January 18, 2024

New Eaton Hills Preserve Protects Natural Resources & Scenic Views

We are pleased to announce the creation of Eaton Hills Preserve with the generous donation of 165 acres of land that stretches from Stewart Road to Foss Mountain Road in Eaton, NH. This new preserve is adjacent to 320 privately owned acres protected as the Kent Hill Conservation Easement. Together, they conserve the three summits of Kent Hill and protect the foreground viewshed from beloved Foss Mountain and headwater streams flowing into Snow Brook and then Conway Lake.

Combining five tracts in portions of three different original town lots, the new preserve is crisscrossed with rambling stonewalls that testify to its former segmentation and the hardscrabble farming of the 19th century. Further testimony of this prior use appears along the steep cart path that links the two town roads, where a tall stone wall shores up the downhill side of a two-bay cellar hole and a tiny burying ground hosts the graves of three Stuart-family infants – all on a terrace affording a spectacular, panoramic view of the White Mountains.

Foremost in the Land Trust’s stewardship plans for the new Eaton Hills Preserve is letting the land rest and helping it recover from a recent extensive timber harvest, especially in the shallow-to-ledge soils which were exposed. Managing the land for wildlife habitat will also be a key priority as the new preserve is part of a block of thousands of conserved acres surrounding Foss Mountain and stretching into Maine, mostly made up of USVLT preserves and easements, as well as Eaton Town Forest lands.

We received this generous donation from an anonymous donor on December 28, 2023. We are humbled and grateful that they chose to work with us to protect this land and connect key landscapes for the benefit of the community. 

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