Before the spring of 1999, maps of the Hay Forest Reservation bore a resemblance to a gap-toothed grin - something was missing. Notched out from the curve of the northern boundary was a 37-acre sliver of hillside, once slated for an 18-unit condominium. To fill that gap Ausbon Sargent helped raise $69,000 to purchase the parcel and make it part of the Hay Forest as well as creating a permanent memorial to New London conservationist Bill Kidder Jr..
Its new owner, the Society for the Protection of NH Forests (Forest Society) dedicated the Sunset Hill-Kidder Tract in the summer of 1999. The Forest Society had been trying for years to buy the land off Chalk Pond Road. When they asked for help from Bill Kidder Jr. he was able to facilitate negotiations and the deal to purchase the land, which came to fruition in March of 1998, nearly a year after he passed away from cancer.
The property offers expansive northerly views, including views of Lake Sunapee, Croyden Peak, Mount Cardigan and the White Mountains. It also provides habitat for bear, bobcat, deer, moose, coyote, and other wildlife species documented on the adjacent Hay Forest Reservation.
The Forest Society maintains parking for trailhead access off Chalk Pond Road. The hike takes you to the top of Sunset Hill with its spectacular views and from there you can access trails that wind throughout the Hay Forest Reservation.