Snowshoe hikes to Bald Pate summit during Mushers Bowl

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BRIDGTON — Loon Echo Land Trust will hold moderate snowshoe hikes to the summit of Bald Pate Mountain beginning at 10 a.m. Jan. 26 and 27. The hikes take approximately two hours. In the event that the dog sled race portion of the Mushers Bowl Winter Carnival is cancelled Loon Echo will hold only the Saturday snowshoe hike.

Participants will see animal tracks and great views that aren’t available at other times of the year. Hikers should wear appropriate winter clothing, bring snacks, water and snowshoes. A few pairs will be available upon request. Check in at the Bald Pate Mountain parking lot, just south of Five Fields Farm on the left, by 9:45 a.m. to register. Although there is no charge for the hike, there is a $5 charge for an admission button to the Mushers Bowl event.

Bald Pate Mountain Preserve is adjacent to Five Fields Farm, site of the Mushers Bowl. Mushers Bowl festivities will include dogsled races, skijoring, food and family fun. The dogsled races take place on groomed trails that weave through both the farm’s apple orchards and the 485-acre Bald Pate Mountain Preserve owned and managed by Loon Echo.

Loon Echo Land Trust has been a sponsor of the Mushers Bowl since 2006. “It is a great event,” said Jon Evans, volunteer and stewardship coordinator. “We are always glad to welcome new and returning visitors to the Bald Pate Mountain Preserve.”

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Bald Pate Mountain is six miles south of Bridgton on Route 107. To get there from Bridgton, take Route 117 from Route 302 at Sandy Creek. Pass one stop sign and travel .6 mile. Turn left onto Route 107. Travel 3.4 miles. The Bald Pate parking lot is on the left at the top of the hill, just south of Five Fields Farm.

Loon Echo Land Trust protects land in the northern Sebago Lake region of Maine. Its mission is to conserve the region’s natural resources and character for current and future generations. Currently, Loon Echo protects more than 4,000 acres of land, and Bald Pate Mountain is one of the land trust’s six preserves that are open to the public. Other LELT preserves include Pleasant Mountain Preserve in Bridgton and Denmark; Mayberry Hill Preserve in Casco; Hacker’s Hill Preserve in Casco; Sylvan Woods in Harrison; and Sebago Headwaters Preserve in Bridgton.

All Loon Echo hikes are free; however, donations are always welcome and will qualify you for a one-year membership. For more information visit www.loonecholandtrust.org or contact Jon Evans at jon@lelt.org or (207) 647-4352.

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