BRIDGTON — Loon Echo Land Trust has received a $50,000 grant from the Recreational Trails Program to construct a new trail and parking area at Peabody-Fitch Woods, their newest preserve.
The trust purchased and protected the 252 acres of forestland surrounding Bridgton Historical Society’s Narramissic Farm in South Bridgton in August of 2019.
The grant will be used to build a new trail that will take visitors on a walk through time. When completed, the trail will provide glimpses into the farm’s agricultural past and vistas of westerly mountains. Informational signs along the universal access trail will provide insight into the Peabody and Fitch families’ pioneering efforts.
The Trust has received additional funding for the project from individual donors as well as the Maine Land Trust Network’s L.L. Bean grant program. In total, the trust has raised $70,000 to break ground on the new trail this year.
The forest, now called 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. Under the Trust’s ownership and management, Peabody-Fitch Woods will never be developed, but the property will remain on the municipal tax roll. The acquisition of this land secured public access for recreational opportunities, including hunting, walking and nature observation.
Peabody-Fitch Woods will also support a variety of cultural, educational and recreational activity. Bridgton Historical Society has used the woods for programs and tours for many years, and both groups are planning new collaborative events that will take advantage of access to the farm and the woods.
More information about Peabody-Fitch Woods can be found at www.lelt.org/pfw. More information about Narramissic can be found at bridgtonhistory.org/Narramissic.

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