PITTSFIELD – Explore the heart of Maine with Sebasticook Regional Land Trust at the sixth annual Farm & Habitat Tour on Saturday, Sept. 13.
The event features fully supported 10- and 36-mile rides with optional stops at family farms and nature preserves, or a guided paddle on the Sebasticook River. Registration for both events begins at 8 AM at Hathorn Park off Somerset Avenue in Pittsfield, with the bike and paddle set to begin at 9 AM. Rain date is Sunday, Sept. 14.
Bikers can expect a moderate training ride in preparation for future biking events like the Dempsey Challenge, or they may enjoy a more leisurely pedal through the beautiful farms and forests of the Sebasticook River Valley. New this year, a 10-mile option will provide families the opportunity an abbreviated ride with all the benefits of a farm tour stop.
Other optional stops will provide an opportunity to sample and purchase artisan cheeses and other local produce, talk with family farmers about their products and practices, and learn about local conservation lands and wildlife habitat. Stops are conveniently spaced with a support vehicle following riders to pick up purchased items or weary travelers and offer minor bike repairs.
Paddlers will have the opportunity to see the Sebasticook River and surrounding lands with two experienced guides: expert birder Tom Aversa and wildlife biologist and avid outdoorsman Brent Bibles. Land trust director Jennifer Irving will also paddle and share information about efforts to restore fish and habitat on this important river. Paddlers will sample a selection of artisan cheeses and cider from the farm tour after the paddle, which will last roughly two hours.
Whether paddling or pedaling, take advantage of this chance to experience the richness and beauty the Sebasticook Region has to offer. Registrations will be accepted the day of the ride, but people are encouraged to register in advance. Participants may register online or download a registration form at www.SebasticookRLT.org/events/farm-habitat-tour-2014/, or call 948-3766. All participants will have the opportunity to win one of nine bike safety vests from LL Bean.
All proceeds from the Farm & Habitat Tour support protection of wildlife and farmland in Central Maine. Registration fees are $35 for the ride ($25 for land trust members) or $25 for the paddle ($20 members). There is a family rate of $60 for either event. Corporate team sponsorships are still available, allowing participation by 10 employees for $250 – a readymade employee wellness event!
This year’s tour sponsors include ReVision Energy, LL Bean, Kennebec Timber Framing, Organic Valley, Sebasticook Family Doctors, Stonyfield, Unity College, Albion Cider Mill, HealthySV, Eye Care of Maine, Bud’s Shop ‘n Save, Law Office of Burky & McCarthy and Lakeview Lumber.
Sebasticook Regional Land Trust is proud to be a trusted community partner, working with willing landowners to conserve the lands they love and the resources our community relies upon – things like abundant clean water, family farms, well-managed working forests, and places to hunt, fish and play with our families. Located in the heart of Maine, the Sebasticook River watershed is a region of tremendous natural resources and agricultural productivity. For more information, visit http://www.SebasticookRLT.org or find us on Facebook.