BETHEL — Inland Woods + Trails, a non-profit organization based in Bethel, has purchased 28 acres of land adjacent to the organization’s current 1500-acre Bethel
Community Forest. Thanks to a loan from The Conservation Fund, Inland Woods + Trails was able to purchase the land located on Locke Mountain Road in Bethel. The organization initially acquired the 987-acre Bethel Community Forest in 2019 in collaboration with the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Forest Center. In November 2022, Inland Woods + Trails again partnered with The Conservation Fund to expand community recreation and prevent fragmentation of historic working forest by adding an additional 532 acres to the forest. The latest acquisition has Inland Woods + Trails focused on creating a durable, year-round trail center, that will be a hub for trails and the community to enjoy.

“This latest addition to the Bethel Community Forest will serve the needs of our growing organization as a center of gravity with our brand of well-built trails weaving in and out for connections to the town of Bethel, Sunday River Resort, and beyond,” said Gabe Perkins, Executive Director of Inland Woods + Trails. “We’re so pleased to have the support of The Conservation Fund and look forward to making something the community will be proud of.”

This land was purchased in part with a loan from The Conservation Fund’s Revolving Fund through its Conservation Loans Program. The Revolving Fund is a financial mechanism that provides ready capital for acquisition of lands and waters of high conservation value.

“We are pleased to once again partner with Inland Woods + Trails on expanding this amazing Community Forest and serving the public,” said Tom Duffus, Vice President & Northeast Representative for The Conservation Fund. “Inland Woods + Trails is quickly and effectively helping the greater Bethel community realize its vision of connecting Sunday River and Mt. Abram with a public trail network and working forests.”

Proposed plans for the additional acres include a trail center, administrative offices, workforce housing, cabins, tent sites, and year-round trails. For more information and to donate directly to the project, contact Gabe Perkins at or make a donation at

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