The Alana Cole Conservation area comprises 18 acres with a 1/2 mile loop trail.
The property was purchased by the City of Lebanon in 1989, using a combination of financial resources, including the proceeds from a timber harvest in Boston Lot, private donations, Federal funding from the Land & Water Conservation Fund, and funds from the Land Conservation Investment Program. The Connecticut River Watershed Council was instrumental in bringing this project to the State’s LCIP program. The property is permanently protected under a conservation easement held by the SPNHF.
The property features a variety of geomorphic features of glacial origin. The wooded ridge along the Connecticut River is an esker, formed as a stream bed of sand and gravel at the bottom of the glacial ice sheet that covered this area approximately 15-12 thousand years ago. The property overlays a high-yield aquifer and provides protection to the quality of the groundwater within.
The property's unmanaged forestland is comprised of three distinct wildlife habitats including shoreline habitat, and riverbank floodplain forest consisting of white and red oak species, as well as hemlock-hardwood-pine forest along the eastern edge of the property where the topography slopes on the esker.
The property is home to chipmunks, foxes, frogs, waterfowl, and songbirds, and whitetail deer. White pine, hemlock, and white oak dominate the forest, while dogwoods are found in the moist soils near the river. The woods are home to numerous wildflowers. Together with the adjacent Chambers Memorial Preserve property, nearly one mile of frontage along the CT River is protected.
Located in the northwest quadrant of the City, access is gained from East Wilder Road. There is a small parking area, as well as a kiosk just to the north of the road terminus. The trail along the river is relatively flat, providing an easy stroll for river viewing opportunities. A visible segment of the historic “Old Horse Trail” is located near the eastern boundary of the property, connecting with present-day Wildwood Road.
Management PlanView the Alana Cole Conservation Area Management Plan (PDF)