Saturday, November 30, 2019

Bucksport Waterfront Walkway

Today was a beautifully sunny (but cold 20 degree) day so my son and I went to Bucksport to take photographs of the waterfront area. 

The Bucksport Waterfront Walkway is a 1.2 mile paved path running along the Penobscot River with views of Fort Knox, Verona Island and the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.  There are multiple access points along the trail.  Not surprisingly because of the cold, we saw few people along the path.

Here is a map of our walk.

View of the walkway with the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Fort Knox across the river.
This rock was in a small stream running under the path.  Ice was just beginning to form around its perimeter.
The marina docks have been removed from the water for the winter.

The tracks along the waterfront are no longer in use.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Eagle Bluff North Summit and Parks Pond Bluff Trail

I visited Eagle Bluff North Summit and Parks Pond Bluff Trail today.  Both hikes are listed in AllTrails and given their close proximity and relatively short distances, it worked well to combine them on the same day.  Here is a map of both trails on one map to show their relative location.

Eagle Bluff North Summit

Eagle Bluff was amazing.  The area is managed by the Clifton Climbers Alliance and is well known for rock climbing.  The trail to the summit was relatively steep but short and afforded incredible views of the surrounding area.  After descending from the summit, I hiked around to the base of the cliff to see the climbing area, which was similarly impressive.  Here is a map of Eagle Bluff.

View from the summit

Recent snowfall made the trees look magical!

View out from the summit

View of the trail near the summit

View looking up from the base (note the climbing anchors)

View from the base.
The trail leading to both the summit and the base had a special winter wonderland feeling that pictures cannot properly convey.

Parks Pond Bluff Trail

Parks Pond Bluff Trail was significantly easier than Eagle Bluff and provided excellent views of Parks Pond and the surrounding area.  The trailhead is not marked and were it not for the directions from the AllTrails app I would have likely never found it.  Here is a map of Parks Pond Bluff.

Someone built this snowman at the summit.  If I were a snowman, this would be the place to be (until I melted and plunged off the side of the cliff)

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Hike at Penobscot Shore Preserve (Prospect)

This year I'm having a pretty low key Thanksgiving, so decided to take a hike at the relatively new Penobscot Shore Preserve and enjoy the fresh fallen snow.  The preserve is managed by the Coastal Mountain Land Trust and was established in 2017 thanks to a generous land donation.  It features a short 1 mile loop trail leading through woods and down to the shore of the Penobscot River.  The trail is well blazed and has new signage.  Here is a trail map of today's hike.

Its hard to hike on Thanksgiving and not think about all that I have to be thankful for in my life - my health, healthy and happy kids, good family and friends, and a good job.

Hiking through the preserve also made me consider how thankful I am for people such as Elizabeth Wemett - whose land donation made this preserve possible - and the many land trusts throughout the state that are actively engaging in promoting and managing similar preserves.  The Penobscot Shore Preserve consists of 47 acres of waterfront property with 1,800 feet of forested shorefront which could have easily been sold for development, but instead Ms. Wemett chose to gift the property and preserve the land for others to use.

For more information on the Coastal Mountain Land Trust, visit

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Hirundo Wildlife Refuge (Old Town)

A friend of mine recommended visiting Hirundo Wildlife Refuge and I'm glad I did.  The refuge consists of forests and fields adjacent to Pushaw Stream and has an extensive trail system.  Many of the trails have interpretive signs along them, educating visitors on a wide range of nature related topics.   There are a number of bird houses throughout the refuge and several benches to sit and enjoy the sights and sounds.

I saw no other people during my hike, possibly due to it being early on a 25 degree Sunday morning.  The refuge had a silent, remote feel to it broken only by the sound of running streams and an occasional bird.  

The trails varied from gravel to grass to wooded and were mostly flat.  There were abundant trail markers and signage throughout.  Some of the trails were muddy and icy so boots are definitely recommended.  I hiked on the north trails; there are additional trails on the south side of the refuge.  

Here is a map of my hike.  For additional information about the refuge, you can visit it's website here.   

There were a number of interpretive signs, including some with sample objects.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Hermon Recreation Trail

My younger son, dog and I visited the Hermon Recreation Trail today as we had limited time and this is close to our home.  We found this trail on the AllTrails app. 

The trail connects Hermon High School with Hermon Elementary School and consists of a flat, wide, well-maintained gravel path which runs through a forest.  At various points along the trail there are interpretive signs describing the trees.  The total roundtrip distance was approximately 1.7 miles.

We parked at the high school, where there is ample parking.  A large portion of the trail was covered with ice today but it was manageable.  Here is a map of our walk.

Overall this was an enjoyable easy walk.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Katahdin Woods and Waters (Matagamon Gate)

I did a solo 10+ mile hike today at the north end of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.  I hiked from the Matagamon Gate to Haskell Hut and back.

It was cold (7 degrees when I started, 25 when I finished), which may have explained why I didn't see anyone else the entire time I was at the park.   The snow on the trail was around 3 inches deep, too low for snowshoes but enough to make the hike a challenge.

The hike provided great views of the mountains within Baxter State Park and traversed a scenic forested area.  Based on the tracks that I saw, there is abundant wildlife including moose, coyote, lynx and other mammals and birds.

Haskell Hut is not yet open for the winter season, but the view from outside of it was beautiful. 

Here is a map of my hike.

View from outside Haskell Hut

Haskell Hut

Monday, November 11, 2019

Saxl Park (Bangor)

Saxl Park is a large open grassy field located near the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center in Bangor.  There are mowed paths through the fields and because they are flat, the paths can get quite muddy.

My son was volunteering nearby so I decided to walk until I had to pick him up, despite the light falling snow.

Here is a map of my walk.  

Saxl Park is a big grassy field.
Just in case one picture of grass wasn't enough, here is another.

Brown Woods (Bangor)

My son and I were in Bangor and wanted to get a quick hike in between errands and before it started to rain and snow. Brown Woods was a great choice as it was nearby but still provided an opportunity to connect with nature.

We hiked on the 3/4 mile loop and back loop trails.  The trails are flat and well defined and despite being in Bangor have a remote feel to them.  

Here is a map of our hike.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Carter Nature Preserve (Surry)

My son was volunteering at an event in Surry so I decided to go for a walk at the nearby Carter Nature Preserve, managed by the Blue Hill Heritage Trust.

This is a mostly flat preserve that winds through a coniferous forest and along a coastal shoreline.  The trail is well maintained and there is parking in two separate lots.  It's possible to make a loop although it requires a short amount of on road walking. 

Here is a map of my hike.

Hatchet Mountain Preserve (Hope)

Hatchet Mountain Preserve in Hope is managed by the Coastal Mountains Land Trust and features a 1.3 mile (roundtrip) trail up a series of switchbacks. 

It was 19 degrees when I started my hike this morning.  The trail up is narrow but well defined and offers great views of the surrounding countryside, including several coastal mountains. 

Here is a map of my hike.


Ice crystals on the trail.