Posts Tagged ‘Pleasant Mountain’

Get outside, but do it safely.

As summer weather is fast approaching, Maine’s conservation and recreation communities, natural resource agencies, and outdoor brands developed the following checklists to help us all enjoy Maine’s outdoors in ways that are safe and responsible during this difficult time.

Find the Right Time and Place

  • Know Whats Available: Consider visiting a nearby Wildlife Management Area, or a less-trafficked state parkpublic land, or local land trust (Maine Trail Finder is a great resource!)
  • Check before you go: While some popular conservation lands have closed recently due to overuse and crowding, the vast majority remains open to the public. Visit websites to see the latest information on closures or conditions. Please respect all property closures.
  • Have a plan B: If the parking lot is full, the destination is too crowded. If your first destination has a busy parking lot, go to the next spot on your list!
  • Avoid peak times: Get out earlier or later in the day.

Be Prepared Before Heading Out

  • Expect limited services: Facilities like public restrooms could be closed, so plan accordingly.
  • Dress for success: Be aware of current conditions and bring appropriate gear to match those conditions. Local outdoor brands are open for online sales and are available to give advice on appropriate gear and equipment.
  • Support local businesses: Many local businesses from restaurants and retailers to guides and lodges are working hard to provide services in ways that are safe and in keeping with public health rules and guidance. If you’re comfortable, consider finding ways to support them while you’re enjoying the outdoors.
  • Don’t take risks: Stick to familiar terrain and avoid unnecessary chances to avoid injuries, which add stress on first responders and medical resources.
  • Be aware of the rules: Check before you go to see what activities are allowed. If dogs are permitted remember to bring a leash and to properly dispose of waste.
  • Watch out for ticks and biting insects: Wear light-colored pants, closed-toe shoes, and apply EPA-approved bug repellent.
  • Leave home prepared with sanitizer and disinfectant.

Heed All COVID-19 Health Warnings

  • Practice social distancing: Stay at least six feet away from other people who do not live in your household. If necessary, step aside when passing other people on the trail.
  • Don’t linger: Shorten your stay when visiting natural stopping points such as waterfalls, summits, and viewpoints so everyone can enjoy them while maintaining a safe distance.
  • Bring a mask: When you’re in the vicinity of others, even with six feet of separation, a mask will help keep everyone safer.
  • Don’t touch: Avoid touching signs, kiosks, buildings, and benches to minimize the potential spread of the virus.
  • If you’re sick, stay home: It puts others at risk when you leave home while exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19, or if you have recently been exposed to the virus.

If we all follow these guidelines and put public health first, we can enjoy Maine’s natural resources in safe and responsible ways as we work through this difficult time together.

LELT’s COVID-19 Resource & Statement Archive

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.

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. 

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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.
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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 www.lelt.org or call 207-647-4352.