Difficulty: The 1-mile trail has a smooth paved surface. Change in elevation is minimal, and benches and picnic tables are spaced throughout the trail for people to rest and picnic.
How to get there: Several large parking lots for the trail are located on Front Street in Downtown Bangor, and where Front Street and Railroad Street intersect.
Information: Tracing the banks of the Penobscot River, the Waterfront Trail in Bangor measures about 1 mile long and leads through a city-owned park that features well-manicured lawns, sculptures, benches and picnic tables. This paved walkway is a popular walking route, one that sees a lot of traffic on warm, sunny days.
Due to its proximity to a major waterway, the trail is a good place to spot local wildlife, such as double-crested cormorants, bald eagles and a wide variety of ducks. Groundhogs are often found scampering around on the lawns, and visitors have spotted the occasional otter in the river.
The trail travels through Waterfront Park, where a number of concerts and festivals are held in the summer. In addition, a number of food trucks can be found at the park during warm weather.
The trail connects to the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile bike route that spans from Florida to Maine. In addition, the Waterfront Trail’s north end connects with the 2-mile Kenduskeag Stream Trail, another city-owned and maintained trail.
Dogs are permitted if kept under control at all times. Bikes are also permitted. Public restrooms and water fountains are located at the central parking area off Front Street. For more information, visit bangorparksandrec.com or call the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department at 207-992-4490.
Personal note: “Do we have anything planned this weekend?” my husband, Derek, asked me last Friday.
“Not really, no,” I answered, then added. “Well… there is this one thing I need your help with.”
I then explained that I wanted to produce a “1-minute hike” video for April Fools’ Day, and it would involve us both dressing up as dinosaurs and running around the Bangor Waterfront. Derek wasn’t phased.
That night, we tested the batteries that ran the fans in our blow-up dinosaur costumes, which I purchased online about two years ago. Each costume takes eight AA batteries to remain inflated. Ideally, you carry these battery packs in your pants pockets, though if you get too rowdy, they tend to fly out and disconnect, which leaves you floundering in the skin of a rapidly shrinking dinosaur.
It was chilly and windy on Saturday, the day of the shoot. Initially, the production crew included Derek and myself, which meant we had to set up the camera and play two parts each: human and dinosaur. But about a third of the way into our production, we were joined by Derek’s mother, Geneva, and her partner, John, who had been at the nearby Bangor Home Show. From that point on, they helped us film, which ended up being very helpful because communicating to one another in dinosaur costumes was more difficult than I’d anticipated. My breath was fogging up the clear plastic window in the dinosaurs neck, and the fan and fabric muffled our voices. Often we resorted to motioning with our stubby dinosaur arms.
Since it wasn’t a particularly nice day, we didn’t cause too much of a stir while waddling along the trail, our tails swishing through the dead grass and mud. But we did stop a few walkers, the majority of which took out their phones to snap a few photos. We also got barked at by a few dogs.
After I decided that I had enough video clips to piece together into some sort of goofy narrative, we stepped out of our bulky costumes, crumpled them into a tote bag and headed to the nearby Sea Dog Brewing Company for some lunch. If it’d been left up to me, I would have remained a dinosaur and continued our walk down Main Street in Downtown Bangor, but I think that would have been asking a bit too much of Derek that day. Another time, perhaps.