WEDNESDAY WALKERS EXPLORE LA VERNA PRESERVE

The public is invited to enjoy a hike with the Wednesday Walkers on July 29 at La Verna Preserve in the village of Chamberlain in Bristol. The walk will start at 9:00 a.m., and everyone is welcome. Pemaquid Watershed Association member-volunteer and La Verna Preserve Steward, Bill Claflin, will lead walkers through this 120-acre preserve featuring some 3,600 feet of shoreline, 2.5 miles of trails, and a diverse array of wildlife habitat, including mixed hardwoods, coniferous forests, forested wetlands, freshwater marsh, and gently sloping overgrown farmland. The shoreline ranges from the steeply sloping ledges near the southern tip of Brown’s Head to the beach at Leighton’s Cove. Small springs and freshwater seepages also exist along the shore, sustaining communities of cranberry, sundew, and mountain sandwort, and, at one point, give rise to a small “pond” frequented by shorebirds. This is one of the most visited preserves in the region due to the natural beauty.

Wednesday Walkers is a mid-coast walking/hiking group that plans a hike/walk every Wednesday morning from April through November, weather permitting. A typical hike is in the 2-4 mile range, usually on trails maintained by a land trust organization. Hike leaders are land trust volunteers.

Walkers are asked to meet at the Friends’ Meeting House in Damariscotta at 8:30 a.m. to carpool to La Verna Preserve. The Friends’ Meeting House is located at 77 Belvedere Road, just off Route 1. For those who opt not to carpool, they may meet the group at the preserve’s parking area by 9:00 a.m. To reach the preserve from Damariscotta, take Rte. 32 south from Round Pond. Go 3.5 miles south of Round Pond Post Office (which is the same as 3 miles north of New Harbor). Notice the Ocean Hill cemetery on the right. After that is an old Federal style home with a modern house right beside it; immediately beside that there is a parking area and kiosk for the preserve. The trail begins across Rte. 32, opposite the parking area.

Pemaquid Watershed Association is a volunteer-based, membership-supported non-profit organization with a mission to conserve the natural resources of the Pemaquid Peninsula through land and water stewardship and education. For more information on PWA or a brochure on the La Verna Preserve, visit www.pemaquidwatershed.org. La Verna Preserve is sponsored by Masters Machine Company as part of PWA’s Adopt-a-Trail Program. Taking part in the Wednesday Walkers group is a great way to explore new trails and meet new people. Walks are done throughout mid-coast Maine and are led by one of the partnering land trusts and other organizations. To sign-up to receive e-notices regarding future hikes, please email wednesday_walkers-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

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