PELHAM — The town will dedicate a new conservation area Saturday.
The Cutler-Spalding Conservation Area will include a trail network that residents will get the chance to experience through a guided tour.
The event Saturday is a bit of a tease of coming attractions.
Members of the Cutler family wanted to be able to attend the dedication and can do so this weekend. But public use of the conservation land will come later.
Conservation Commission Chairman Paul Gagnon said the trail head is off a gravel road that will be paved first by the developer of a new housing subdivision.
The commission will make a formal announcement once the area is ready for public use.
"We're using this for one day, then it will be closed until he paves the road," Gagnon said.
The 170-acre conservation area is in the southwest part of town, west of Mammoth Road, near the Massachusetts border. It is off Spaulding Hill Road.
Don't be confused. Gagnon said the spellings are different for the road and the conservation area.
The event will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The dedication ceremony will last about an hour, and then participants will be off for a walk in the woods.
"They will have a guided tour," Gagnon said. "We will walk the foot and snowmobile trails, see an old fieldstone foundation and go past a large beaver pond."
The Pelham Border Riders snowmobile club, among the volunteers who will maintain the trail network, will then host a cookout with hamburgers and hot dogs.
The Border Riders have about 200 members. Vice president Shaun Croteau said members are excited about the recreational opportunity the trail network will provide.
"It's pretty good to have different things to do in town," Croteau said.
People don't have to stay for the whole event Saturday. They can come and go, Gagnon said.
The Spalding parcel, 32 acres, cost the town about $78,000. The Cutler parcel, 109 acres, cost about $288,000. They are being combined with a 30-acre, town-owned parcel.
Since 2002, officials will have put about 700 acres aside for conservation purposes in that part of town.
The Cutler-Spalding Conservation Area is off Spaulding Hill Road. Take Mammoth Road to Sherburne Road to Spaulding Hill. Pass Nicholas Lane and Marie Avenue on the right, then turn right on gravel road. Follow a quarter-mile to the trail head.
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