BRIDGTON – Hikers will find a new destination on Pleasant Mountain with the new Janine’s Overlook day shelter, which was dedicated Oct. 13 on the North Peak, a short distance off Sue’s Way trail by the Loon Mountain Land Trust.
“Loon Echo is honored to receive this shelter as a gift from the Sharples family,” said Jon Evans, 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. The shelter was donated by the Sharples family in memory of Janine Sharples, a longtime Bridgton resident who died in January 2017. The dedication transferred the shelter to Loon Echo Land Trust.
The ceremony was attended by friends and family of Sharples, as well as Loon Echo staff, board representative and supporters.
The shelter is now officially known as Janine’s Overlook, and offers hikers a rest spot surrounded by wild blueberries and with 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,” said 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 that are part of the Curtis Memorial in Northeast Harbor.
“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 Sue’s Way.
Loon Echo 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 area 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 and works within its service area to safeguard water quality, preserve scenic gems such as Bald Pate Mountain, Hacker’s Hill and Pleasant 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. Member support is what enables Loon Echo to carry out their mission and provides funding for their land conservation and stewardship endeavors.
For more information, visit www.lelt.org or call 207-647-4352.