The Russell Road parking lot for visitors to Coburn Woods in Skowhegan is now open to the public. Somerset Woods Trustees invites residents and visitors alike to sample the trails. The trails are still a little mucky in spots, and not, as yet, thoroughly marked, so use care and dress appropriately when exploring the woods, according to a news release from the land trust. This new parking lot allows the land trust to tackle the next phase of development — trail improvement — without endangering workers, volunteers and hikers.

The land trust gratefully acknowledges grants from Plum Creek Foundation, the L.L. Bean Land Trust Grant through the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and The Eastman Charitable Fund for enabling it to complete this project.

Coburn Woods is a 336-acre property that the land trust has accumulated over 80 years (SWT was incorporated in 1927), which lies within the city limits of Skowhegan and which guarantees the residents easy access to outdoor recreation. The plan will included three points of access and will enable hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowshoeing and other aerobic recreation. It will also be used as an informative site for habitat preservation, first aid survival classes and sustainable forest practices.

The mission of the Somerset Woods Trustees is to protect lands in Somerset County that have significant natural or cultural resources and manage them in a sustainable way for public benefit.

For more information, contact Nina Pleasants, executive director of SWT, at [email protected] or call 660-1066.

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