ORONO—Getting bogged down by your day-to-day responsibilities? Hop in the car and get out of the Midcoast for a day to explore The Orono Bog Boardwalk. Set the GPS for 54 Tripp Dr, Bangor, ME 04401, the entrance of Bangor City Forest. For some reason, there is no sign at the Forest entrance, so keep a close eye on your destination. There, a short walk leads to a cabin in the woods and an orientation kiosk. To the right of that is the one-mile boardwalk loop trail with seven zones.
The 616-acre Orono Bog is a National, Natural Landmark of Maine and a perfect hike for folks who might have trouble navigating hills, roots, and rougher terrain. The wooden boardwalk is perfectly flat and walkable the entire way with plenty of built-in benches every 200 feet along the way, as well as interpretive stations at each zone to show what kind of forested wetlands, peatlands, vegetation, and wildlife can be seen at each vantage point.
In early summer, wildflowers are still blooming, along with skunk cabbage and cinnamon ferns. Along the walk, the bog opens up into wooded shrub heath, low spruces, scattered dwarf spruce, and Tamarack. Aside from the natural beauty and the serenity of the walk, the site is particularly interesting for its geologic history. Just touching the red, wet bog and its spongy texture will give you an appreciation for this multi-layered ecosystem, which is part of the Caribou Bog complex in Penobscot County, Maine
The 4,200-foot long boardwalk allows hikers to take a left or a right once the forest canopy clears—either way will get you on the loop all the way back to the parking lot.
For more information, visit The Orono Bog Boardwalk Facebook page
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org