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Rooms with a view! They are among the unique features of New Hampshire’s Wildlife Conservation Trust, a land trust which offers its members stays at modern homes with access to outdoor recreation, relaxing summer evenings on a porch or in front of winter fireplaces.
With thousands of private acres in Southwest New Hampshire, WCT combines a mission of preserving woodlands with a quiet place "to get away from our increasingly demanding world," said WCT President Chip Marshall.
There are logging roads and trails for hiking or cross-country skiing, streams and waterfalls throughout, and ponds with bass, pickerel, perch and trout for fishing or swimming.
WCT is a Greenbelt business partner and offers a discount to our members.
It traces its beginnings to 1952 when a group of conservation-minded Boston executives formed Timber Owners of New England, buying the land as a place to hunt with managed timber sales providing needed revenue. Several years later, WCT was formed as a separate nonprofit to realize its recreational opportunities with TONE making continuing capital investment in the land and buildings.
What began as 700 acres now totals over 3,000 acres of conserved woodland where a fulltime caretaker helps manage the property and the homes available to WCT members. It continues to look for opportunities to expand its protected area.
"It is the kind of place where you can let your kids loose and give them an appreciation for the outdoors," said Marshall. "What our members really like is to be able to get away into an area that is secluded and that they can enjoy with friends and families."
"More than anything else, we want to improve the quality of life of our members and their families," he said.
With a 200-year-old hemlock forest, the property is one of the few large blocks of contiguous undeveloped land in the Monadnock region. It is admittedly not well known, as WCT has never advertised. It is now looking to grow its membership base to continue its conservation work.
The five homes with as many as 10 beds each, are available to members for up to two weeks at a time for about $50 per night. "Except for holiday weekends, there is almost always one house available," said Marshall.
Its location near Alstead and Gilsum also makes it a “base camp” for downhill skiing and day trips in Southwest New Hampshire or to Brattleboro or Bellows Falls, Vermont.
"Our members get pleasure in two ways," said Marshall. "They get away with friends and families while knowing they are promoting land conservation for future generations."
WCT offers Greenbelt members a 10 percent discount on its initiation fee. For more information, visit their website.
82 Eastern Avenue, Essex,
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.