Orono Land Trust

Orono Land Trust: The Veazie lands

Veazie resident Emma Wardrop at an old white oak in the McPhetres Forest in 2012. Credit: Contributed by Dave Wardrop.

Veazie resident Emma Wardrop at an old white oak in the McPhetres Forest in 2012. Credit: Contributed by Dave Wardrop.

The Town of Veazie is situated on the Penobscot River between Bangor and Orono. Rich in history, the town has many green spaces, including access to most riverfront areas for fishing and paddling, and connects the Veazie Salmon Club with potential riverfront rambles north toward the Orono border. Inland, there are many trails with various forest types and meadows.

Among these assets is McPhetres Forest, which is Veazie-owned, and accessed from Veazie’s Fairview Cemetery along State Street. This land is managed by the Town of Veazie, with volunteer contributions from the Veazie Lands Committee of the Orono Land Trust. It contains a large variety of trees, including white oaks and a 100+ year old white pine stand.

A public trail through McPhetres Forest forms a loop with the privately-owned Manter Wood Conservation Easement. Manter Wood is protected under trail and conservation easements by the Orono Land Trust. Margaret C. Manter granted the conservation easement of 8.4 acres, along with trail easement, to OLT in 2006. Foot traffic is limited to designated trails during daylight hours. The Manter Trailhead is located on Route 2, across from Arbor Drive. This short trail through mostly pine forest highlights the Manter Pine, arguably the largest tree in Veazie with more than a 16-ft. circumference.

The loop trail continues into the newly-acquired Davis Forest, conveyed just this year by Davis Family LLC. This new area fits well as a puzzle-piece in the Veazie trails, and now allows hiking from State Street through to Davis Drive, off Chase Road. A recent trail work day brought OLT members, UMaine college students and neighbors together to improve the pathways. The day highlights how volunteers do so much to care for and protect our green spaces, for recreation and for wildlife conservation.

The 64-acre Buck Hill Conservation Area is owned and managed by the Town of Veazie, with volunteer assistance from the Veazie Lands Committee. Access is through Mutton Lane, off State Street, by the Stone Sparrow Cafe. At BHCA, the Maine Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation started a small orchard of chestnut trees in spring of 2005. TACF artificially subjected these trees to the blight fungus in 2015 and removed the least resistant. The remaining trees are providing seed for TACF’s large seed orchards in central Maine and are key to producing Maine’s first potentially first blight resistant American chestnuts in more than a century!  The Buck Hill property has a variety of habitat types, including several open fields and streams.

Trail maps can be downloaded at: www.oronolandtrust.org.  OLT is an All-Volunteer Accredited organization.  Membership dues help OLT maintain trails. Please become a member online. $10 of Veazie memberships go toward OLT operating expenses with the rest to the Veazie account for Veazie projects. Donations made online go 100% directly to conservation efforts.

 

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