Posts Tagged ‘Pleasant Mountain’

Volunteers Give Back on National Trails Day

Bridgton, ME. Over twenty people gave back to the hiking trails on Pleasant Mountain to celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 1. Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT), who owns and protects over 2,000 acres on Pleasant Mountain and manages the ten-mile trail network, hosted the trail work day.

Members from the Maine Outdoor Adventure Club, scouts from Troop 71 and members of Run for the Hills Run Club all joined in to give back to the trails. Volunteers focused their efforts on the Bald Peak and Sue’s Way trails; clearing drainage structures to keep water from pooling on the trails and helping brush in ‘social trails’. In addition, the volunteers helped move the Bald Peak Trail Kiosk and a donation tube from the old Bald Peak trail head to the new trail head a few hundred feet away.

“Thousands of people hike our Pleasant Mountain trails every year,” said LELT Executive Director, Matt Markot. “Without our dedicated volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to provide a quality hiking experience for visitors while simultaneously protecting the natural systems on Pleasant Mountain.”

National Trails Day, hosted annually by the American Hiking Society, aims to bring recognition to the incredible benefits trails provide for recreation, access to the outdoors, and general well-being. To celebrate, individuals are encouraged to give back to the trails they use by picking up litter or attending a trail work day.

In total, LELT maintains over 31 miles of hiking and biking trails on their ten preserves. With only one staff member to cover all their land, LELT relies on their volunteers to complete some of the trail maintenance and monitoring. The Land Trust has a robust trail adoption program where groups or individuals maintain the trails and report hazards to LELT staff 3 or 4 times a year. LELT also hosts volunteer trail work days to provide folks with an opportunity to learn more about the process. 

“No experience is necessary to join our trail work days,” said LELT’s Stewardship Manager Jon Evans. “Our volunteers and staff provide clear expectations, training and tools when needed.” 

If you’re interested in volunteering with Loon Echo Land Trust, sign up here or give us a call at 207-647-4352.

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.



New Parking Lots Provide Access to Trails

As of December 8th outdoor enthusiasts eager to enjoy Loon Echo Land Trust’s Raymond Community Forest have an official parking area at the preserve located in North Raymond.  With a deadline prescribed by Mother Nature, Loon Echo staff, volunteers, and local contractor Khiel Excavation completed the parking lot on December 7th.  The lot will accommodate 20 cars and is located on Conesca Road at the site of a former logging landing.  Conesca road bisects the 356 acre preserve and will provide access to the newly built trails.  Loon Echo constructed three trails this fall: one mile of multi-use trail at the base of Pismire Mountain, another trail that reaches the Pismire cliff in 0.7 miles and a third trail that circles the summit of the property.  The public can enjoy using this parking lot year round as it will be plowed throughout the winter season. 


The Raymond Community Forest is Loon Echo’s most recent preserve.  The Bridgton based land trust purchased the property from Hancock Land Company this past June. Over 200 local individuals and families donated to the project.  Hancock Land Company gifted approximately $109,000 in land value. The residents of Raymond voted on $56,800 towards the project. Grants were awarded by the Land for Maine’s Future Program (LMF), Portland Water District, Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, Davis Conservation Foundation, Camp Agawam, The Open Space Institute and an anonymous foundation.

Ledges Trail-head Parking Lot Completed

Until recently hikers wishing to ascend Loon Echo Land Trust’s Ledges Trail to the summit of Pleasant Mountain had to park along Mountain Road in Denmark.  Upon hearing the need for a parking lot, North Rock Partners, represented by Bridgton resident Phil Libby, responded by donating 2.39 acres of land specifically to ease the problem.  Upon receiving the deed to the property on November 2nd, Loon Echo immediately designed a parking lot and hired local contractor, Khiel Excavation, to do the construction.

The need for the new parking area arose due to the year-round popularity of the Ledges Trail on Pleasant Mountain.  “Loon Echo recognized the safety concern that the lack of adequate off-road parking created with only a small pull off available,” said Thom Perkins, Executive Director of Loon Echo Land Trust, “ Now instead of a line of cars parked along Mountain Road 18-20 cars can be accommodated right at the trailhead.”

“We are happy to proledges-lotvide this recreational parking lot for the public at one of our most popular hiking trails at Pleasant Mountain Preserve,” said Jon Evans, Loon Echo’s Stewardship Manager.  “This new parking area will be open year round and will be plowed throughout the upcoming winter season.”  Khiel Excavation is donating plowing services for the parking lot this winter.

Loon Echo’s Ledges Trail is a popular hike year round for outdoor enthusiasts looking to summit the state’s iconic Pleasant Mountain.  The Ledges Trail is 1.8 miles from trailhead to the summit of Pleasant Mountain with a 1.600 foot elevation gain.  The new parking area is located at the at the site of the previous 4-car roadside parking pull off, approximately 3 miles from the intersection of Mountain Road and Route 302 in Bridgton.

“We would like to thank Phil Libby of North Rock Partners, Khiel Excavation and the Town of Denmark.  With their help and support the project was completed ahead of schedule,“ said David Diller, Loon Echo Land Trust’s president.

Loon Echo Land Trust 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, 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.  For information about membership, upcoming events or ways you can support Loon Echo Land Trust, go to their website or call 207-647-4352.