Critical Parcel at Whitehorse and Cathedral Ledges Secured

Access Fund, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Friends of the Ledges are excited to announce the successful completion of the Secure the Ledges campaign, an effort to permanently protect a key parcel of land between Cathedral Ledge and Whitehorse Ledge in the Mount Washington Valley of New Hampshire. This effort secures access to the Bryce Path, the common climber descent from Whitehorse Ledge, and protects the viewshed from both of these popular and historic climbing destinations.

Photo courtesy of © Erik Howes

“The Mt. Washington Valley has a long tradition of climbing and outdoor recreation, and the local economy depends on getting people outside and enjoying nature, making conservation projects like this critically important to the health of the community,” says Mike Morin, Access Fund Northeast Regional Director. “People travel from all over the world to visit these special places, making this partnership effort not only good for the health of the valley’s natural environment, but for our local outdoor economy as well."

In September 2018, longtime landowner Jim Ansara donated the property to Upper Saco Valley Land Trust. Access Fund worked with the land trust to secure a permanent conservation and recreation easement on the property, and Friends of the Ledges will act as volunteer stewards. This three-way partnership will ensure long-term access and a commitment to the highest level of stewardship.

Last fall, the three organizations set out to raise $48,000 to finalize this project and establish a long-term stewardship and legal defense fund to create sustainable access to the area. A special thanks to Blue Ridge Charitable Trust, John R. & Margrite Davis Foundation, Jim Ansara, an anonymous family foundation, and hundreds of individual donors from the local community and across the country who came together swiftly to raise these funds and ensure long term sustainable access to this special property.

“The successful completion of this project will ensure that visitors to Cathedral Ledge and Whitehorse Ledge will have access to the Bryce Path and Bryce Link trail in perpetuity,” says William Abbott, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust Executive Director. “Thanks to local partnerships this critical piece of the forested landscape between two iconic climbing areas will be conserved and managed to ensure a healthy natural environment and access for future generations.”

Access Fund, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Friends of the Ledges will continue to work together to steward and conserve the trails and cliffs utilized by visiting climbers, hikers, mountain bikers, and other nature enthusiasts.

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