The Trust For Public Land Acquires 175-Acre Hudson Farm From Dartmouth College; Property Will Be Added To The Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Landmark deal protects sensitive land, ensures property will not be developed, preserves important recreational resource.

March 22, 2017
Hanover, NH

The Trust for Public Land and Dartmouth College, in partnership with the National Park Service, today announced the sale of the 175-acre Hudson Farm. The Trust for Public Land purchased the property from Dartmouth and immediately conveyed it to the National Park Service to be added to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

Hudson Farm, which is located on Trescott Road, includes a network of hiking paths that connect to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, which is one of the longest continuously marked, maintained, and publicly protected trails in the United States. Protecting the farm, which Dartmouth had owned by since 1963, will offer residents access to the property for running, walking, and snowshoeing and safeguards sensitive wildlife habitat and water quality for Hanover’s 11,000 residents. It is the first addition to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Hanover in more than 15 years.  The acquisition would not have been possible without the support and partnership of the National Park Service.

“Hudson Farm is a public treasure with beautiful fields and open views that we didn’t want to see lost to residential and commercial development,” said J.T. Horn, senior project manager for The Trust for Public Land. “This area is a vulnerable part of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail that will now be safe for the future.”

“The Appalachian National Scenic Trail offers Americans from across the country the ability to experience a piece of history while enjoying the outdoors from Georgia to Maine. We at the National Park Service are thrilled that the Hudson Farm- property will be added to the Trail and are grateful for the partnership of The Trust for Public Land and Dartmouth College,” said Wendy Janssen, Appalachian National Scenic Trail Superintendent.

“Thousands of people work and live near Hudson Farm, and we are proud that it will become a permanent part of open space in Hanover,” said Hanover Town Manager Julia Griffin. “The Town has identified additional protection of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail as part of our Open Space Plan and this is a fabulous outcome with a federal, municipal, and private partnership. I want to thank Dartmouth College, The Trust for Public Land, and the National Park Service for making this project a success.”

The Trust for Public Land purchased the property from Dartmouth for $1.84 million with funding from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and from private donations. The sale has been in the works for more than six years.  LWCF funding is generated through revenues from offshore oil and gas royalty payments; it is not supported by taxpayer dollars.  

The Trust for Public Land worked with the Town of Hanover, the Hanover Conservancy, the National Park Service, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to develop the conservation plan and to raise funds for the purchase. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.), and former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) supported the appropriation from the Land and Water Conservation Fund in the 2015 fiscal year. 

“We know the people of Hanover care about Hudson Farm and the local trail system, so when we decided to sell the land, we wanted to give the community the opportunity to preserve the property for future generations,” said Dartmouth spokeswoman Diana Lawrence. “Keeping the land open for hiking and recreation will be in the best interest of the community and is part of the college’s commitment to the quality of life in the Upper Valley.”

In conjunction with the land sale, The Trust for Public Land is donating $60,000 to the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to create a stewardship endowment to help maintain the property under federal ownership. The endowment funds were raised by the Hanover Conservancy and neighbors and philanthropists in Hanover, including a lead gift from the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation. The non-profit Appalachian Trail Conservancy will receive an annual payment from the endowment, which it will use for mowing fields, trail improvements, and other tasks. 

The Trust for Public Land served as the project’s coordinator, negotiating the terms of a fair-market real estate contract, providing technical assistance to the National Park Service, conducting real estate due diligence, supporting the appropriation from the LWCF, and raising funds for the project. The Hanover Conservancy, which is the local land trust, played a role in securing funding for project costs and supporting the conservation effort. 

"While we celebrate The Trust for Public Land's latest contribution to the Appalachian Trail, we owe a debt of gratitude to the Land and Water Conservation Fund for making it all possible. We look forward to working with our elected officials to ensure that LWCF remains adequately funded, forever protecting our National Parks and other public lands," added Horn.

The project partners have created a new trailhead parking lot and signboard on Trescott Road. The long-term goal for the property is to convey it to White Mountain National Forest and transform the informal trail system into an easy-to-navigate, community-friendly trail destination.  

“New Hampshire’s great outdoor trails, including the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, are a treasure for the entire state to enjoy,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH. “Today’s announcement guarantees that the scenic Hudson Farm trails will be protected for future generations. I was proud to support the Land and Water Conservation Funds that made this possible. Preserving and protecting our great outdoors is one of the best investments we can make.”

“I applaud today’s announcement by the Trust for Public Land that the iconic Hudson Farm will be protected for future generations to enjoy,” said Representative Anne Kuster, D-NH. “Hudson Farm offers Granite Staters some of the best hiking and recreational opportunities in New Hampshire, and hosts a number of trails that connect to the Appalachian Trail. I was pleased to support this project and the use of Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars to partially fund this acquisition.  Keeping this pristine land open and accessible to the Upper Valley community marks a significant investment in our outdoor recreation economy and will enhance conservation efforts around the Appalachian Trail.”  

“The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is one of America’s most iconic long-distance hiking trails,” said Hawk Metheny, New England regional director of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. “It is also one of America’s most significant greenways spanning 14 states and nearly 2,200 miles. ATC’s vision includes helping communities along the A.T. conserve lands that buffer the Trail from incompatible development, while offering improved access to the A.T. and the outstanding recreational opportunities it provides. This project in Hanover is a model for our Landscape Conservation Initiative with the National Park Service.”

Contact:
J.T. Horn, The Trust for Public Land, 603-236-9866
Amy Olson, Dartmouth College, (603) 646-3274
Wendy Janssen, National Park Service, (304) 535-6279 or
Hawk Metheny, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 802-281-5890
Adair Mulligan, Hanover Conservancy