Gilmanton – Howe/Thorne

Perkins Road – Gilmanton Iron Works
25 acres of field and forests on two parcels near Crystal Lake in Gilmanton Iron Works
Public access, no formal trails
December 2007

The Howe/Thorne Easement Property, protected in 2007, is a 25-acre landscape located in the town of Gilmanton, or, more specifically, in Gilmanton Iron Works. Near the scenic waterbody of Crystal Lake, this property has been owned by Tom Howe and Sarah Thorne for more than twenty years.

It consists of a wonderful, undulating field alongside and behind their historic farmstead, a field that serves as pastureland for their neighbor’s farm. A well-maintained walking trail extends from the field’s edge, allowing hikers to stroll past acreage conserved by the Gilmanton Land Trust and which was transferred to Five Rivers Conservation Trust in 2008.

Another distinctive feature of Tom and Sarah’s property lies across the dirt road from their home, a forest they have tended with great care over the years. Selectively and skillfully harvested so as to preserve the woodlands’ value and attractiveness, the forest contains a trail system that is graced with stately red oak and other trees, interesting glacial features, and a necklace of vernal pools, so important for wildlife. Moreover, the property contains an old foundation and cellar hole from a long-ago resident…one who no doubt would have been pleased with the love and care that Tom and Sarah have shown to the property over their years of land stewardship.

Situated adjacent to and near several other conserved properties, the Howe/Thorne property, straddling both sides of Perkins Road, serves an integral role in a complex of protected lands in this section of the Town of Gilmanton. This expansive landscape holds abundant benefits, including both wildlife habitat protection and recreational opportunities.