The forecast this weekend calls for sun, a few clouds and crisp fall air. In other words, it’ll be great time to be outdoors. If scrambling for something fun to do, there’s are a lot of outdoorsy events and activities being hosted throughout Maine this weekend. Here are a few options:
– Attend the grand opening of the Mariaville Falls Preserve in Mariaville, about 20 minutes north of Ellsworth. The event is at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3, at the trailhead, followed by a guided walk on the preserve’s moderately difficult woodland trails to the dramatic stair falls. Click here for directions to the trailhead and more information about the preserve.
– Participate in the Goosepecker Trekker Hike-A-Thon in Freedom, about 20 minutes inland from Belfast, running from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3, starting at the Freedom General Store. The event, hosted by the Sheepscot Wellspring Land Alliance, is to raise funds for land conservation and trails. Registration is $25 and includes lunch, and participants are asked to raise $50 through sponsors. The hike is 3.5 miles over Goose Ridge on a trail maintained by the Sheepscot Wellspring Land Alliance, however, shorter, family-friendly hikes will also be planned for that day. For information, visit swlamaine.org/get-involved/goosepecker-trekker/. Click here for a video, description and photos of Goose Ridge.
– Show off your pup (or go rescue a pup that needs a home) at the 22nd annual Paws on Parade hosted by the Bangor Humane Society from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Bangor Waterfront. This is a major fundraiser for BHS, which is where I found my dog, Oreo. The theme this year is “Anything is Pawsible,” and the event will include vendors, a pet costume parade and a raffle. Register online at pawsonparade.kintera.org, in person at the humane society, or at the event.
– Learn about otters from Maine Coast Heritage Trust steward Kirk Gentalen, who has spent the last 10 years learning about Vinalhaven Island’s river otter population, then join him on a tracking walk at MCHT’s Western Head Preserve in Cutler, where he recently located a new otter den, on Saturday, Oct. 3, in Trescott, about 20 minutes east of East Machias. The event starts at the Cobscook Community Learning Center at 10 Commissary Point Road in Trescott Township and will last from 9 a.m. to noon. For information, call 733-2233 or visit cclc.me.
– Live a little history and explore the forest trails during Living History Days, the largest event of the year for the Maine Forest and Logging Museum at Leonard’s Mills, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, and Sunday, Oct. 4, at 17 Leonard’s Mill Road in Bradley. The event will include 1790s demonstrations and an encampment, sawmills in operation, a 20th Maine Civil War encampment, wagon rides, a Lombard log hauler running on steam, bean hole beans and more. It’s $10 for adults and $5 for children. To get an idea of what the property and the trails look like (not on Living History Days), click here for a video and photos. For information, call 974-6278 or visit maineforestandloggingmuseum.org.
– Learn about foraging for mushrooms safely with state mycologist Seanna Annis, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge in Old Town. For information and directions, visit hirundomaine.org or call 394-2171. Bring a lunch! Suggested donation is $15.
– Get artsy outdoors and attend the Acadia Art Adventure, 1-3 p.m. Satuday, Oct. 3, at the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, 9 Atterbury Circle, in Winter Harbor. Meet in the Eliot Hall Courtyard to join an artist-in-residence or a park ranger to learn about a current art project, then try your hand at creating your own work inspired by the coastal landscape. Basic materials will be provided. Bring water, wear suitable shoes for uneven trails, and be prepared to be outdoors in any weather! This artsy outdoors event will also take place on Saturday, Oct. 10 and Saturday, Oct. 17. And from there, you can hop over to the Ranger’s Choice Program, running 3-4 p.m., at the Schoodic Woods Amphitheater in the park. The program may include a short easy walk, an activity or a demonstration, usually having to do with local ecology, geology or history. Call 288-1310 to find out the topic of the day. For more information about both programs, visit schoodicinstitute.org. If you haven’t visited the mainland portion of Acadia National Park yet, which is home to some new biking and hiking trails, this is a great opportunity. You can spend a whole day exploring this beautiful section of the park in Winter Harbor.