On January 6, 2021, The Nature Conservancy of Connecticut transferred ownership of the 300+ acre Iron Mountain Preserve to the Kent Land Trust. NCLC will support the permanent conservation of these lands by holding a conservation easement on the property. Preserve’s quiet wooded landscape is a popular destination for hikers on its “lollipop loop” trail, just under 3 miles roundtrip. It was created in 1974 and 1981 by the donation of 257 acres by Mrs. Walter E. Irving. Mrs. Irving’s neighbors Brigitta Lieberson, Joseph Gitterman, and Vilma Kurzer followed her lead with additional gifts in 1983, 1984, 1987, and 1991.
The Preserve is a key part of the scenic vista which caused the Town of Kent to name Geer Mountain Panorama as one of Kent’s 23 Town Character Areas. The blue-blazed hiking trail emanates from the parking area on Treasure Hill Road and then splits into a loop that circumnavigates the Ore Hill summit. Signs of past human occupation include stone walls, charcoal mounds, wire fencing, three old foundations, a former orchard, and several old wood roads. Patches of locally-important farm soils connect back to its agricultural use after being denuded of trees used to produce charcoal for Kent’s iron industry. Many charcoal mounds remain, some clearly visible from the trail. In addition to providing a wonderful recreational resource for the Kent community, the Preserve is an important area for wildlife: Part of an 890-acre core forest block interlaced with several stream courses, it is home to bobcat, bear, coyotes, deer, owls, and many other native species.