Summer is here – time to get outside and enjoy! Dirigo Pines is home to many of its own trails, which connect in with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system, a 40-acre parcel situated at the west end of Main Street, between Route 2 and I-95. (Click here for a map of the Sklar Park trail system.) And just up the road from Dirigo is the Bangor City Forest and Orono Bog Walk.
The Rolland F. Perry City Forest includes 680 acres of wildlife habitat and forest, offering more than 9 miles of trails for walking, hiking, biking, and during the winter – snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. It is owned by the city of Bangor and open throughout the year.
Here are some other fun facts and what to know before you go:
- Dogs are welcome in many areas, but must be on a leash at all times, per city ordinance, on Main Road, Shannon Road, Tripp Drive, and East Trail.
- The Orono Bog Walk is a 1-mile boardwalk loop that begins at the forested wetland edge in the Bangor City Forest, and after 800 feet, crosses the Orono town line into the portion of the Orono Bog owned by the University of Maine. Along the way the boardwalk passes through a wide range of changing vegetation and environments on its way to the open, peat moss carpeted center of the Orono Bog. Click here for more about the Bog Walk.
- The Orono Bog Walk boardwalk is wheelchair-friendly, with benches for rest and contemplation every 200 feet. Please note that dogs are not permitted on the Bog Walk.
- Nature walks are scheduled throughout the summer, guided by experts in their respective fields who provide insights into the ecology and natural history of the flora and fauna found along the boardwalk. Learn more and find a calendar here: umaine.edu/oronobogwalk.
- Walden-Parke Preserve, owned by the Bangor Land Trust, encompasses more than 300 acres adjacent to City Forest, on the west side of the former Veazie Railroad bed. It features more than three miles of hiking, biking, skiing, and snoeshoeing trails. The land trust also owns the 84-acre Northeast Penjajawoc Preserve, near the end of Kittredge Road in Bangor. For more about the Bangor Land Trust, click here: www.bangorlandtrust.org.
- The forest is accessible via Kittredge Road and Tripp Drive. The Tripp Drive entrance is just 4 minutes from Dirigo Pines. Click here for directions.
- The Bangor City Forest is a great place to spot wildlife. Be on the lookout for great blue herons, raccoons, downy woodpeckers, great horned and barred owls, wild turkeys, white tailed deer, porcupines and more.
- Look for pitcher plants along the Bog Walk, in bloom throughout the summer. Pitcher plants are carnivorous, luring insects into a cavity in the middle of the plant.
- What to bring: bug spray to keep the black flies at bay, sunscreen and water. And a camera to remember your visit!
Have your own tips? Share below!