LOCATION: Hatch Preserve, Hawk Mountain Rd, Waterford
DISTANCE: 3 miles of trails
DIFFICULTY: Gentle to moderate
FUN FACT: New trails and other openings create a new edge habitat that many species of birds and mammals find advantageous.
PERMITTED USES: Hiking, walking, skiing, snowshoeing, dog-walking
This past winter the Trust conducted a selective harvest of wood on the Hatch Preserve at Hawk Mountain in Waterford. There were several reasons for this harvest. First, the Trust derives up to 40% of its operating income from the sale of forest products. Second, responsible forest management is an economic driver for our rural Maine community, providing jobs for the local forest industry. Third, the harvest will provide stewardship monies for the Preserve, so that trails, a parking lot, and kiosk can be developed and maintained. The most opportune time to have such a harvest is before such amenities are developed and the funds generated are readily available.
The map depicts the location of twitch trails, some of which will be developed as trails to the town’s popular overlook parcel. The new trails will replace the existing, eroded, trail, will be more than triple that trail in length, and open up new views in all directions. Erosion control and seeding will be part of the development of this system. Trails will be mowed in the summer and dragged in the winter. The Trust looks forward to working with the Waterford Recreation Committee and is confident the resulting trail system will become an exciting addition to Waterford’s recreational infrastructure.
Finally, these new trails and other openings create a new edge habitat that many species of birds and mammals find advantageous. For example, warblers and thrushes depend on a mosaic of forest habitat, including new and mature woodlands, in which to feed and raise their young.
Admittedly, the preserve appears a little “wounded” at the moment; but the Trust is going to be diligent in its efforts to soften the hard edges and create a resource that benefits both the wild and human communities that will utilize it.
TRAILS & PRESERVES