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The former Pinkham Farm (above) is part of the newly-preserved 62-acre tract in Jackson. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO)

JACKSON — The Jackson Ski Touring Foundation and the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, together with two local donors, recently formed a partnership to permanently preserve 62 acres of open space in Jackson for use as ski touring and snowshoe trails and for other forms of "passive" recreation.

Sited at the junction of Valley Cross and Black Mountain roads, the land consists of woodland and open fields with more than 500 feet of frontage on the Wildcat River.

Its rolling terrain includes the Wave, John and Henry cross-country trails and affords stunning views of Mount Washington to the northwest.  This far-reaching, charitable partnership was made possible through the “extraordinary generosity of the landowner and an anonymous local donor,” according to Kevin Killourie, president of the non-profit, 1972-founded Jackson Ski Touring Foundation.

Much of the land comprising the former Pinkham Farm (1790) was reassembled over a 40-year period. During that time, the owners encouraged Jackson Ski Touring Foundation to establish and maintain ski trails for the public’s use and enjoyment.

The Wave, John and Henry trails now form a network that is one of the few cross-country venues in North America certified by the International Ski Federation for competition at the highest level.

Jackson Ski Touring Foundation will host the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s cross-country ski championship on this course in 2017.

Now, as the landowner, the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation will maintain the trail system and be responsible for stewardship of the land year-round. The ski and snowshoe trails will continue to be open to ticket and season pass holders during the winter season. At other times of year, the public will have access to the land for non-motorized, passive recreation.  

“The Jackson Ski Touring Foundation is touched by this incredibly generous donation, and the actions of all involved who made this transaction possible. We are honored to become the stewards of this very special part of Jackson. This land will provide amazing recreational opportunities for generations to come,” said Killourie this week

As a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization, Jackson Ski Touring Foundation provides recreational and competitive opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing that enrich lives and promote healthy lifestyles for all ages.

Upper Saco Valley Land Trust will hold a conservation easement to ensure that the land is preserved and that its significant natural characteristics, including woods, fields, river and stream frontage, and wetlands, are protected.  

“The land trust is honored to be a part of this charitable partnership that has preserved 62 acres in the heart of Jackson, and we are extremely grateful for the landowners' long-term vision for this land,” said William Abbott, executive director of the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust. “The views, the extensive trail network, the wetlands and other high-value habitats on site will now be safeguarded for future generations, forever. We express our deep gratitude to all who helped preserve this iconic property.”

Upper Saco Valley Land Trust preserves land for community benefit in the upper watershed of the Saco River in both Maine and New Hampshire.  This easement will be the land trust’s 51st project and will bring the total amount of land conserved by the land trust to 7,900 acres. To learn more about local conservation, visit www.usvlt.org.

For more information about the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, call 383-9355 or visit www.jacksonxc.org.

As of Dec. 29, Jackson Ski Touring reported 43.4 kilometers of its 154-km network were open.

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