Posts Tagged ‘Hiking’

Together Outdoors

Are you looking for ways to gather safely with family this Thanksgiving? Consider a walk or hike outdoors! (Remember to wear a mask and keep your distance.) Here are our recommendations for outdoor spaces that are suitable for all ages:

**NOTE: Hunting is allowed on all LELT lands. Please wear blaze orange when visiting LELT preserves & trails.**

1. Mayberry Hill Preserve, Casco 

Part of the Loop Trail at Mayberry Hill Preserve

A relatively flat, one-mile loop trail on the preserve features benches and rock walls. A great place for a stroll in the woods.

2. Peabody-Fitch Woods – South Bridgton

Loop trail at Peabody-Fitch Woods

Check out the new trail built to universal access standards at Peabody-Fitch Woods. Just half a mile, this trail is flat, gravel surfaced, and has benches along the way. Explore the grounds of Narramissic after you’re done. Head up the quarry trail for more of a challenge & a look back in time.

3. Bald Pate Mountain Preserve, South Bridgton

One of the views from the top of Bald Pate

An easy-moderate hike that rewards you with great views on the way up & at the top. Park in the main parking area off of Route 107, and head up the Bob Chase Scenic Loop to the summit.

4. Hacker’s Hill Preserve, Casco

Hacker’s Hill Preserve

Although the gate is closed for the season you are welcome to walk up (take your time, it’s steep!). This preserve features fields for kids to run around in, picnic tables, and amazing views. Pro-tip: bring a kite if it’s windy!

Note: limited parking available.

5. Raymond Community Forest, Raymond 

View from Pismire Bluff at Raymond Community Forest

The Spiller Homestead Loop at RCF offers interpretive signs that will teach you about what you’re seeing in the woods as you walk. Looking for a challenge? Head up the Pismire Bluff Trail for great views of Crescent Lake.

6. Pondicherry Park, Bridgton

A Boardwalk at Pondicherry Park

Easy walking trails in the heart of downtown Bridgton. Download Bridgton Historical Society’s App (search “Bridgton Historical Society” in your app store) and take a walk through history as you explore the park. Or, just explore on your own and see how many different kinds of trees you can find!

Happy trails!

Fall Hiking Reminders

Pismire Bluff, Raymond Community Forest

The weather these days is perfect for hiking: cool, dry, and no bugs (but do remember to check for ticks!). We’ve seen a large increase in the use of our trails this year, and we expect that trend to continue through the fall as people seek out places to see the foliage. We’re issuing a few friendly reminders as we head into fall:

  • If a parking lot is full, please do not park along the road out of respect for our neighbors and the safety of motorists.
  • Leave no trace: carry out what you bring in. That includes dog poop!
  • Please keep dogs on a leash at Pleasant Mountain, Bald Pate, Peabody-Fitch Woods, Raymond Community Forest and Hackers Hill.
  • Heed all posted use guidelines.
  • Always be prepared with enough water, snacks, and appropriate footwear & clothing.

Access to these special places is a privilege- one we’re grateful to be able to provide- but we’re all stakeholders. We all have a responsibility to care for the land and trails we use and love. Thanks for doing your part.

Pleasant Mountain Trails Temporarily Closed

For the most up-to-date information regarding our response to COVID-19, click here.

** Please note: Pleasant Mountain Preserve is not a Maine State Park. This land is privately owned.

Statement from LELT

At the request of local first responders, all Pleasant Mountain trails are closed effective today, April 2, 2020 until further notice.

Please understand the care that went into this decision. The capacity of our rural healthcare system and the health and safety of first responders are our utmost priority.

We recognize and appreciate the importance of time outdoors for mental and physical well-being. LELT’s 11 other preserves and 20 miles of trail remain open at this time. We encourage you to find respite & relief in nature – be it in your own backyard, on a walk around your neighborhood, or on an easy trail close to your home.

It is critical that all individuals and families who head outdoors follow guidance from Maine conservation & natural resource officials:

  • Find the right time and place
  • Be prepared before heading out
  • Heed all COVID-19 health warnings.

Please follow all LELT posted use guidelines when visiting LELT preserves.

These are uncertain and confusing times. We appreciate your patience, understanding, and cooperation as we navigate these uncharted waters together. Conservation is forever. The trees, trails, mountains, and special places we all know and love will be there for us on the other side.

Stay safe & be well. 🌲

Statement from Denmark Fire Department

It was not an easy decision for our Department to recommend to the staff at Loon Echo to close the Pleasant Mountain Trails. Three of the four trail heads for Pleasant Mountain are located in Denmark, as is most of the trail system.

Even the most prepared, experienced hiker can have an accident while hiking, not to mention the hikers who are not prepared. Many of the Pleasant Mountain trails still have considerable ice, along with mud conditions.

There was a rescue on Pleasant Mountain Sunday, March 22nd that required nine volunteer fire/rescue departments and State agencies with over 60 rescuers. This was the fourth rescue call on Pleasant Mountain in the last year.

Our First Responders are already stretched thin dealing with the pandemic. This type of backcountry rescue requires a large number of personnel to work closely with each other and the public. The topography of the Pleasant Mountain trails preclude the use of off-road vehicles to transport a patient. The patient must be carried out by hand on a stretcher with multiple teams of eight people taking turns.

Please consider walks in your neighborhood rather than driving to the mountains (even small ones) until we all can get through this pandemic. We greatly appreciate your cooperation in following the recommendations of the Loon Echo Land Trust. Enjoy a walk through your neighborhood or utilize one of the many other preserves that are not nearly as remote as Pleasant Mountain.

Social Distancing on the Trails

For the most up-to-date information, please visit our COVID-19 update page.

In this time of great uncertainty, heading outdoors to local preserves and trails is a great way to reduce stress levels and stay healthy. If you want to get outside, your first choice should be to stay close to home.

Outdoor adventures need to be safe. The emergency response community, including Maine Forest Rangers and IF&W Wardens, has its hands full. Accidents on the trail and in the woods create unnecessary strain on our first-responders.

We ask all trail users & preserve visitors to adhere to the following guidelines when visiting LELT preserves and trails:

  • If the parking lot is full, the trail is full. Have a plan B and C. Consider waiting or seeking another place to be outdoors. Visit www.mainetrailfinder.com or click here for a full list of places we protect.
  • Do not use the trails if you have symptoms, have traveled recently, or have been exposed to a known or suspected case of COVID-19. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, bring hand sanitizer.
  • Stay six feet away from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Keep it as you walk or hike.
  • Warn other trail users of your presence and step off trails to allow others to pass, keeping minimum recommended distances at all times.
  • Be prepared. Trail conditions vary wildly from preserve to preserve and from parking lot to summit. Wear or carry traction and poles if you have them, always have adequate water, snacks, and layers.
  • Stay within your comfort zone- don’t be afraid to turn around. Stick to easy trails to avoid injury and further stress on the local healthcare system.
  • Keep dogs on the leash. This will prevent inadvertent close contact with others.
  • Practice Leave No Trace. Carry in, carry out. There is no trash service at any of our preserves.

Preserves Conducive to Maintaining Physical Distance

** If the parking lot is full, please do not visit the preserve. Have a plan B or come back at a different time.

Resources

Updated 4/29/2020