Located at the northern edge of Thetford’s largest unfragmented forest area, the Ely Mountain Conservation Area is open to the public for hiking, snowshoeing and skiing. You will find huge old trees, rock outcroppings, glacial boulders, seeps and streams draining into four different watersheds. This large area of intact forest supports a potential cross-river wildlife corridor extending east to the headwaters of the Mascoma River and the White Mountains. Threatened, and endangered Northern Long-eared Bats have been tracked and observed in the area.
The trail network at the Ely Mountain Conservation Area was originally designed by John Morton to be 6 miles long. Only the first mile was built. Located in the westernmost portion of the property and starting from the parking area off Quinibeck Road, the trail is roughly shaped like a figure eight, incorporating a loop in both the north and south. A giant white ash tree along the side of the treadway, represents an iconic feature of the property and the trail system.
From I-91 Exit 14 travel west on Rt 113 3.1 miles. Turn right on 5 Corners Road. Travel 2.3 miles to a “five corner” intersection. Bear slightly left on Quinibeck Road. The parking area and kiosk are about .7 miles on the right.
UVLT maintains a parking area for several cars off Quinibeck Road.
The Story of Ely Mountain Conservation Area
The original 200+ acre portion of the Ely Mountain Conservation Area was acquired in 2014 through a gift of Jock and Deecie Denison. The property had been identified by the Thetford Conservation Commission as one of the Town’s “crown jewels.” Contributions from 90 local families and businesses and the Thetford Conservation Commission supported the acquisition. In 2020, UVLT purchased adjacent property of 187 acres extending our ownership east and north into the town of Fairlee.