Northern Pond Natural Area (Monroe)
Northern Pond Natural Area is a town-owned property in Monroe which has a remote feel despite being close to Bangor. The area has approximately 2.6 miles of trails that run through forested wetlands.
The trails are covered with fallen pine needles, which created a nice quiet path on which to hike. There were no other people at the preserve while I was there, but there were abundant birds to keep me company.
The solitude of the area made me appreciate its preservation - it would be easy to undervalue the worth of such property since Maine has abundant woods and waters, but as more and more of these lands are being developed, public access is diminishing.
Boots are definitely recommended as part of the trail's wooden bridges were partially submerged due to snow melt. Here is a map of my hike. Care should be used when driving to the preserve as the road leading to it is deeply rutted and muddy. All wheel or four wheel drive is highly recommended.