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samuel Hutchinson Homestead Conservation Area

Hutchinson Homestead trail dedication sign. Photo: Jean-Luc Theriault

Hutchinson Homestead trail dedication sign. Photo: Jean-Luc Theriault

Location and Description:

Location: Litchfield, Maine

Property Description: A conservation easement on the 142-acre Samuel Hutchinson Homestead Conservation Area was donated to KLT by Mark and Lindsay Nelsen, long-time Litchfield residents, in December, 2013. This permanently-conserved property features woodlands, fields, wetlands, and perennial and intermittent streams. Contiguous with KLT’s 250-acre, Small-Burnham conservation easement, this land is part of a 392-acre permanently protected wildlife habitat corridor. The property will be available for sustainable farming and forestry, low-impact outdoor recreation, and nature study.

Usage and Directions

Directions: Directions from Monmouth: Take South Monmouth Road to Days Corner; cross Route 126 and go over Oak Hill; cross the bridge, and turn left at the stop sign. Almost immediately take the first right onto Libby Road. At the stop sign, go straight onto Plains Road. Take Plains Road 1 mile to Pine Tree Road. Turn left on Pine Tree Road. After ~ 0.5 miles look for the KLT sign and parking area on the right.
From Augusta: Maine Turnpike south to Exit 103 (I-295). Just after the toll both, take Exit 51 (W. Gardiner). Turn left onto Rt. 126 East. Go 0.5 miles, then turn right onto Old Lewiston Road. Take the first right onto Pond Road. (which becomes Plains Road in Litchfield). Go 8.1 miles, passing Black Crow Bakery on the right. Go 0.4 mi. and turn right on Pine Tree Road. After ~ 0.5 miles look for the KLT sign and parking area on the right.

Allowable Uses: hiking, nature observation, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling on designated trails. Hunting in season. is only by permission of the landowners. ATVs and 4-Wheelers are not permitted. Dogs are allowed on a leash or under voice command. Please clean up after your pets.

Trails: Starting from the Small-Burnham parking lot, follow the Great Back Lots Trail to the Valient Trail; cross the stone bridge and continue on to the boundary with the Samuel Hutchinson Homestead Conservation Area for a total of 1.3 Miles. There is a short one way spur on the Maxwell Road to the field viewpoint. Great Back Lots Trail via the Falcon Road and the East Nile Trail: total of 1.2 Miles.

Winter use: Skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling are allowed on designated snowmobile trails.

Parking: Parking lot is at the adjacent Small-Burnham Conservation Area on Pine Tree Road.

History:

In 1787 Samuel Hutchinson, a Revolutionary War veteran and his wife, Betsey Johnson, settled on a remote forested landscape, not far from Cobbossee Stream, in what was then Massachusetts on the Kennebec Proprietor Great Back Lot 15. A founder of what was at that time called Smithfield Plantation, Samuel served as its assessor for many years. In 1795, Samuel and Abner True were sent by their townsmen to Boston to petition the General Court for the incorporation of a town named Great Hampton. Samuel wanted to name the town after his birthplace of Litchfield, New Hampshire, and en route he and Abner changed the name. Samuel Hutchinson’s son, Samuel, and his grandson Harvey farmed the land before it was sold to the Dingley family in the 1880’s. The Dingley family owned this land until Robert Dingley died in 1957. In 1957, Vivian Dingley, then 68 years old and having spent her childhood on this farm, wrote in a letter to her relatives: “The timber has been cut off until the place is just bushes.”The varied trails on the property have many origins: tote and hay roads and an old public way. The boundary separating the Small Burnham and Samuel Hutchinson conservation easements is the discontinued Maxwell Road, which served as the main road to “The Plains” for much of the 19th century.

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