Past Land Projects

Sugarloaf — Goose Pond Conservation Area

Landmark Newfound Lake Property Conserved

The Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) and the Newfound Lakes Region Association (NLRA) are proud to announce the permanent conservation of 400 magnificent acres in Alexandria overlooking Newfound Lake and encompassing the landmark ridgelines of Big and Little Sugarloaf and much of the shoreline of pristine Goose Pond.

The Newfound Region’s most recent conservation success, to be named the Sugarloaf – Goose Pond Conservation Area, was donated to the Lakes Region Conservation Trust this September.  The Newfound Lake Region Association will hold a conservation easement on the land.

The Sugarloaf – Goose Pond Conservation Area forms a key part of the viewscape on the western side of Newfound Lake, most prominently the Ledges that tower above West Shore Road.  This gem of land includes unspoiled rugged and diverse habitat, and encompasses about 80% (3,000 feet) of the shoreline of Goose Pond.  The remainder of the shoreline belongs to Wellington State Park.

The newly conserved property also contains more than 2 miles of popular hiking and snowmobile trails, including the eastern end of the Elwell Trail, a key link in the route from Newfound Lake to Mt. Cardigan.

LRCT President Don Berry and NLRA Executive Director Boyd Smith said that conservation of this property has long been a Newfound vision and priority, and that it has been accomplished because of the extraordinary generosity of two exceptional donors, Chris Keppelman and Andy McLane, both of Bridgewater, who made it possible to acquire the property for conservation.

Andy McLane noted that “Conservation of this remarkable parcel of land ensures that the property, and its scenic beauty, natural wildlife habitat, and trails will be forever preserved for public enjoyment and for traditional low-impact public recreational uses”.  Chris Keppelman further explained that the property had been on the market for some time and that its historical uses would likely have been lost to private development had this conservation transaction not been completed.

Executive Director Smith said that the NLRA’s work on conserving the Sugarloaf – Goose Pond property began in mid-2007, “which demonstrates the need for vision, patience, and persistence when working to conserve key properties for future generations.”  He added, “Anyone who has ever visited this property knows how wonderful it is.  If you have not been there yet, photographs give merely a sense of the beauty that permeates this place.  Add the smells and sounds of undisturbed woodland near the pond or the eagle-eye view of Newfound Lake and the far away Franconia Range from the Sugarloaf ledges, and you will know what an important achievement this is.”

In addition to the two donors, Berry and Smith highlighted the roles played by the Newfound Land Conservation Partnership and the John Gemmill Newfound Fund in this project and in other land conservation work in the Newfound watershed.

The Newfound Land Conservation Partnership is a collaboration of the NLRA, the LRCT, and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, along with camps, other conservation organizations, and interested individuals, formed in 2009 to promote land conservation in the Newfound Watershed.

The John Gemmill Newfound Fund was created in 2011 by Helen Gemmill, in memory of her father, John K. Gemmill, long-time Director of Camp Pasquaney in Hebron.  The Gemmill Fund supports Newfound watershed land conservation by covering project costs such as surveys, appraisals, and stewardship that could otherwise be a challenge to successful land conservation transactions.  The fund is managed by the LRCT and can be used to facilitate Newfound watershed land conservation projects by any organization engaged in such work.

Berry and Smith said that the LRCT and the NLRA look forward to working together and with local volunteers in stewarding the remarkable Sugarloaf – Goose Pond Conservation Area for generations to come.  They noted that this will be the second land stewardship partnership between the two organizations.  They also work together on the Grey Rocks Conservation Area along the Cockermouth River at the head of Newfound Lake in Hebron, which is owned by the NLRA with a conservation easement held by the LRCT.

The NLRA, founded in 1971, works for the sustainable use of the Newfound watershed and for the protection of the watershed’s water and land.  The NLRA provides water quality monitoring and educational programs to protect the environment and the values of the Newfound watershed community and has played a lead role in the preparation and implementation of Every Acre Counts: The Newfound Watershed Master Plan.  To learn more about the NLRA, please visit its website at

Belknap Range Land Conservation — Success!

“Everybody Hikes Mt. Major” Campaign is Completed

The Lakes Region Conservation Trust and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (Forest Society), along with the Belknap Range Conservation Coalition and its members, including the towns of Alton and Gilford, are very grateful to extraordinarily generous donors who helped us complete the campaign to conserve four key parcels of land in the Belknap Range.  More than 1,800 individual donors, foundations, and other grant-making organizations, and the towns of Gilford and Alton, provided support for the project, and the $1,800,000 campaign goal was reached in  late August 2014.

The four parcels of land total approximately 950 acres and encompass parts of key hiking trails, including the most popular trails to the summit of Mt. Major, unfragmented forests and rare plant communities, and valuable wildlife habitat.  They also contribute to the protection of the water quality of Lake Winnipesaukee and other nearby lakes and rivers.

The four parcels are as follows:

  • 75 acres in Alton adjacent to the Mt. Major Trailhead on Route 11.
  • 100 acres in Alton just west of the summit of Mt. Major abutting the Mt. Major State Forest.
  • 331 acres in Gilford encompassing the northeast face of Piper Mountain, the south and southeast faces of Belknap Mountain, and the valley of Moulton Brook, which flows to Manning Lake.
  • 455 acres in Alton west of Mt. Major, encompassing the summit and slopes of East Quarry Mountain.

Belknaps Map for Website

Click here to view a larger image of the map.

The Belknap Range southwest of Lake Winnipesaukee is a treasured recreational and scenic resource.  At the range’s eastern end, Mt. Major beckons as one of the most popular hikes in New Hampshire.  Many hikers, however, have no idea that portions of the Mt. Major trails and other key Belknap Range trails pass through private, unprotected land.  While many landowners have generously allowed public use of trails on their lands, there are no guarantees of future accessibility to trails on land in private ownership and no permanent protection for significant parts of the Belknaps’ forested landscapes.

The Mt. Major/Belknaps project ensured that the four key parcels described above, as well as the significant portions of the Belknap Range trail network on these parcels, will be available for people to enjoy today and in the future.

Mount Major Hikers -- Jerry and Marcy Monkman Photo
Jerry and Marcy Monkman / EcoPhotography

Thank you to everyone who supported the “Everybody Hikes Mt. Major” campaign. Your generosity makes it possible for the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, the Forest Society, and our partners to conserve and steward these key Belknaps parcels, including magnificent natural areas and one of New Hampshire’s most popular hikes, and lays the foundation for conserving more land and resources of the Belknap Range.

Thank you!