Old News Archive

Hiker to Climb Maine Audubon’s Borestone Mountain 100 Times This Season

October 03, 2007 - TRC

Elliotsville, Maine, October 2, 2007—A Dexter resident is set to complete his 100th climb this year of Borestone Mountain, a 2,000-foot peak on Maine Audubon’s Borestone sanctuary. Expecting to reach the 100 mark in mid-October, Peter Ronco, 32, started climbing in April and has since lost about 40 pounds.

Located in Elliotsville, near Greenville, the secluded Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary encompasses 1,600 acres of old-growth forest, glacial ponds, and a bald peak with panoramic views of western Maine. Along with popular hiking trails open year-round, the sanctuary also features a nature center and wooden Adirondack-style lodges.

Ronco, who works as a chiropractic assistant in Orono, said he started hiking because he was stressed about an upcoming return to college. Having climbed Borestone years before, he thought hiking the mountain on a regular basis would be a good way to physically and mentally prepare for the transition.

“A few times turned into a lot of times,” said Ronco. “It kind of got to be a habit.”

Ronco started hiking Borestone Mountain three times a week in the spring as he became drawn to the wildlife he saw at the sanctuary, including a family of foxes, a doe and her fawn, and wildflowers he hadn’t seen for years. Before he knew it he had climbed the mountain 50 times.

“I thought, why not give it a shot,” Ronco said of going for a hundred. He’s done 92 climbs so far and in the process has lost about 40 pounds, which he said is “a great side-effect.” The other benefits, he said, are the time his hikes have given him to think about the next stage of his life, and an overall feeling of peace.

“People comment that I look the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been,” said Ronco.

Ronco is one of 50,000 people of all ages who connect with nature and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of walking at Maine Audubon’s sanctuaries. The organization has built miles of trails at its 10 sanctuaries across the state, and supports the protection of open land needed for hiking and other outdoor activities. The three-mile Borestone Mountain Trail and paths at Maine Audubon’s Scarborough Marsh and Gilsland Farm sanctuaries are listed on the Healthy Maine Walks registry.

“He’s been an icon of the mountain this summer,” said Don Annis, Borestone sanctuary manager. Annis said Ronco’s commitment to his goal has made him an example and his intimate knowledge of the trails a valuable resource for visitors to the mountain.

Ronco won’t be stopping at a hundred climbs, planning to continue hiking three afternoons a week until it gets too dark and cold to do so.

But won’t making the trip to Borestone’s summit get boring at some point? “I don’t think it ever will,” Ronco said, as each season offers something new.

Maine Audubon works to conserve Maine’s wildlife and wildlife habitat by engaging people of all ages in education, conservation, and action.

Submitted by : Andrew Colvin, Maine Audubon Communications Coordinator

Contact: Andrew Colvin (207) 781-2330, ext. 241 or acolvin@maineaudubon.org

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.