Kroka, a nonprofit wilderness expedition school based in Marlow, offers a variety of educational programming for youth of all ages, both onsite at their organic farm and further afield. They also produce about a third of the school's food and sell their own milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, and vegetables at their farm store.
What many people don’t know is that Kroka also has hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country ski trails, which are used by students, staff, and the public. This winter, check them out yourself and get a first-hand look at a land conservation project in the works.
Happy To Have People out There
The Conservancy is partnering with Kroka to protect two parcels of land. The larger tract, 90 acres, is right behind Kroka’s headquarters on Route 123. This is where the trails are; look for the trailhead parking lot on the south side of Route 123 at the west end of the property.
The land is primarily wooded and is dominated by spruce, balsam fir, hemlock, and white pine. It had not been commercially harvested since the 1970s, but Kroka does cut trees on the property for firewood, building construction, and arts and crafts projects with the students.
Field, Forest, and Fun Geology
In addition to the woodlands, the headquarters property has about 6 acres in farm fields. There’s also an impressive beaver pond and a stream that flow into Grassy Brook, a headwater of the Ashuelot River. When out on the trails, be sure to visit Porcupine Cliffs, an awesome 40- to 50-foot granite outcropping.
The smaller, 16-acre property to be protected is prime farmland farther down Route 123 in Alstead. Kroka staff live in the house there and use the remaining land for agriculture. They have vegetable gardens and grow hay on the lower fields for the school’s livestock.