UVLT’s 250-acre Lyme Hill Conservation Area abuts a number of parcels conserved by private landowners. Our land is a mix of forested slopes with stream frontage and wetland. Lyme Hill Conservation Area is a popular destination for recreationalists including hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, runners, dog walkers, cross country skiers, and snowmobilers.
The Story of Lyme Hill Conservation Area
In 1991, Michael McGean and Thomas Alden gave UVLT a parcel of 37.3 acres at the top of Lyme Hill. The parcel was small and isolated, with no road frontage, but it encompassed one of the town’s most visible landmarks. It was the first property that UVLT acquired for long term ownership and remained the only one for some years.
In 1993, Bayne and Jeanne Stevenson proposed to donate 3.3 acres to UVLT. Their property had 550 feet of frontage on Route 10 and included this small meadow backing up to a perennial stream. Questions arose: would conserving a small property on a busy state highway be desirable? UVLT’s Trustees and the Stevensons agreed that UVLT would study conservation options and could use the gift as a “trade land” if long term ownership didn’t make sense. Years went by, and UVLT continued to own the property.
In 1996 UVLT began a major initiative to conserve land along Grant Brook. Over a four year period, UVLT purchased and conserved two major properties and negotiated with several neighbors who donated conservation easements. Ultimately, 420 acres (in total) – 237.4 owned by UVLT and 183 protected with conservation easements) acres were conserved, including four parcels connecting the Stevenson frontage to the lot at the top of Lyme Hill. The Grant Brook conservation projects were supported by the Lyme Conservation Commission, the Connecticut River Joint Commissions, the Lyme Foundation, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the Nature Conservancy, and the Audubon Society of New Hampshire.
In 2011 UVLT acquired an adjacent 15.8-acre wetland through a gift from David and Barbara Roby. The land was conserved in consultation with the NH Department of Environmental Services and the Roby’s gift helped the Town of Lyme obtain permits it needed for improvements to the Town’s beach and ball field.
The trailhead has been improved with the help of many volunteers including a group of Hypertherm associates who installed wood planks to cross wet areas, cleared and cleaned up the edge of the field and put down wood chips on the trail. We thank all who have participated to conserve this wonderful area and help others enjoy it.