The town of Nelson will hold a grand opening of its new, nearly 600-acre, Partridge Woods property at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 5, at its newly established trailhead off Brickyard Road in Nelson.
Refreshments will be served at 10 a.m. followed by a formal introduction of the property to the public. There will be two hikes to allow those interested to experience some of the property’s views and the remnants of the hill farms abandoned in the 19th century.
Nelson acquired the 580-acre parcel on April 27, 2016, for the purpose of conservation and public recreation. The property stretches from Old Stoddard Road to Brickyard Road and includes substantial portions of Osgood Hill and Hurd Hill. It includes the headwaters of both Brickyard Brook and Bailey Brook and lengthy frontages along both streams. At 2,233 feet, Osgood Hill is the second highest point in Cheshire County. The property is named in honor of Claire and Sydney Partridge, long-time residents of Nelson who established a fund for land conservation in Nelson in 1999.
The property is one of the largest unfragmented blocks of land in the town and is a significant addition to the 23,000 acre “super sanctuary” put together over the years by the Harris Center for Conservation Education. The property was identified as a prime target for conservation in a natural resources inventory commissioned by the Town in 2001.
Partridge Woods was acquired for $775,000 as part of a partnership between the Harris Center for Conservation Education and the Town of Nelson. Significant funding was provided by the Partridge Fund, a bequest to the Town of Nelson from Claire and Sydney Partridge, a grant in the amount of $150,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund of the U.S. National Park Service, administered by the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation, and the Harris Center for Conservation Education.
The property is being developed and managed by the Nelson Conservation Commission in collaboration with the Harris Center for Conservation Education. The Commission has created parking lots for the public at either end of the property off Brickyard Road and Homestead Lane. A network of several miles of old town roads and logging trails have been developed with the help of the Nelson Trails Committee, a volunteer group that has developed a number of walking trails in Nelson. These trails connect the two parking lots, give access to the summit of Osgood Hill and connect with other trails in adjoining Harris Center super sanctuary.
The public is invited to join representatives of the Harris Center, the town of Nelson and the N.H. Division of Parks and Recreation in celebrating the acquisition of this important conservation and recreational gem. For information and directions to the trailhead, call Rick Church at 847-3206.