Clary Hill, a recent donation of 132 acres to Hilltown Land Trust, sits at a conservation crossroads. Spread across the towns of Goshen, Conway, and Williamsburg, the parcel connects Briar Hill Conservation Area to the DAR State Forest and beyond. Soon, hikers will be able to enjoy an uninterrupted 9-mile hike from Briar Hill Road to the Bullitt Reservation in Ashfield – and link up with the 19 miles of State Forest trail to boot.
This is a win for people in search of longer recreational adventures close to home, and for wildlife like moose and bears who need larger areas to roam.Sally Loomis, HLT Executive Director
Hikers aren’t the only ones who will benefit from increased connectivity. Clary Hill links previously isolated small conservation parcels to a large swath of conserved land, permanently protecting habitat and travel corridors for wildlife.
“Connecting large blocks of conserved lands is one of the key features we look for in conservation projects,” says HLT Executive Director Sally Loomis. “This is a win for people in search of longer recreational adventures close to home, and for wildlife like moose and bears who need larger areas to roam.”
Site visits to Clary Hill have shown us that wildlife is already using a rich mosaic of habitats. The hilltop hemlock grove is a summer home to Blackburnian warblers, while berry-filled scat reflects black bears’ taste for the raspberries and blackberries that grow prolifically in the property’s sunlit early successional forest.
Clary Hill is a generous bequest to Hilltown Land Trust from the Sofinowski family. HLT will have primary stewardship responsibility for the land, and The Trustees will hold a Conservation Restriction on the land. The affiliation between our organizations allows for and streamlines this sort of collaboration, and helps both organizations better meet community needs.
HLT is excited to work with Town Trails Committees and other partners to develop trails, steward wildlife habitat, and care for this land together.