WATERFORD — A 147-acre forested parcel on Hawk Mountain has been donated by Ron and Brooke Hatch to the Western Foothills Land Trust.

The land is comprised of several parcels the Hatches have acquired over decades. Included is a right of way to the popular Hawk Mountain Park owned and managed by the town.

A sunset/full moon-rise hike was held during the September Great Maine Outdoor Weekend and attended by the Hatches and several of their children and grandchildren.

A 20-minute hike up a gradual incline from the parking area off Hawk Mountain Road to the park provides an expansive view to the east, south, and west.

In 1995, the 26.5-acre lot was listed for sale in Downeast magazine. An ad-hoc group of Waterford residents, the Friends of Hawk Mountain, purchased the lot to save it from private development. The lot was donated to the town in 1996 with the provision that the parcel be “maintained in a natural condition.”

The Trust will maintain the Hatch Preserve as a working forest and may add alternate hiking trails as time and resources allow. The Trust looks forward to working with the Waterford Parks Committee and with the Friends of Hawk Mountain in managing the land and foot traffic to the viewpoint. Fires are not allowed on the Trust or town properties.

As posted, the right of way is for foot traffic only: non-authorized vehicular access is not allowed. Carry-in and carry-out is requested. Traditional uses such as hunting will continue to be allowed. Anyone who would like to become involved with the future management of the Hatch Preserve on Hawk Mountain should contact the land trust at 739-2124.

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