BRIDGTON – Loon Echo Land Trust is offering a variety of free outdoor events at its preserves during June, including hiking, trail work, paddling and a hilltop concert.

National Trails Day, June 3: Give back to favorite hiking trails and join Loon Echo staff as they celebrate the annual event by doing some fine tuning on the Sue’s Way Trail at Pleasant Mountain Preserve. Participants will meet at the Bald Peak parking area at 9 a.m. and wrap up the day around 2 p.m.

The agenda for the work day includes trail definition, branch clipping, and drainage clearing. Along the way, participants will also stop at the Needle’s Eye, a geological feature that has intrigued people for many generations. Work boots and long pants are required for this event. Volunteers should also bring plenty of water, snacks and bug spray.

The free program is appropriate for all skill levels from beginner to expert. Tools and training will be provided; however, feel free to bring loppers, handsaws or garden hoe. The Bald Peak parking area is located on the right-hand side of Mountain Road, approximately one mile from its junction with Route 302 in Bridgton.

Paddling at Hancock Pond, June 10: Join Loon Echo staff for a paddle along the shores of Hancock Pond in Denmark. The pristine lake lies near Loon Echo’s Bald Pate Preserve in Bridgton and the 1,600-acre Perley Mills Community Forest, owned by the towns of Denmark and Sebago. Bring a kayak or canoe, a picnic lunch and meet at the public boat launch on Hancock Pond Road at 10 a.m.

While drifting about, Loon Echo Stewardship Manager Jon Evans and Staff Biologist Paul Miller will touch on a number of topics, including wildlife and habitat as well as land conservation and environmental protection of the region’s forests and watershed.

The three-hour program is an easy- to moderate-activity level, free and open to the public. Registration is required. 

Summer Solstice Hike, June 21: Celebrate the Summer Solstice on Loon Echo’s annual hike up Bald Pate Mountain at Bald Pate Preserve in Bridgton. This annual trek has been a Loon Echo tradition for nearly 20 years. Bring hiking boots or sneakers, water and snacks. The moderate hike will last approximately two hours. Hikers will meet at 3 p.m. at the Bald Pate Preserve parking area on Route 117, south of Five Fields Farms Apple Orchard.

Acoustic Sunset Concerts Series, June 23: The concert series held on top of Hacker’s Hill Preserve on Quaker Ridge Road in Casco returns for its sixth season. This summer’s opening concert will feature the vocals and guitar work of nationally renowned musician Bruce Marshall. A tireless performer with originals, an expressive, soulful voice and accompanying guitar style on acoustic and steel dobro, he’s earned a reputation as one of New England’s best.

The open, grassy fields of Hacker’s Hill allow for comfortable seating and sunset views of the Lakes Region and White Mountains. Bring a picnic dinner, a lawn chair or blanket. The concert will run from 6 to 8 p.m. with a suggested donation of $10 adults and $5 child to benefit the ongoing stewardship efforts of Hacker’s Hill.

Hacker’s Hill is car-accessible and parking is available by driving to the road into Hacker’s Hill Preserve on Quaker Ridge Road in Casco, approximately one mile south of the Route 11 intersection and four miles from the Route 302 intersection. Parking at Hacker’s Hill is limited, so carpooling is advised.

FMI, register: 207-647-4352, lelt.org, facebook.com/loonecho/, [email protected]

Loon Echo Land Trust will paddle Hancock Pond in Denmark on June 10.


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