November 12, 2021 – Rick and Ann Bresnahan donated 95 acres of land on the eastern slope of Ragged Mountain, south of Hosmer Pond, that has become a very popular mountain biking destination to Coastal Mountains Land Trust. In prior years, the Bresnahans worked with the local mountain biking community, including the local chapter of the New England Mountain Biking Association (McNEMBA) and local bike shop Sidecountry Sports, to allow and expand biking access on their land. This was the first trail network purpose-built for mountain biking in the area, helping to grow the community and popularity of the sport in the midcoast. Recognizing the volume of people getting out and enjoying the trails, the Bresnahans decided to donate the land to Coastal Mountains Land Trust to ensure its availability for mountain biking and recreation in perpetuity.
Rick Bresnahan said recently of the donation, “In completing the gift of land to Coastal Mountains Land Trust, I was impressed with their willingness to include NEMBA and Sidecountry. The opportunity of a club and local business working hand and hand with the land trust to further improve the land as well as the availability to others helps promote inclusion not exclusion. It is a wonderful partnership that will benefit many for the years to come.” The Land Trust and its partners are immensely grateful for the Bresnahans’ generosity and enthusiasm.
This past August, Coastal Mountains Land Trust completed a trails inventory of the property, including mapping all of the trails and bridges, and an assessment of current trail conditions. McNEMBA and Sidecountry also completed an assessment and have identified project areas for improvements. Looking ahead to 2022, the intention is to maintain a better network overall and begin to build a beginner-friendly loop that will be more accessible for new riders. Out of the collaboration between the Land Trust, McNEMBA and Sidecountry Trails (a trail-building branch of Sidecountry Sports), there will be a better, well-maintained network of trails in the area. Ryan Gates, Stewardship Director for the Land Trust said recently, “We are thankful for the countless hours of time that volunteers have invested in this parcel, from the original layout to construction and maintenance of a great trail network. This collaboration is strong, and we all are looking forward to the great things to come!”
Land Trust ownership of the property will bring some minor changes in the use of the property. Preserves guidelines will be in line with those on the other parts of the Ragged Mountain Preserve. One notable change for 2021 is that the preserve will not close for hunting season as it has in the past. Please wear dayglow orange in the woods.