Pleasant Mountain (2,006 ft) is a mountain in Bridgton right next to Shawnee Peak ski area, with trails mostly on land owned by the Loon Echo Land Trust (see for maps). In preparation for our 100 Mile Wilderness trek, dad/daughter, along with our cousin, hiked Pleasant Mountain on April 23, 2017, via the (moderate) Southwest Ridge Trail, 5.8 miles up/back. Map and description are also available in the stellar Maine Mountain Guide.
We had hiked this mountain before via the Ledges Trail from the east, and enjoyed the new approach from the west, as the ridge hike gave us wonderful views on the way up, including at the Southwest Summit (1,900 ft). The parking area on Denmark Road was easy to find, and it was a fairly steady climb to the top, with a steeper climb once we reached the junction with the Ledges Trail for the last .2 miles to the top. A wooden teepee structure near the Southwest Summit made for a photo op.
A mix of sun and shade and elevation gave us different challenges throughout the hike. A depressed area in the section between the Southwest Summit and Pleasant Mountain Summit was a vernal pool, with incredibly loud peepers, but also a heavy covering of snow. We also saw our first ticks of the year. The pool gave us our first chance to use our water filtration system, the MSR Sweetwater. A couple of pumps produced clear, cold water.
As seen above in the photo of us on the summit, the views of the White Mountains to the west, particularly Mount Washington, are wonderful on warm, clear days like this one. An old fire tower still stands on the summit. Snow covered the Whites, and some hikers we met said that places like Crawford Notch were covered in several feet of snow. Glacier or not, daughter jumped into Long Lake on the way back to “cool off,” and cousin had to get in, as well, as a dare is a dare. Dad doesn’t get into lakes two days after ice-out (4/21/2017).