Loon Echo Land Trust collaborated with the towns of Denmark, Bridgton and Sebago to protect the 1600 acre Perley Mills property in order to create a community forest. The land is owned and managed by the Town of Denmark and the Town of Sebago, with conservation easements held by Loon Echo.
The property contains three miles of the Narrow Gauge Trail, a state ITS 89 snowmobile and regional ATV network, as well as Pickerel Pond and Willett Pond. With many important ecological, recreational and economic features, protecting this parcel as public open space and managed forestland is an asset to the surrounding communities.
In December of 2013, Loon Echo purchased the 1,600 acre property from K&W Timberlands. In January 2015, the Town of Sebago took ownership of 130 acres of land on Swamp Road in the southern portion of the Perley Mills property. In April 2015, the Town of Denmark took ownership of the remaining acres in Bridgton and Denmark. Loon Echo reserved perpetual conservation easements on both properties to ensure the properties remains undeveloped and available to the public for a variety of recreational uses including snowmobiling and hunting.
Contributions (pledges or gifts) have been made by an anonymous foundation, the Open Space Institute, Inc., Portland Water District, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, Allagash Brewing Company, North American Wetland Conservation Act, Kendal C. and Anna Ham Charitable Foundation, Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Davis Conservation Foundation, Fields Pond Foundation, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust members, Town of Bridgton, Town of Denmark, Town of Sebago and 150 local residents and businesses. Loon Echo thanks everyone who has made this project a huge success!
Directions to the Perley Mills Community Forest:
From Portland, follow Rt. 302 west.to Rt. 117 south to Rt. 107 south. Follow Rt. 107 to the Sebago town line. Turn right onto Swamp Road. Turn right onto Hancock Pond Road. The unmarked entrance to Pickerel Pond (also known as Perely Pond) is located a short distance on the right.