With a recent property purchase on Bald Mountain, Coastal Mountains added 28 acres to its expanding Bald Mountain Preserve in Camden and Hope.

The property is key to future trail expansion on the mountain, when the land trust connects the existing Bald Mountain Trail with an extension over the scenic ridgeline to Howe Hill Road.

Soon after the Land Trust undertook its Bald and Ragged Mountains Campaign in 2003, initial conversations with Howard and Dorothy Wright began regarding conservation of their property. The Wrights had bought the parcel in 1967 and used it since as a wild place for their family to enjoy and explore. Located high on the northern slopes of Bald Mountain, the undeveloped tract is crested by a natural cloister of trees surrounding a bald ledge.

Over the course of 10 years, the land trust worked with other landowners to conserve multiple parcels on Bald Mountain that now make up the Bald Mountain Preserve. Last winter the circumstances were right for both the Wrights and the Land Trust to reach a purchase agreement for the tract.

Scott Dickerson, executive director of the land trust, was grateful for the Wright’s ultimate decision to see the property conserved.

“As is the case with all land owners, we worked cooperatively with the Wrights to reach a transaction that was good for them and us. They helped greatly by providing some short-term financing to provide us with time to raise the funds necessary to permanently conserve the property," he said in a news release.

Acquisition of the Wright tract is a part of the land trust's ongoing Bald and Ragged Mountains Campaign — 49 percent of the 3,470 acres on the two mountains is now conserved. This total includes the Camden Snow Bowl, a conservation easement held by Georges River Land Trust, and several conservation easements and two preserves protected by Coastal Mountains Land Trust. The 583-acre Bald Mountain Preserve and 478-acre Ragged Mountain Preserve provide an extensive network of public trails for hiking, cross-country skiing, and mountain biking.

For more information about the Bald and Ragged Mountains Campaign, Bald Mountain Preserve, or the the land trust, please call 236-7091 or visit coastalmountains.org.