The Southeast Land Trust acquired the 316-acre Piscassic Greenway in April 2006 after a nearly two year partnership with the Town of Newfields and the Trust for Public Land. The Piscassic Greenway abuts the Cole Farm and the two properties are managed as one ownership.
Located off of Halls Mill and Piscassic Roads in Newfields, and Schanda Drive in Newmarket, the Piscassic Greenway has frontage on the Piscassic River, a tributary of Great Bay. This property is also the crucial link between two blocks of existing protected lands that create a wildlife and recreational corridor of more than 2,000 acres from Newmarket to Exeter. With its extensive network of trails and the adjacent Manchester-Portsmouth Rail Trail, the Piscassic Greenway is enjoyed by the public for outdoor recreation, including hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and hunting.
In 2005, the Piscassic Greenway as we know it almost became a 102 unit subdivision proposed as the Mill Woods Subdivision. Fortunately, the Trust for Public Land and then Rockingham Land Trust entered into an agreement with the developer, providing the Town with the chance to vote at Town Meeting on a substantial bond to make the project a reality. Matching funds were raised from a vareity of sources, including funds secured by US Senator Judd Gregg through the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP).
Today the Piscassic Greenway is a vital natural resource for the region. The Town of Newfields will hold a conservation easement over the entire property. The conservation easement assures the opportunity for continued recreational use of the property, while also making special provisions to protect water quality, wildlife habitat and ecologically sensitive areas. The Land Trust owns and manages the property and is planning trail improvements to protect wetlands and create sustainable access to the land.