- Associated Press - Saturday, February 20, 2016

NEWBURY, N.H. (AP) - Hikers helped the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests preserve a parcel of land that contains the trailhead to a popular hike up Mount Sunapee.

The Forest Society bought the 33-acre trailhead property, off Mountain Road in Newbury, in order to protect access to the Andrew Brook Trail.

The two-mile Andrew Brook Trail climbs through a beech, birch and maple forest before reaching Lake Solitude, then continues to the scenic cliffs of the White Ledges area.

The Sunapee Women’s Adventure Group is one of a number that supports the project. Member Midge Eliassen said the opportunity to save the trailhead property resonated in the community.

“We think of it as one of our most special places,” Eliassen said. “We know our grandparents took picnic hikes and sleepover fishing trips to Solitude. We have introduced our grandchildren to the rewards at the end of the trail: the huge old birch, the quiet, beautiful lake, and the long views from the rocky cliffs over the lake. No one wanted to take a chance that the property would pass into private hands and access via the trail, along the brook and past the giant erratic boulders, might be closed off.”

The Forest Society’s conservation efforts on Mount Sunapee date back to 1911. It transferred more than 2,100 acres to the state of New Hampshire to be run as Mount Sunapee State Park in 1947.

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This story has been corrected to show the first name of hiking group’s spokeswoman is Midge, not Mid.

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