Spalding Conservation Area
Kestrel Nature Retreat
The Spalding Conservation Area added 12 acres to the well-loved rushing brook, mature forest stands, meadows, and diverse plants and wildlife of Amethyst Brook Conservation Area in Amherst.
Popular hiking trails run through it, including the Robert Frost Trail that leads to Mt. Orient. And, the brook is part of the Fort River Watershed, which provides spawning habitat for a variety of important fish species.
Kestrel helped create this conservation area in 1981. More than 30 years later, thanks to the generosity of a Pelham landowner, we were able to conserve forever another 12 acres along Amethyst Brook just across the border in Pelham, abutting the Amethyst Brook Conservation Area. Judson Spalding, who had family ties to Pelham, donated the first of two parcels in honor of Curtis Knight, WWII veteran and former Pelham Chief of Police in 2009. Several members of the Spalding family who jointly owned the second parcel sold their interests to Kestrel Land Trust in 2013.
Then, in 2015, after the passing of our good friend and spirited hiker, Dorie Goldman, Kestrel was inspired to create a new trail in her memory on this land. This Dorie Goldman Memorial Trail is a half-mile loop on the Spalding Conservation Area that connects to the Amethyst Brook Conservation Area trails that weave among the hemlocks. It also connects to the iconic Robert Frost Trail as it heads up the hill toward Mount Orient.