Crooked River Forests
Loon Echo is pleased to announce that we, along with the Western Foothills Land Trust were able to close on the Crooked River Forests project of 800 acres at the end of June 2015 despite the lack of funds from Land for Maine’s Future. This was made possible by the Norcross Wildlife Foundation who gave us a one year bridge loan. While we are happy that we were able to close on the property, the additional expenses of the closing caused by this delay will push back our ability to expand recreational opportunities on the properties. Additional donations are still welcome to help us pay back this loan.
The Crooked River has been identified as a priority for conservation as it is the largest tributary to Sebago Lake, with 38% of the inflow, and it offers local recreational opportunities and is situated above high quality sand and gravel aquifers. The river has been identified in the state’s Natural Resources Protection Act as an Outstanding River Segment with AA status; free flowing with the best water quality. This trout fishery is home to one of only four native populations of landlocked salmon in the state and is known to host one species of anadromous fish (American eel) and is thought to historically host Atlantic salmon and sea lamprey.
The Crooked River Forests Project consists of five parcels, with the two largest being “Intervale” (296 acres; 1.5 mile of river frontage) located on Scribners Mill Road in the town of Harrison, now owned by Loon Echo. The second largest property is “Twin Bridges” (247 acres, 0.7 miles of river frontage) located on Rt. 117 in the town of Otisfield (adjacent to the rest area), now owned by Western Foothills Land Trust. Loon Echo also acquired “Woodsum Brook” (75 acres) located on Maple Ridge Road, with frontage on the brook that flows into Crystal Lake in Harrison. Western Foothills also acquired “Oak Hill” and “Watkins South” (FMI contact them).
After conducting timber harvesting this fall and winter, recreational plans will be developed to include new loop trails and identified fishing access points. This forested land is a benefit to the community’s recreation opportunities, historical character and,wildlife conservation.
- Hiking and nature observation
- Snowshoeing and cross country skiing
- Trapping (by permission only)
- Horseback riding (on designated trails)
- Snowmobiling (on designated trails)
- Mountain biking (on designated trails)
- Remove all waste and trash
- Daytime use only
- Keep pets under control at all times
- Authorized motor vehicles only
- Target shooting is prohibited
- Wear blaze orange during hunting season
- Always yield to horseback riders
Directions to Intervale Parcel
The entrance to the Intervale parcel is located on Scribners Mills Road in Harrison, a half mile west of the Crooked River if coming from Otisfield, or 7/10th of a mile east of Maple Ridge Road from the west.
A public parking area will be developed in 2016. Now visitors must use caution and park on the side of Scribners Mill Road near the entrance to Intervale, which is indicated by the road sign “Thomes Intervale Road.” Timber harvesting will occur starting early October 2015 and any public access to the property at this time is “at your own risk.
In addition to these two properties, LELT will acquire a 71-acre parcel on Woodsum Brook that flows into Crystal Lake.
Loon Echo would like to thank the following donors for making this project possible: Portland Water District, Open Space Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Anonymous foundation, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Town of Otisfield, Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, Norcross Wildlife Foundation, the Carol and David Hancock Charitable Foundation and Fields Pond Foundation.