Public Access / Land Use Policy

LAND OWNED BY LRCT

Walking, Hiking, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, and Nature Observation:  LRCT believes that it is important for Lakes Region residents and visitors to be able to enjoy and learn from our conserved lands.  All of the properties owned by LRCT are open to the public sunrise to sunset for low-impact and non-mechanized recreational uses — walking, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and nature observation.  These uses and activities recognize and respect the importance of protecting wildlife habitat and other resource values intrinsic to the natural world—e.g. the sights, sounds, smells, and peaceful settings that nature affords.  In a few cases, access may be limited to specific areas or to a specified number of people at any one time because of sensitive ecological conditions or restrictions that were imposed in the deed conveying the land to LRCT.  In addition, some properties are not promoted for extensive public use because they do not have frontage on a public way or an improved parking area.

Fishing and Hunting:  Fishing is allowed in all waterways and water bodies on LRCT-owned property, in accordance with the requirements of New Hampshire law.  Hunting is a traditional use of woodlands in New Hampshire and is allowed on a many LRCT-owned properties, in accordance with the requirements of New Hampshire law.  Hunting isn’t allowed on certain properties or portions thereof where (a) it would pose a safety risk given intensive recreational or other use of the property or the close proximity of structures, or (b) the deed conveying the land to LRCT prohibits hunting.  Hunting with bear dogs, training of bear dogs, and bear baiting are not allowed on LRCT-owned land. Please click here for a list of LRCT properties where hunting is restricted.

Mechanized and Motorized Vehicles:  Mountain bikes are allowed on certain LRCT-owned properties where LRCT has determined that such use will not cause unacceptable impacts to trails and will not result in unacceptable conflicts with other users.  Snowmobiles are allowed on certain LRCT-owned properties where such use has traditionally occurred and LRCT has determined that the use won’t cause unacceptable impacts to trails and won’t result in unacceptable conflicts with other users and where LRCT has a trail maintenance agreement with the NH Trails Bureau or a local snowmobile club.  ATVs are not allowed on LRCT-owned properties because of their potential for safety hazards, damage to trails and vegetation, and conflict with other trail users.

Dogs and Horses:  Dogs are allowed with their masters on LRCT-owned property provided that the dogs are under leash or verbal control at all times, with certain exceptions. Horses and horseback riding are not allowed on LRCT-owned property because of their potential for damage to trails and vegetation, introduction of non-native vegetation, and conflict with other trail users.

Hours of Use:  From sunrise to sunset only; no overnight use.

Camping/Fires:  Camping and fires are not allowed on LRCT land.

CONSERVATION EASEMENTS HELD BY LRCT

LRCT is not the owner of property on which it holds a conservation easement, so it does not have the right to allow public access to the property unless that right is specifically granted by the conservation easement.  In negotiating a conservation easement with a property owner, LRCT ordinarily considers public access for low impact recreational activities to be an important objective.  Nonetheless, it is not always possible for a conservation easement to allow public access, and such access may not always be appropriate given sensitive ecological conditions on the property or the owner’s use of the property (e.g., agricultural or forestry activities).  Consequently, it should ordinarily be assumed that decisions regarding public access to LRCT conservation easement properties are within the control of the property owner, not LRCT.