Take pride in Maine’s natural beauty and get outside to celebrate with your neighbors during the 2012 Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, Friday-Sunday, March 2-4. To find an event near you, visit greatmaineoutdoorweekend.org. The website includes a Google map of Maine showing where events are taking place that weekend.
Events just a short drive from Bangor:
- Penjajawoc Grasslands on Fox Hollow Road in Bangor is hosting “The Frozen Marsh Experience” at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 3. People can join the Bangor Land Trust and hike across the wintry fields and frozen bog, to a site known for beaver lodges and muskrat dens. Pack your camera.
- Fields Pond Audubon Center at 216 Fields Pond Road in Holden is hosting a family fun day starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 3. The activities include nature walks, crafts with natural materials and a scavenger hunt. The event is free, though donations to support the center are welcome. Free snowshoe rentals will be available for the “Get Started Snowshoeing Tour” from 1-2 p.m. If there isn’t enough snow for snowshoeing, the tour will run as a hike instead.
- Blue Hill Heritage Trust is leading a family fun day at Blue Hill Mountain at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 3. Snowshoes will be provided for those wishing to participate in a snowshoe walk.
- Tanglewood 4-H Camp and Learning Center in Lincolnville is kicking off the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend with a nature walk with experienced naturalist Ron Joseph 8:30-10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 2. Participants should meet at the camp gate. (Joseph retired to mid-coast Maine after a 33-year career as a Maine wildlife biologist. His interest in nature took root on his grandparents’ small dairy farm in central Maine. Today, he leads field trips for conservation organizations throughout the state.) Also on Friday, 3:30-5 p.m., Tanglewood education staff will be on hand at the camp gate to offer goodies and activities to kids of all ages. And people are invited to explore Tanglewood’s extensive trail system throughout the weekend.
- Maine Coast Heritage Trust offers a tour of the trust’s 83-acre Blue Horizons Preserve on Mount Desert Island starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 3. MDI Regional Steward Billy Helprin will lead a winter ecology and natural history exploration of the forest and shoreline. Participants will meet at the Maine Coastal Heritage Trust office in Somesville and car pool the 3 miles to the preserve. The office is located on the east side of Route 102, 0.25 miles north of the junction of Route 102 and Route 198/3. Depending on snow conditions, the event will be a snowshoe or walk.
- “Sap-to-Syrup: Tree Tapping,” an event for learning how to tap trees, will start at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, at Aldermere Farm at 70 Russell Ave. in Rockport. The 136-acre farm is owned and managed by Maine Coastal Heritage Trust as a working farm and educational center. Registration is required. Call 236-2739 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Explore Ragged Mountain on snowshoes with the Coast Mountains Land Trust at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 3 on the trust’s Nordic Ski Trail in Camden. The trail originates from the Camden snow Bowl parking lot and climbs through the woods on the eastern side of the Camden Snow Bowl before heading south and looping through the 325-acre portion of the trust’s Ragged Mountain Preserve. The loop is approximately 3 miles long. Dogs are not permitted. The Camden Snow Bowl is located at 20 Barnestown Rd.
- A timber harvest tour of Appleton Preserve will be led by Mark Vannah, a licensed forester with Robbins Lumber Company, and Jay Astle, Georges River Land Trust Stewardship Program Manager, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 3 in Appleton. One of the primary objectives of this timber harvest is to demonstrate responsible forest management techniques while improving a state-designed deer wintering area. The preserve is located on Route 105 (Camden Road), 0.25 mile from the intersection of Route 131. Parking is available at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife lot on Route 105, adjacent to the St. George River. For information, call 594-5166.
- Explore the snowshoe and ski trails and learn about the making of maple syrup at The Sugar Shack at 501 Barnes Rd. in Albion starting at 9 a.m. on Sunday, March 4. The event is presented by the Sebasticook Regional Land Trust. Refreshments will be provided. Reserve a pair of rental snowshoes from the trust by calling 948-3766 in advance.
Don’t forget to check out the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend website for more events. If you know about any other neat outdoor events happening that weekend and would like to display them on this blog, add them to the comment below.