Take a Stroll Around the Orono Bog Walk

Summer in Maine is best enjoyed outdoors! Very nearby Dirigo Pines is the Orono Bog Walk — a popular destination for walking, as well as running and biking on the connected trails of the Bangor City Forest (click here for more about the City Forest).

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.

It’s a fascinating and educational walk, allowing visitors to observe the colorful bog, its tranquil beauty and the amazing plants and animals that call the bog home. Signs with illustrations help visitors spot interesting plant and animal life along the way. 

Hours through Labor Day are 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The boardwalk is a wheelchair-friendly facility, and benches for rest and contemplation are provided at least 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 that provide insights into the ecology and natural history of the flora and fauna found along the boardwalk. Learn more and find a calendar by clicking here.

On Saturday, August 31, Allie Gardner, University of Maine Assistant Professor of Arthropod Vector Biology, School of Biology and Ecology will lead a tick and mosquito walk at the Boardwalk. Meet at the cabin at the start of the Boardwalk at 9 a.m.

Test Your Knowledge: Summer in Maine

Summer in Maine is full of endless opportunities for travel and staycationing at its finest. Summon your knowledge of Maine day-trips within a short drive of Dirigo Pines, and take the quiz — or better yet, quiz your friends on the way to your summer destination.

  1. Maine’s famed Acadia National Park is only about an hour from Dirigo Pines.

    John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donated more than 10,000 acres of land to the park, and helped designed the road system that runs through the park. Name that road system: 

    1. Acadia Avenues
    2. Island Explorer Trails
    3. Carriage Roads
  2. A visit to Portland (just 2 hours from Dirigo Pines) isn’t complete without a visit to the state’s oldest lighthouse. Name that lighthouse:
    1. Portland Head Light
    2. Bug Light
    3. Spring Point Ledge
  3. Ogunquit (about 2.5 hours from Dirigo Pines) offers tourists miles of sandy beaches and the famed Marginal Way walking path. In Algonquin, “Ogunquit” means:
    1. Beautiful Place By The Sea
    2. Many Will Visit Here
    3. Excellent Fishing
  4. Just an hour and a half from Dirigo Pines, you’ll find Moosehead Lake and the town of Greenville. Visitors can tour the lake on a steamboat built in 1914 that was once used to tow logs. Name that boat:
    1. The Big Moose
    2. The Katahdin
    3. The Lily Bay

Bonus Question: The Maine Lobster Festival (www.mainelobsterfestival.com) is being held this week in Rockland (only 1.5 hours away), another popular tourist destination. Maine is the world leader in lobster. Last year, how many millions of pounds of lobsters were caught in Maine?

Answers:

  1. C. The Carriage Roads and stone bridges in Acadia National Park were constructed between 1913 and 1940 for hikers, bikers, horseback riders and carriages.
  2. A. Portland Head Light is in nearby Cape Elizabeth and was commissioned by George Washington.
  3. A. Ogunquit’s Marginal Way connects the center of town to Perkins Cove, a small fishing village.
  4. B. The boat is known as the Kate around town and was built at Bath Iron Works.

Bonus: In 2018, the Maine Lobster catch was 119 million pounds, over $484 million worth.

Try a Geocaching “Treasure” Hunt

Summer in Maine is great time to get outside and explore. All around Dirigo Pines are amazing spots to hike, walk and enjoy the great outdoors. One fun way to explore is geocaching — finding small treasures hidden all around you along common hiking and walking trails.

There are lots of geocaches to discover around Dirigo Pines. Using your phone or GPS device, download a geocaching app, and you’ll can find hundreds of local “treasures” — usually a small waterproof container containing a logbook. The app on your phone will provide precise coordinates — usually just to the side of a trail, often semi-hidden under a unique rock formation or interesting tree root.

Searching and discovering a cache or two or three is a fun way to spend a sunny afternoon with friends or family. After signing the logbook, the cache must be placed back exactly where you found it. Larger containers can also contain items for trading, such as toys or trinkets — bring a tiny treasure with you to trade!

Discover summer fun and health with a hike to hunt for hidden treasure — try these nearby spots for lots of geocaching fun:

Living in Vacationland – July 2019

Welcome to summer in Vacationland! Tourists travel hundreds of miles to visit Maine and experience what we’ve got right in our own backyard. July is a great time to take advantage of living in Maine — here are just a few of the fun activities going on within a short drive of Dirigo Pines.

  • Moxie Festival: Celebrate a uniquely Maine soda with fireworks, block party, parade, petting zoo, 5K run, concerts and more! Whether you’re a fan or just trying Moxie for the first time, this event is all about having fun. July 12-14 in Lisbon (about 1.5 hours from Dirigo Pines). Click here for more info.
  • Maine International Film Festival: Showcasing 100 premier releases of American independent and international cinema, classic revivals, inspiring performances, exhibitions, and community workshops. July 12-21 in Waterville (about 1 hour from Dirigo Pines). Click here to learn more.
  • Bucksport Bay Festival: The Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to celebrate “Small Town Americana“ at this year’s 22nd Annual Bucksport Bay Festival, a three-day event on the Bucksport Waterfront and Main Street. The waterfront will play host to fireworks, dinghy races, food vendors, local craftsmen, and a full slate of local musicians on the Town Dock Stage with featured performances by Motor Booty Affair and more!  July 19-21 in Bucksport (about 30 minutes from Dirigo Pines). Click here to learn more.
  • Maine Lobster Festival: What’s more Maine than lobster? The Maine Lobster Festival is five days of fun and feasting on the fabulous coast of Maine! July 31-August 4 in Rockland (about 1 hour and 40 minutes from Dirigo Pines. Click here for details.

What’s your favorite Maine summer festival? Comment below!

Take a Hike: Fields Pond Audubon Center

Happy First Day of Summer! The weather is finally starting to cooperate, and it’s time to get outside and enjoy it. There are dozens of amazing hiking trails all around Dirigo Pines, perfect for exploring, relaxing, and taking in some nature.

Nearby at Fields Pond Audubon Center (about 20 minutes away — click here for driving directions) in Holden, you’ll find the perfect escape whether you want to hike, bird watch or just enjoy a nice picnic. The 192-acre property offers a gorgeous hiking trails in Ravine Trail, just off the parking lot, that features rock stairways and stepping stones across a small stream. The Lakeshore Trail travels over a 300-foot cedar boardwalk and offers views of Fields Pond.

If you’re a bird watcher or nature lover, you’re in luck. More than 20 varieties of butterflies have been recorded at the sanctuary, along with 130 bird species. The Maine Audubon Nature Store offers books, bird feeders, binoculars and more, as well as trail maps.

Learn more by clicking here, and visit the center for yourself this summer! The center offers fun events throughout the year, including guided nature walks, bird talks, and moonlight paddles on the pond.

Give Dad the Gift of Experience with these Fun June Events

There are lots of fun ways to celebrate Father’s Day that don’t involve a new tie. Think outside the box and give the gift of experience this year. There are lots of fun happenings all around Dirigo Pines this month — take Dad and the whole family for an outing they won’t forget.

Waterfront Concerts

Just 15 minutes from Dirigo Pines, you’ll find some of the biggest names in music (and comedy and more) performing at the Bangor Waterfront. The concert season kicks into high gear in June, featuring the Outlaw Music Festival on June 14 with Willie Nelson, Phil Lesh, Alison Krause and more. Visit waterfrontconcerts.com for tickets and more shows!

Best of the North Fest 

Beer, food and music might be the perfect trio for Dad’s gift this year. Check out this all day celebration of Maine breweries, food trucks, and fun musical tribute acts on the Bangor Waterfront. Coming June 22. Click visitbangormaine.com for details.

Whoopie Pie Festival

Speaking of great food, what’s a more “Maine” way to spend time with Dad than at the Whoopie Pie Festival in Dover-Foxcroft (less than an hour from Dirigo Pines) on June 22. Taste-test, dance, and have an all around good time with the whole family. mainewhoopiepiefestival.com

Portland Sea Dogs Game

Catch a ballgame with Dad at Portland’s Hadlock Field (2 hours from Dirigo Pines) and watch Maine’s own minor league baseball team. Sea Dogs games are fun for everyone with affordable tickets and concessions and plenty of action. For a full schedule, click here.

From Poppies to Parades — How Memorial Day Came to Be

Today we remember those we’ve lost and those who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Many people recognize Memorial Day in different ways, paying thanks to our veterans, visiting with family and remembering those we’ve lost.

Here are a few things you might not have known about this special day and how it came to be:

  • Also known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the U.S. observed every year on the last Monday of May. But did you know the holiday was held on May 30 from 1868 to 1970?
  • Some believe that the annual cemetery decoration practice began before the American Civil War. Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are still held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South.
  • On June 3, 1861, Warrenton, Virginia was the location of the first Civil War soldier’s grave ever to be decorated, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper article in 1906. However, Boalsburg, Pennsylvania promotes itself as the birthplace of Memorial Day, after ladies decorated soldiers’ graves on July 4, 1864.
  • In April 1865, following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and after more than 600,000 soldiers of both sides died in the Civil War, memorialization took on new significance. Under the leadership of women during the war, an increasingly formal practice of decorating graves took shape. In 1865, the federal government began creating national military cemeteries for the Union war dead.
  • In 1868, General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.
  • In 1915, following the Second Battle of Ypres, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a physician with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, wrote the poem, “In Flanders Fields.” Its opening lines refer to the fields of poppies that grew among the soldiers’ graves in Flanders. In 1918, inspired by the poem, YWCA worker Moina Michael attended a YWCA Overseas War Secretaries’ conference wearing a silk poppy pinned to her coat and distributed over two dozen more to others present. In 1920, the National American Legion adopted it as their official symbol of remembrance.
  • On May 26, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson designated an “official” birthplace of the holiday by signing the presidential proclamation naming Waterloo, New York, as the holder of the title. This action followed House Concurrent Resolution 587, in which the 89th Congress had officially recognized that the patriotic tradition of observing Memorial Day had begun one hundred years prior in Waterloo, New York. The village credits druggist Henry C. Welles and county clerk John B. Murray as the founders of the holiday.

Register by Friday for The Heart of the Pines Golf Tournament!

The cost is $60 per player, with 4-person teams. The fee includes a cart and lunch. And lots prizes will be given out during lunch following the tournament!

All proceeds will go to the American Heart Association.

To register, contact Laurie Cates at 866-3400 or email lcates@dirigopines.com. Register by May 3!

Interested in sponsoring? Sponsor a hole for just $75! Contact Laurie. All proceeds will go to the American Heart Association.

Join Us for the Heart of the Pines Golf Tournament!

Join us for senior living at its finest! Dirigo Pines is pleased to host The Heart of the Pines Golf Tournament on Saturday, May 18 at Hidden Meadows Golf Course in Old Town.

Tee time is at 8 a.m. The cost is $60 per player, with 4-person teams. The fee includes a cart and lunch. And lots prizes will be given out during lunch following the tournament!

All proceeds will go to the American Heart Association.

To register, contact Laurie Cates at 866-3400 or email lcates@dirigopines.com. Register by May 3!

Interested in sponsoring? Sponsor a hole for just $75! Contact Laurie. All proceeds will go to the American Heart Association.

Lunch and Learn Series from Rudman Winchell

Join Rudman Winchell on Friday, March 15 for another Lunch & Lunch event. This time they’re focusing on Understanding Workplace Accommodations. Anne-Marie Storey will discuss religious and disability accommodations and provide employers with guidance on how to handle such requests, including how to determine whether a request is reasonable and whether alternatives exist, how to properly respond to such a request, and the importance of remaining consistent in workplace policies.

This presentation will take place Friday, March 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Machias Savings Bank Community Room at 581 Wilson St. in Brewer.

And stay tuned for our next featured presentation with Rudman Winchell coming up on Tuesday, April 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. We’ll be hosting an Advanced Health Care Directive Workshop right here at Dirigo Pines.

You can reserve your spot today by calling Dawn Spinney at 992-2302 or emailing dspinney@rudmanwinchell.com.