The Somerset Woods Trustees owns 29 holdings comprising about 1155 acres in Somerset County, Maine. They are located in Canaan, Cornville, Madison, Embden, Skowhegan,  Solon, Norridgewock and Starks. Fifteen of these properties have frontage on the Kennebec River or a major tributary. The largest preserve is Coburn Woods/Taylor Field, which overlooks the Skowhegan urban area. The smallest is a parcel on the east side of Lake George in Canaan. Whether large or small, all of the holdings have value to the public.

A location map and brief descriptions of our properties can be found on our Properties page.

The Somerset Woods Trustees also holds conservation easements on nine properties totaling about 843 acres. As do the properties owned in fee, these easements conserve forestland, fields, wetlands, wildlife habitat, shorelines, and scenic and cultural resources for public benefit while still allowing appropriate activities. However, unlike the properties owned in fee, the locations of conservation easement properties are not shown on maps as these are privately owned and generally open to the public only by landowner permission.

Requests for additional information may be directed to the Somerset Woods Trustees. Contact Us

Acquisition, Use and Conveyance Policies

In carrying forward its stated purpose and mission, highest emphasis is placed on lands bordering the Kennebec River and the major and minor tributaries, lakes and ponds in its watershed. Where public access is practical, non-motorized recreational uses are generally favored over motorized uses, with some limited exceptions.

The Somerset Woods Trustees has adopted written policies and procedures regarding acquisition, use and conveyance of property and conservation easements. These are periodically reviewed and amended, and are available upon request.

Standards and Practices

The Somerset Woods Trustees has the following standards and practices:
  1. Public access and appropriate uses will be allowed by suitable regulation on properties.
  2. Public access and use will be subject to controls and restrictions necessary to protect any natural or cultural resources present, to promote safety, and to respect neighboring landowners and the public.
  3. Non-motorized uses of properties by the public will continue to be encouraged as appropriate (e.g., walking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, nature/bird watching, environmental education).
  4. Scenic resources will continue to be a high priority.
  5. Public recreation will continue to be a high priority.
  6. State natural and cultural resource agencies such as MNAP, IF&W, and MHPC, will be advised of the locations of SWT properties and invited to review and provide comments and recommendations regarding them.
  7. Significant disturbance of the ground will not be allowed without prior review and approval by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission or other accepted archeological (prehistoric/historic) authority.
  8. Hunting will be allowed as appropriate on rural holdings.
  9. Fishing will be allowed as appropriate on all holdings.
  10. Snowmobiles operated in winter conditions on State or SWT designated trails will be allowed.
  11. All other motorized vehicles such as ATVs, 4WDs, dirt bikes, etc. will not be allowed because of their incompatibility with allowable uses, damage done to resources, and noise.
  12. Camping will be by permission only and subject to strict controls.
  13. Timber harvesting will be conducted on some holdings where appropriate and subject to controls necessary to result in long-term sustainability and to protect/enhance natural and cultural resources, scenic resources, and neighboring landowners.
  14. Mountain biking will be allowed where appropriate.
  15. Long-term uses by appropriate entities will be considered on a case-to-case basis (e,g., by State, Towns, private organizations for recreational purposes, private individuals for agricultural or forestry purposes).

Conceptual Management Plans

To manage its holdings in accordance with its mission and its vision, the Somerset Woods Trustees has developed conceptual management plans for each of its existing properties and will do so for future acquisitions as well. Contiguous properties are covered under a single plan where it makes sense to do so. These conceptual plans provide guidance for the general management and use of each parcel and are subject to being modified as circumstances change.

Each conceptual management plan contains sections on:

  1. Location
  2. Size
  3. Land Cover
  4. Features/Public Values
  5. Focus Species
  6. Concerns
  7. Recommendations

For an informational brochure about SWT, please click here: