Join us on Saturday, August 14 at 2pm on Drum Heller Road in Sharon, VT!
Join former UVLT Stewardship Coordinator, Monica Erhart, for a nature walk at a UVLT conserved property owned by Steve & Shiela Swett in Sharon, VT. Upon donating the conservation easement on the parcel in 1999, Steve Swett said, “There is something on ‘The Land’ for everyone, be they salamanders reproducing in vernal pools, foxes trotting through the forest, or pileated woodpeckers feeding on insects in decaying trees. For generations, beaver gnawed down saplings and built their dams. The beaver are gone now, but they will return. Otters cleaned out the fish in days gone by, but we expect that they will be back, too. As for the stunning wood duck, the elegant great blue heron, and the elusive hermit thrush, it is their land: the water, the sky, all of it.”
Monica Erhart has a Masters in Botany from UVM’s field naturalist program; since leaving UVLT in 2009, Monica has become the Linkage Coordinator in Rutland and southern Addison counties for the Staying Connected Initiative. The project aims to link conservation areas from the Tug Hill Plateau in central New York, across the northern Appalachian Mountains through Vermont, to the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec. This walk will be a great chance to catch up with Monica and visit a lovely conserved property – don’t miss this opportunity!
For more information or to register, please contact Nora Doyle-Burr at email@example.com or (603) 643-6626 ext.102.
Directions to the property:
Take Main St. in Norwich to Dan & Whit’s, then take first Left on Beaver Meadow Rd. Proceed 5-1/2 miles through the village of West Norwich to the end of pavement at Sharon town line. Continue another 2 mi. to Drum Heller Rd., on Right after you start to descend from height of land. 3 gated access roads to property off of Drum Heller, 3rd one (-.3mi.) leads to cabin. We will have signs for parking.
When 2000+ cyclists take to their wheels for the Prouty Ride on July 10, they’ll be raising money for cancer research as they pedal through our beautiful Connecticut River Valley landscape – past farms and forests, historic sites, town commons… following the river that unites our region.
Seeing the Valley on a bike or on foot, one can appreciate the richness of its natural landscape and its legacy of stewardship. The thousands of people who will be out on the Prouty route represent a community dedicated to the future — a healthy, sustainable, caring place.
There are dozens of conserved properties along this year’s Prouty Route, places that UVLT will mark with green ribbons in honor of the landowners who’ve conserved them and the cyclists who ride for a healthier world.
UVLT staff and Trustees will be among the riders, joining friends and family on various cycling teams. Please contact us if you’d like to join us – to pedal together and share stories of the places we pass. Jeanie McIntyre and Kathy and Lee Larson plan to ride 35 miles. Sara Cavin will ride 100 miles as a part of her family’s Prouty team. Nora Doyle-Burr will be among the Green Team volunteers on site, helping Prouty organizers host a zero-waste event. Being a part of this event by riding, walking, or volunteering is one more way to give back to our community (and enjoy our beautiful Upper Valley along the way!).
We hope we’ll see you there. Or, in any season, you can find your own way along the Prouty route — its enduring beauty will be there for you, when you seek it.
Is the Lackie Lone Oak Trail the steepest trail conserved by UVLT? Some intrepid hikers on the June 19 excursion thought it might be; however, they all agreed that the stunning views of the Connecticut River Valley from the lookout by the old “lone oak” itself were well worth the effort! Read more about the conservation of this property here.
Our walk, on this warm day, began at the gravel parking pullout between Abbott Avenue and the Ammonoosuc River, just north of Woodsville. Our crew of hikers walked along the road about a quarter of a mile to the trailhead which starts as an old woods road heading north and west from Abbott Ave. The trail meandered through the lower pine forests as we stepped carefully to avoid poison ivy, and some late-blooming wildflowers.
We turned off the woods road and we began the climb along a beautiful ridge. This is what we call hiking!
We were sure to stop a number of times along the way to drink water, enjoy the dappled shade from the large oaks overhead, and stretch out to reach the light breezes that made their way through the open understory.
As we climbed on—would crampons help, someone wondered?—we noticed some recent work by a pileated woodpecker. Forget crampons, wings would certainly help us get to the top!
But we pressed on, enjoying the company of our fellow hikers, and after one last steep stretch, the trail crested and presented us with this fabulous view! What a perfect spot for a well-deserved picnic lunch.
We could see it all: The Ammonoosuc River flowing from NH and the Wells River flowing from VT, both joining the Connecticut River which continued on and out of sight southward through our Upper Valley. Woodsville bustled along the banks of the rivers, its bridges joining the different reaches of the human landscape, intertwined with the natural landscape. The Connecticut River’s narrows hugged two wooded islands—wonderful wildlife habitat which is now permanently conserved thanks to the Lackie family.
The vast wooded hillside that we climbed and the farmland along Route 135 (we could see the top of the barn and farmhouse from the lookout!) and the islands and the river frontage are all permanently conserved thanks to the voluntary sale of a conservation easement by the Lackies in what was truly a family-wide decision making effort! UVLT purchased the conservation restrictions on the property with a grant from the Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund, administered by the NH Charitable Foundation, as well as additional supporting funds from the Bath Conservation Commission. All nine siblings came to an agreement about the conservation of the land, worked with UVLT staff and, in 2009, signed documents ensuring the land would remain available for forestry, farming and recreation forever. In addition to the conservation easement on the land, the family decided to permanently protect a favorite trail on the property—the very one we had trekked—so that the public would always be able to venture out to enjoy the spectacular views and serenity from high above the river. The Lackie Lone Oak Trail will be maintained by UVLT staff and volunteers (contact us know if you are interested in helping out!), so that those who undertake this steep climb will always find its rewards.
For more information about this property, UVLT’s work, volunteer opportunities, and event notices, please contact our offices, or email Nora at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to see you out there!