Posts Tagged ‘Loon Echo’

Loon Echo Land Trust’s New Pleasant Mountain Shelter Dedicated


BRIDGTON, ME (October 16, 2018) – Loon Echo Land Trust announced today that hikers will find a new destination on Pleasant Mountain thanks to the generosity of the Sharples family.  On Saturday October 13th, a new day-shelter was dedicated and officially opened on the North Peak of Pleasant Mountain, a short distance off North Ridge trail. 

“Loon Echo is honored to receive this shelter as a gift from the Sharples Family,” said Jon Evans, LELT’s Stewardship Manager, “I’m sure that hikers who visit the shelter will have a restful and serene experience.”

For a number of years, a day-shelter on Pleasant Mountain has been identified as a goal by Loon Echo’s Stewardship Committee and staff. With this need known, the shelter was generously donated by the Sharples family in memory of Janine Sharples, a longtime Bridgton resident who passed away in January of 2017. The dedication on Saturday transferred the shelter to Loon Echo Land Trust. The ceremony was attended by friends and family of Mrs. Sharples as well as Loon Echo staff, board representative and supporters.

The shelter will now officially be known as “Janine’s Overlook.” The shelter offers hikers a rest spot, surrounded by wild blueberries, where they can sit and enjoy exceptional views of Sebago Lake and Pleasant Mountain’s west flank.

“She loved to climb Pleasant Mountain and pick blueberries, so what better place to put a shelter,” added Ken Sharples. “After meeting with Loon Echo, a general idea of what the shelter should look like was arrived at.”

The shelter’s architectural design was influenced by the elegant Edwardian rest stops which are part of the Curtis Memorial in Northeast Harbor, Maine.

“When considering how this shelter would be used and the kind of experience we want hikers who use our trails, we wanted something that everyone would be proud of and enjoy,” said Loon Echo’s Executive Director Thom Perkins, “My experience of visiting the shelters in Northeast Harbor immediately came to mind. We talked it over and the Sharples’ architect came up with a beautiful design.”

“Janine’s Overlook” shelter was constructed using cedar materials by Chris Ambrose, of Ambrose Carpentry Remodeling & Home Repair. Shawnee Peak ski area staff assisted in moving the 3,000 lbs of materials 1,300 vertical feet up the mountain to within half a mile of the site. The Bridgton Academy football team moved the materials the rest of the way. Soon, new signs and markers will direct hikers to the shelter, which is located 150 feet off the North Ridge trail.



2018 Norway Savings Bank Loon Echo Trek Successful

Since its beginning in 2001, the Loon Echo Trek has been the land trust’s major fundraising event. Hiking Pleasant Mountain trails has been part of the event since 2007.  The “Trek” showcases Loon Echo’s conserved land on Pleasant Mountain which the nonprofit organization conserves for the benefit of future generations. 

“I’d like to thank our major sponsors Norway Savings Bank, Shawnee Peak, WMWV Radio 93.5 fm, and Migis Lodge,” said Matt Markot, Loon Echo’s event manager, “From all reports, it was a successful and fun day.”

Mountain Challenge Winners Eva Johnson(l) and Floyd Lavery (r) flank Pam and Phil Marshall, the first two hikers to complete the 18th Annual Loon Echo Trek.

Bridgton, ME – Under warm bright skies with a hurricane holding off to the south, runners and hikers participated in the 18th edition of the annual Norway Savings Bank Loon Echo Trek on Saturday, September 16. In addition to the traditional recreational hiking category, this year’s Trek introduced an 8.4 mile mountain challenge event.  Starting at the base of Shawnee Peak Ski Area, trail runners ascended Pleasant Mountain and followed Loon Echo’s trails as they turn south to reach the historic “Teepee” on the Southwest Ridge summit. Competitors then reversed course passing the mountain’s highest summit for the second time and finally descending back to the finish in front of the ski area’s base lodge.  Runners ascended over 3000’ during the competition.

The top five runners included Floyd Lavery (Sebago, ME) who posted the winning time of 2:04:44 over the 8.4 mile course.  Eva Johnson (Sweden, ME) posted the fastest female finish less than four minutes later with a time of 2:08:42.  John Keller (Gray, ME) posted a time of 2:18:03, Sherry Burnell (Denmark, ME) came in at 2:28:57 and Bill Ames (Naples, ME) finished in 4:42:19.

Thirty-five recreational hikers participated by traversing the six-mile mountain ridge course in support of Loon Echo’s conservation efforts. 

The event provided all participants with snack and water at three stations spaced out along the mountain ridge which was staffed by volunteers.  Communications along the course was provided by members of the Oxford County Amateur Radio Club. A taco bar lunch, Allagash Beer and ice cream provided by the Causeway Dairy Bar were served to all participants and volunteers at the post-event party at Shawnee Peak’s baselodge.

Loon Echo is currently engaged in the acquisition of the 252 acres surrounding the Bridgton Historical Society’s farmstead.  Donations to support the purchase can be mailed to: LELT, 8 Depot Street suite #4, Bridgton, ME  04009.

Loon Echo protects nearly 6,700 acres of land and manages 31 miles of multi-use trails in the northern Sebago Lake region. Its mission is to work with the local residents to conserve the region’s natural resources and character for current and future generations.  Loon Echo serves seven towns including Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago with an area of 320 square miles located directly north of Sebago Lake.  Loon Echo works within its service area to safeguard water quality, preserve scenic gems such as Bald Pate Mountain, Hacker’s Hill and Pleasant Mountain, and provide outreach and fun educational programs to the public.  Loon Echo assists landowners to take steps to ensure future generations will benefit from the preservation of their lands.  Member support is what enables Loon Echo to carry out their mission and provides funding for their land conservation and stewardship endeavors.