Family's Generosity Preserves Hiking Experience on Mt. Monadnock
Jaffrey — Thousands of future Mount Monadnock hikers will benefit from one family’s donation of a conservation easement on 55 acres on the mountain’s southern flank in Jaffrey to the Forest Society.
The property, off Route 124, is owned by four siblings whose grandfather bought the land in 1906: Ann Hamlen Goldsmith, Richard Hamlen, Katharine Hamlen Reed, and Charles Hamlen, who live out of state but vacation in Jaffrey.
The property abuts the Toll Road Trail, one of the most popular routes to the summit. The easement ensures that hikers will continue to see forested views from the trail. The property also hosts a section of the Metacomet to Monadnock Trail connecting the Mount Monadnock summit to the Gap Mountain summit. The easement includes an agreement to keep the trail open for hikers to use.
“This was one of the few unprotected sections of that trail,” said Brian Hotz, senior director of strategic projects for the Forest Society. “If someone wants to go to both peaks in one day, they can do that hike, and that’s the trail that connects the two.”
The Hamlen property easement is one more victory in the century-old effort to protect one of America’s most popular and iconic mountains. It started in 1915 when the Forest Society acquired it first 406 acres on the upper slopes and kept adding parcel after parcel. Today, more than 5,000 acres of the mountain and surrounding lands are protected. Other recent successes include the Forest Society’s purchase of 362 acres Jaffrey in 2012 and the subsequent 55- acre easement nearby on the southeast shoulder.
“We’re always happy to see one project leading to another project, and the Hamlen property is a perfect example of that,” Hotz said. “For us, it’s often the case when we pursue a purchase of property, it reminds people of our desire to see more land conserved around Monadnock.”
Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. For more information, visit www.forestsociety.org.
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