Since its founding in 1979, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust has conserved nearly 25,000 acres of land in the region, in a total of 143 properties. The conserved lands owned in fee simple by LRCT total 17,700 acres and, at the time of their acquisition, had an appraised value of over $30 million; the remaining land is protected via conservation easement or other means.
LRCT’s conserved lands protect mountain summits and ridgelines, critical habitat for plants and wildlife, including endangered species, productive farm and forest lands, more than 35 miles of undeveloped shorelines, places of historic and cultural significance, and some of the region’s most cherished scenic landscapes. In addition, LRCT-protected properties include more than 100 miles of hiking and cross-country ski trails as well as locations that are or will in the future be utilized as parts of paddle trails.
Among the most notable and popular properties conserved by LRCT are the Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area in the Ossipee Mountains; the Burleigh Land LP Property in the Squam Range; Stonedam, Five Mile, Ragged, and Blanchard Islands in Lake Winnipesaukee; the Sewall Woods Conservation Area in Wolfeboro; the Knights Pond Conservation Area in Alton; the Copple Crown Conservation Area in Brookfield; the Red Hill Conservation Area overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee and Squam Lake; the Piper Mountain Conservation Area in Gilford; Page and Glory Hills in Hill; the Pine Hill Conservation Area in Moultonborough; the Dinsmore Mountain Conservation Area in Sandwich Notch, and the Sugarloaf Ridge – Goose Pond Conservation Area.
In pursuing land conservation opportunities, LRCT works with landowners and community volunteers to explore and evaluate conservation options, and we attempt to respond to local conservation and recreation priorities by protecting properties with clear conservation value and demonstrated community support. Gifts of land and conservation easements are the preferred method of land protection; nonetheless, LRCT has had significant experience and success raising funds from sources in and beyond the Lakes Region to support purchases and bargain purchases of key conservation lands. LRCT is presently working on land conservation opportunities throughout the region, including on Red Hill, in the Ossipees, around Winnipesaukee, in the Squam watershed, in the Belknaps, and in the Newfound watershed.
Areas of Focus
The Lakes Region Conservation Trust works in the 31-town Lakes Region of central New Hampshire as defined by the Lakes Region Planning Commission, which encompasses the following towns: Alexandria, Alton, Andover, Ashland, Barnstead, Belmont, Bridgewater, Bristol, Brookfield, Center Harbor, Danbury, Effingham, Franklin, Freedom, Gilford, Gilmanton, Hebron, Hill, Holderness, Laconia, Meredith, Moultonborough, New Hampton, Northfield, Ossipee, Sanbornton, Sandwich, Tamworth, Tilton, Tuftonboro, Wolfeboro. LRCT’s territory also includes the portion of any neighboring municipality containing an extension of a geographic feature, such as a lake, watershed, ridgeline, mountain range. This region includes the towns around six of the ten largest lakes in New Hampshire — Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake, Lake Winnisquam, Newfound Lake, Ossipee Lake, and Lake Wentworth.
Conserved Lands Summary
Acreage Conserved: 24,278 acres (total) in 141 properties
17,689 acres owned
5,442 acres subject to primary conservation easements
814 acres subject to executory (“backup”) conservation easements
333 acres protected through other means
Shoreline Conserved: 35 miles on Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake, Newfound Lake, Bearcamp Pond, White Oak Pond, Knights Pond, Bearcamp River, Cockermouth River, and other water bodies, rivers, and streams throughout the region
Summits Conserved: 20 summits, including Red Hill, Mt. Shaw, Mt. Faraway, Mt. Roberts, Mt. Webster, Mt. Livermore, Copple Crown Mtn., and Sugarloaf
Hiking Trails: Approximatley 100 miles on LRCT-conserved land
Towns with Conserved Land: Alexandria, Alton, Ashland, Barnstead, Belmont, Brookfield, Campton, Center Harbor, Gilford, Gilmanton, Hebron, Hill, Holderness, Laconia, Meredith, Moultonborough, Northfield, Ossipee, Sandwich, Tamworth, Tuftonboro, Wolfeboro
Key Conserved Properties:
Stonedam Island Conservation Area, Lake Winnipesaukee, Meredith
Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area, Moultonborough/Tuftonboro
Sewall Woods Conservation Area, Wolfeboro
Red Hill Conservation Area, Moultonborough
Burleigh Land LP Conservation Area, Squam Range, Holderness/Campton
Knights Pond Conservation Area, Alton
Copple Crown Conservation Area, Brookfield
Piper Mountain/Moulton Valley Conservation Area, Gilford
Five Mile Island Conservation Area, Lake Winnipesaukee, Meredith
Page Hill and Glory Hill Conservation Area, Hill
Center Harbor Woods, Center Harbor/Moultonborough
Blanchard Island Conservation Area, Lake Winnipesaukee, Moultonborough
Sandwich Notch Dinsmore Mountain Conservation Area, Sandwich
Ragged Island Conservation Area, Lake Winnipesaukee, Tuftonboro
Severance Farm Conservation Area, Moultonborough
Red Hill River Conservation Area, Sandwich
Pine Hill Conservation Area, Moultonborough
Ossipee Mountain Preserve, Tamworth
Tewksbury Brook Preserve, Sandwich
Hackl Conservation Easement, Tuftonboro
Grey Rocks Conservation Easement, Hebron
Sugarloaf Ridge – Goose Pond Conservation Area, Alexandria
Fogg Hill Conservation Area, Center Harbor