Bank signs on as Loon Echo Trek title sponsor; bike portion of event ‘retired’

Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT) has announced that Norway Savings Bank has again signed on as the title sponsor of this year’s Norway Savings Bank Loon Echo TREK being held for the 17th time on Sept. 15.

“Popular events such as the TREK don’t happen by chance,” said Thom Perkins, executive director of Loon Echo Land Trust, “It is with both extensive planning and great sponsorship support that this event has been so successful. We are pleased to announce that Norway Savings Bank is committed to our conservation mission by returning as the title sponsor.”

Loon Echo Land Trust has been holding its annual fundraising event on the third weekend of September since 2001.

“We are very proud to support this amazing event and organization,” said Patricia Weigel, Norway Savings Bank’s president and CEO. “Protecting our public spaces in Maine is important not just to those people who enjoy nature, but also to our tourism economy. People travel to Maine to explore our forests, mountains and lakes. The Loon Echo Land Trust is instrumental to those efforts.”

With the support of Norway Savings Bank, Loon Echo Land Trust will be hosting a newly reformatted TREK event this year. In the past, the event incorporated both a biking, as well as hiking divisions to support the land conservation efforts of the Trust. Hiking Pleasant Mountain trails has been part of the event since 2007. This year, the biking portion is being retired. The hiking portion of the TREK showcases one of LELT’s many successes — conserving Pleasant Mountain for future generations and is now the entire focus of the event.

In addition to continuing the two fully-supported 4.5- and 6-mile recreational hikes on the Ledges and SW Ridge trails, competitive trail runners will have the opportunity to have a go at a 7.5-mile timed race.

Recreational untimed TREK participants are transported to the Ledges or Southwest Ridge trailheads on the southern end of Pleasant Mountain. However, competitors will start at the base of the Shawnee Peak Ski Area and run up then across the mountain to the “Teepee” on the Southwest Ridge Trail. They will then return by the same route to the finish line at the base. The traditional lunch, live music and awards party will await all participants at the ski area base lodge. Along the way both competitors and recreational hikers will find volunteer staffed rest stops for food and water.

The event this year is limited to 200 participants and registration, which is now open, is expected to fill up quickly.

Registration for the Norway Savings Bank Loon Echo TREK is available online at www.runreg.com/TREK

Loon Echo Land Trust protects over 6,600 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 within 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 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.

For more information about upcoming events or ways you can support Loon Echo Land Trust, go to the website at www.lelt.org or call 647-4352.

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