While Bridgton has many incredible outdoor spaces, for many members of our community, few of these spaces are accessible. Now, thanks to a collaborative project by Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT) and Bridgton Historical Society (BHS), that has changed.
The first phase of a new, universal access, trail project has been completed at Peabody-Fitch Woods and Narramissic Farm in South Bridgton. The trail, a first-of-its-kind in the Lake Region, is designed to accommodate strollers and wheeled mobility devices.
We have long wanted to create an opportunity for folks of all mobilities to enjoy the beauty of the Lake Region. Thanks to the support and hard work of many people, that opportunity has now been created. We couldn’t be happier to share this incredible new trail with our community.
About the Trail
The new trail is a half-mile long, and features a gravel surface and gentle slopes. It weaves its way along rock walls, through woods and brings visitors to a viewpoint of the farm, fields, and distant White Mountains. There are also several benches along the trail for rest stops. In addition to its accessible components, the trail can be enjoyed by walking, running, biking, or skiing and snowshoeing in winter months.
Thanks to the help of volunteers and the Appalachian Mountain Club, LELT also added to Peabody Fitch Woods’ trail offerings with a new backcountry hiking loop that passes by several historic granite quarries used to build parts of the Narrow Gauge railroad and Highland Lake Dam.
The first phase of this project was made possible by the State of Maine’s Recreational Trail Program, Chalmers Insurance Company, the Kendal C. and Anna Ham Foundation, L.L. Bean, and many generous private donors. Warren Excavation of Bridgton completed the construction of the trail and a new parking area.
Looking Ahead: Phase Two
Phase two of the project, scheduled for 2021 and pending fundraising efforts, will include installation of a kiosk, interpretive signage along the trail, and formal trail signs.
Donations for this phase of the trail project are still being accepted and can be made online below or by mailing a check to Loon Echo Land Trust (memo: PFW Trail) at 8 Depot St, Suite 4, in Bridgton.
About Peabody-Fitch Woods & Narramissic
Peabody-Fitch Woods, the trails, and the grounds of Narramissic Farm are open to the public year-round. Tours of the historic farm house and museum can be made by appointment with the Bridgton Historical Society.
Peabody-Fitch Woods was conserved by LELT in August 2019 and ensures public access for recreational opportunities including hunting, walking, and nature observation. The forest surrounds the house and fields of BHS’s Narramissic Historic Farm. Peabody-Fitch Woods was originally part of the historic Peabody-Fitch Farm (now called Narramissic), which was established in 1797, just three years after Bridgton was incorporated. Since 1986, BHS has owned and operated the farm as a museum. The property includes a functioning blacksmith shop, the “Temperance Barn,” and the house, furnished largely with artifacts from the Peabody and Fitch families who built it in 1797 and lived there until 1938.