In 2007 the Mahoosuc Land Trust, with your help, acquired 750 acres of land on Rumford Whitecap and established the Rumford Whitecap Mountain Preserve. The Preserve includes part of the bald peak with 360 degree views, two trails to the summit and the Black and White Trail linking Black Mountain of Maine to Rumford Whitecap.
Presently the Mahoosuc Land Trust has entered into options and agreements with two landowners to conserve lands which would expand the Whitecap Preserve. The project includes the purchase of 227 acres and a donated conservation easement on 180 acres. The land includes over two miles of frontage on the meandering Ellis River, then rising from the river valley up the slopes of Whitecap Mountain and abutting the 750 acre Rumford Whitecap Mountain Preserve.
The Rumford Whitecap Mountain Preserve is a community asset. It provides outstanding recreational opportunities, supports sustainable and natural resource based economic activity, protects wildlife habitat, sustains the viability of local food systems, and conserves outstanding natural features.
The project will protect and connect two Focus Areas of Statewide Ecological Significancethat contain unusually rich concentrations of at-risk species and habitats, by linking the State’s largest red pine stand on the summit and the rich biological diversity of the Ellis River Valley. Individually the conservation values on these properties are significant; connecting them amplifies their value and potential substantially. The Preserve will have a scale and diversity of elevation and habitat that will contribute to climate change resilience for important species.
In addition to protecting natural resource values, the project will provide important public access and significant recreational values. The project will secure the trail head and an important section of the trail to the summit of Whitecap Mountain, provide public access to the Ellis River, and create the opportunity for an expanded loop trail which will link the trail to the summit with an existing trail along the river.
To expand the Rumford Whitecap Mountain Preserve, our current goal is to raise $408,000 to purchase the land and set aside an accompanying stewardship fund. The project has already received a commitment of $200,000 in matching funds from the Land for Maine’s Future Program, which ranked the project first among over 30 projects from across the State.
Through grants, preliminary fundraising and pledges, the Land Trust has raised $132,500. The Mahoosuc Land Trust is planning to raise the remaining $75,500 through the Ellis River to Whitecap Campaign by July 15, 2015.
Join the Land Trust’s Whitecap Stewardship Committee in their annual trail maintenance activities on Rumford Whitecap on Saturday, June 6th. Interested volunteers should meet in the parking area on the East Andover Road in Rumford for a 9AM start. Please wear appropriate work clothing and footwear. Bring bug and sun protection, plenty of water, snacks and lunch. In addition, please bring light tools such as rakes, clippers, loppers, shovels and work gloves. Enjoy iconic Rumford Whitecap while joining in spring stewardship activities. Refreshments will be served at the end of the work day at approximately 3PM.
Join a search for wildflowers along the Step Falls Trail. The hike will be led by naturalist Lynne Zimmerman, who will share her love and knowledge of the beauties to be found there. The hike will begin at 9AM. at the Step Falls parking lot on Route 26 in Newry, 8 miles from the intersection with Route 2. Please wear sensible shoes and clothing and bring water. The hike, which involves gentle climbing, is along a maintained trail.
• Unspoiled scenic views
• A clean and accessible Androscoggin River
• Pedestrian-friendly communities
• Protected wildlife habitats
• Outdoor recreation
• Preservation of plant diversity
• Promotion of working farms
• Productive and sustainable forests
• Education for an environmentally aware public