Since 2003, the Town of Camden and Coastal Mountains Land Trust have been working together to fulfill a vision of permanently conserving and providing four-season recreational opportunities on Ragged Mountain. On Monday, February 27, the town signed a deed transferring two mountaintop parcels totaling 63.58 acres to Coastal Mountains Land Trust as part of its expanding Ragged Mountain Preserve. The gift was made in support of the land trust’s Round the Mountain Collaboration, an effort to permanently conserve over 1,400 additional acres on Ragged Mountain and to develop the Round the Mountain Trail system.

“The Town of Camden, inspired in part by the enthusiasm of its former Parks & Rec. Director, the late Jeff Kuller, has been supportive of the idea of protecting this mountain, which is the backdrop to our community, for a long time,” said Camden Town Manager Roberta Smith in a news release announcing the deed transfer. “The Select Board was unanimous in its support for making sure that these two properties are permanently protected.”

Comprised of two landlocked tax-acquired parcels, the land donated by the town straddles the northern end of Ragged Mountain near “Little Ragged.” 

As part of the donation to the land trust, the Town of Camden has guaranteed, through retained deed covenants, that the properties will “be maintained for the benefit of the general public as scenic and natural conservation land without commercial, industrial, or residential development, and shall be made reasonably available … for outdoor recreation, nature observation, scientific study, environmental education, and similar uses of benefit to the public.” The land trust plans to build a section of the Round the Mountain Trail across the lower portion of the properties. 

“We are thrilled with this genuine endorsement from the Town of Camden, and its Conservation Commission and Select Board, for our efforts to conserve Ragged Mountain,” stated Ian Stewart, the land trust’s executive director. “Given the incredible habitat and recreational values of this mountain, and how much both of those contribute to the quality of this place, Camden has chosen to act as a real leader in this project to ensure that this part of our community will be here for people to enjoy forever.”

The Round the Mountain Collaboration, led by Coastal Mountains Land Trust in partnership with Maine Coast Heritage Trust and local community organizations, is working to permanently conserve the community’s water supply and open space on Ragged Mountain and to develop the Round the Mountain Trail system. The goal is to raise $4.2 million in support of the purchase of two easements protecting over 1,400 acres of land, build and care for the nine-mile Round the Mountain Trail and conserve three additional Ragged Mountain parcels that are needed to secure the full Round the Mountain Trail corridor.