The Steepest Trail!

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:

We hope to see you out there!