The Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area in the Ossipee Mountains of Moultonborough and Tuftonboro, totaling over 5,000 conserved acres, is the largest property owned by LRCT. Thirty miles of trails throughout this conservation area are maintained by a dedicated and enthusiastic team of LRCT volunteers.
We hope you will have the opportunity to explore the trails within this landmark conservation area soon. Depending on the trail you choose and the season in which you hike, you may encounter spectacular waterfalls, incredible views from mountain summits and outlooks, signs of wildlife, historic sites, interesting geological features, and many other unique elements of this beautiful conservation area.
LRCT maintains two trailhead parking areas that are free and open to the public for accessing the trails during daylight hours, one on Route 171 and one at the end of Ossipee Park Road. In recent years LRCT has made many trail improvements, including placing new trail signs throughout the conservation area, restoring historic trails, refurbishing bridges, and improving trail markers.
LRCT has also produced a waterproof hiking trails map for the Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area which includes trail descriptions, levels of difficulty, trail distances, and elevations. The map folds up easily to fit in your pocket.
LRCT offers educational programs and guided hikes, paddles, and snowshoe trips year-round on and to conserved properties throughout the Lakes Region, including the Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area. The excursions provide a great opportunity to learn about and explore LRCT’s conserved lands with knowledgeable guides. All LRCT guided excursions are free to all. We hope you will be able to join us at an educational program or on a guided excursion this year.
Hiker Achievement Patch Program
LRCT has also developed a Hiker Achievement Patch Program which recognizes those who have ascended the 5 major summits and hiked the 16 designated trails, totaling 30 miles, located entirely within LRCT’s Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area. You can hike, snowshoe, and/or cross-country ski the trails to earn your embroidered patch. While working towards earning your patch, you will have the opportunity to explore all the trails spread throughout this conserved landscape. The number of patch recipients has been growing since the launch of the program; we hope that many of you will take on this 5 summit/16 trail challenge!
Lee Settlement Quest
A Quest is an activity where participants follow a rhyming trail of clues and a curious map to find a hidden box. This quest explores the remnants of a 19th-century farming settlement in what was also called “Ossipee Glen” located on the Ossipee plateau overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee at the Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area.
This quest is a moderate hike of about 1.5 miles with slight uphill sections; it generally takes between 60-90 minutes and is best for suited for individuals ages 10 and above although younger Questers accompanied by an adult may also enjoy it.
Download the Lee Settlement Quest here. Have fun and good luck!
Cross Country Skiing
LRCT has also been working with our volunteers to groom trails at the Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area for cross country skiing. To learn more about this program please click here.