Difficulty: Easy. Benches are located at least every 200 feet. This boardwalk, along with the 0.25-mile woodland trail leading to it, is handicap accessible and great for walking strollers.
How to get there: From Bangor, drive toward Orono on Stillwater Avenue (by the Bangor Mall) and turn left onto Tripp Drive. Continue to the end of Tripp Drive. At the cul-de-sac, drive straight onto a dirt road, which will lead you to one of the Bangor City Forest parking lots. At the right end of the parking lot, a 0.25-mile, wide forest trail leads to a small building, picnic tables and kiosk. The boardwalk starts from there.
Information: The opening of the Orono Bog Boardwalk on May 1, 2012 marked the boardwalk’s 10th anniversary. The 1-mile boardwalk loop trail begins at the forested wetland edge in the Bangor City Forest, which is lined with bog maples, cinnamon ferns and skunk cabbage. After 800 feet, the path crosses the town line into the University of Maine owned section of the bog in Orono. The path leads to the open center of the bog, an area covered in peat moss, stunted vegetation, and fascinating plants such as the carnivorous pitcher plant.
Each spring, the boardwalk opens on May 1 and remains open through late November. May 1-August, it is open 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; September, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Oct. 1-Nov. 6, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; and Nov. 6-Nov. 29, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Local naturalists lead free nature walks on the boardwalk throughout the spring, summer and fall. A calendar of these events can be found at www.oronobogwalk.org/calendar.htm.
The boardwalk is jointly managed by the Orono Land Trust, the City of Bangor and the University of Maine. As of May 1, 2012, Jim Bird is the Orono Bog Boardwalk Director. Programs are run by volunteers and repair projects are funded largely through donation. In addition to the boardwalk, visitors will find 9.15 miles of additional trails for walking, running, skiing and biking in the surrounding Bangor City Forest. For maps and wealth of information on the bog, visit www.oronoboardwalk.org. Be sure to check out the bog rules at www.oronobogwalk.org/rules.htm.
Personal note: Stay quiet and you may come across a variety of birds and animals. On the opening day of the boardwalk, May 1, 2012, a snowshoe hare hopped across the wide forest path leading to the boardwalk and stayed nearby for quite some time. The plants along the boardwalk have staggering lifespans. In early spring, enjoy the skunk cabbage and sprouting ferns. And as the weather grows warmer, pitcher plants, cranberries and wildflowers will make an appearance. To get an idea of what you’ll see on your walk, visit www.oronobogwalk.org/seasons.htm.