, hikers who know the Andrew Brook Trail responded quickly.

They posted phrases like “Love this hike,” “One of my favorite spots” and “Best way to hike Sunapee.”

“Those posts told us we were working on a project that would make a lot of people very happy,” said Jane Difley, the Forest Society’s president/forester.

There are three major hiking trails on Mt. Sunapee, but only one, the Summit Trail, is entirely within Mt. Sunapee State Park. The Andrew Brook Trail is one of two others that cross private land before entering permanently protected land in the state park. Access to the trailhead has been at the generosity of the landowner and could be denied by any future landowner.

AndrewBrook_MailingMapv5-1

Click on map to enlarge.

The Forest Society offered to buy the land, 33 acres off of Mountain Road in Newbury, when it came up for sale recently, and has a purchase-and-sales agreement with the landowner. First, however, the organization must raise $110,000 to cover the purchase, legal fees and future stewardship costs.

“We are reaching out to the hiking community and friends and neighbors in the Newbury area to ask for their support of our plan to protect the trailhead,” Difley said.

The Andrew Brook Trail ascends along Andrew Brook and climbs through a beech, birch and maple forest for two miles before reaching Lake Solitude, a pristine pond surrounded by conifers. It then connects to the Sunapee Ragged Kearsarge Greenway’s 75-mile trail system and continues to the scenic cliffs of the  White Ledges area and Mt. Sunapee’s summit.

“Most hikers of these heavily used trails have no idea that only the generosity of a private landowner allows access to the State Park,” said Gerry Gold, of the Sunapee Ragged Kearsarge Greenway Coalition. “Thus it is a rare opportunity when the hikers and the hiking community have an opportunity to help purchase such important access and permanently protect that access for themselves and future generations of hikers.”

In 2006, the Forest Society led a campaign to purchase a conservation easement on 1,100 acres of land on the eastern slope of Mt. Sunapee. This easement protects the middle section of the Andrew Brook Trail and was a collaboration celebrated by partners including the Newbury Conservation Commission, Cardigan Highlanders Volunteer Trail Crew, the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, Friends of Mount Sunapee and the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway.

In 2010 the Goubert family of Sunapee donated 75 acres of land next to the 33-acre property the Forest Society now seeks to buy.

Difley said the property’s value for hiking is the most obvious reason to protect it, but it also contains hardwood forest that protects water quality of Andrew Brook and several feeder streams, and it provides excellent wildlife habitat. She said the organization is seeking to raise the money necessary to complete the project by Jan. 20.

More information about the project and how to donate, visit www.forestsociety.org.

Campaign underway to protect Andrew Brook trailhead

Lake Solitude_ForestSociety

Overlooking Lake Solitude at Mt. Sunapee State Park. Photo credit: Jack Savage, courtesy of Forest Society.

The Forest Society is seeking your help to permanently protect the trailhead of the Andrew Brook Trail, a favorite hiking trail to Lake Solitude and the White Ledges at Mt. Sunapee State Park.

See Current Forest Society projects.

Download/view Andrew Brook Trailhead flyer 12-14-15 (2MB)

“The owner of a 33-acre property that hosts the trailhead, off Newbury’s Mountain Road, has agreed to sell it to the Forest Society. Now we must raise the $110,000 needed to acquire the land, cover transaction costs, improve the trailhead and steward the property, and we hope you will give a donation to help,” the society release states.

Map courtesy of the Forest Society. Click on map to enlarge.

Map provided by the Forest Society.

The Andrew Brook Trail is beloved by many hikers as a sweet ascent along a babbling brook that you rock hop across as you climb through a beech, birch and maple forest. It climbs for two miles before reaching Lake Solitude, a pristine pond surrounded by conifers. It then continues to the White Ledges area on the way to Mt. Sunapee’s summit.

Additionally, conserving this parcel will help protect water quality of Andrew Brook and feeder streams in the area, provide high-quality wildlife habitat and enlarge the surrounding block of conserved land including the Andrew Brook Forest and Sunapee and Pillsbury state parks.

“In 2006, the Forest Society led a campaign to purchase a conservation easement on 1,100 acres of land on the eastern slope of Mt. Sunapee,” states the Forest Society. “This easement protects the middle section of the Andrew Brook Trail and was a huge collaborative success celebrated by partners including the Newbury Conservation Commission, Highlanders, the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, Friends of Mt. Sunapee and the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway. The trailhead, however, remained in private ownership and unprotected, and it has now been put up for sale.”

For more information, contact Susanne Kibler-Hacker at the Forest Society, 603-224-9945, or via e-mail at skh@forestsociety.org.

Copyright 2018 Friends of Mount Sunapee