Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Ecotat (Hermon)

I've visited Ecotat twice before (see and   Today I visited Ecotat again, this time with my younger son after work.

A light drizzle was falling and the preserve's trails were muddy in parts and snow covered in other sections, but we had a fun visit nevertheless.  Here is a map of our hike.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

UMaine Trails - Emera Center to Park Street

My sons and I walked the UMaine trails between Park Street and the Emera Astronomy Center today.  UMaine has many miles of trails throughout its campus, and with the University closed due to the coronavirus, the campus was significantly less crowded than usual.   

The path between Park Street and the Emera Center is paved and runs through a wooded area and adjacent to residential housing.  The total roundtrip distance was a little over a mile from the parking lot to Park Street and back. 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Fields Pond

My sons and I hiked the ravine trail at Fields Pond Nature Center today.  Fields Pond is a nature preserve owned and managed by the Maine Audubon Society and consists of 229 acres of woodland and grassy fields.  Trails are well marked and well maintained. 

Here is a map of our hike.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Dorothea Dix Park (Hampden)

Dorothea Dix Park is a local park in Hampden that provides walking trails through woods and views of the Penobscot River.  This is a nice local park that affords the opportunity to get outside without having to travel far.

My kids and I hiked down to the Penobscot River today.  It was a beautiful day and the park was not at all crowded.

Here is a map of our hike.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Bald Mountain Sunrise (Holden)

I hiked Bald Mountain this morning to watch the sunrise.  I've hiked Bald Mountain on a number of occasions but usually in the afternoon and have never ventured over to the east side of the mountain.  The trail to the summit is approximately 3/4 of a mile but is very steep, and today there was still ice on portions of the trail (ice cleats are highly recommended this time of year). 

Here is a map of my hike. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Bangor Waterfront

I did a quick 1.5 mile pre-dawn run this morning along the Bangor Waterfront.  The park has a paved path that runs along the Penobscot River and during summer evenings is a great place to listen to concerts at Waterfront Pavilion.  This morning I only saw one other person (another runner) during the time I was there.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Great Pond Mountain Wildlands, Oak Hill (Orland)

Today was the forth time in the past year that I've hiked Oak Hill in the Great Pond Mountain Wildlands. This is an enjoyable hike that is close to home and offers a great workout and fantastic views.

The trail starts at the intersection of Valley Road and Route 1.  There is a parking lot and kiosk at this location.  The hike could be shortened on summer weekends as Valley Road is open to vehicle traffic at that time. 

Today was a sunny 30 degree day.  I had the trail to myself on the hike in, and only encountered a group of three people as I was nearing the parking lot at the end of my hike. 

Here is a map of my hike.


Saturday, February 29, 2020

Veazie Historic Dam Site

The Veazie Historic Dam site is a small park located along the Penobscot River in Veazie at the former site of the Veazie Dam.  The park has a number of interpretive signs that explain the human and natural history of the site and provides excellent views of the Penobscot River.  

My older son and I visited the park today to do photography.   Here is a map of our hike.

Hermon Recreation Trail and ITS84

The Hermon Recreation Trail is a 2 mile trail that connects Hermon High School with the elementary school.  It's a wide trail that passes through woodlands.  I last visited the trail on November 23, 2019 with my son.

Today the trail was covered with firmly packed iced over snow.  I worn ice cleats and walked atop the snow without sinking in.  Having started my hike at 6 am in 14 degree temperatures, I had the trail to myself.

ITS 84 is a snowmobile trail that bisects the Hermon trail approximately 1/2 mile in.  I walked a little in each direction until I could see houses and then turned around.  I did not see any snowmobilers on the trail.  

Here is a map of my hike.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Howard Mendall Wildlife Management Area (Frankfort)

I've driven past the Howard Mendall Wildlife Management Area countless times but today decided to stop and explore it on my way back from Fort Point. 

There is a short 1/4 mile path that leads from 1A to the South Branch Marsh River.  Most of the path can be driven by a four-wheel drive vehicle.  The preserve provides nice views of the river as well as surrounding mountains. 

Here is a map of my walk.


Fort Point State Park (Stockton Springs)

I visited Fort Point State Park today to watch the sunrise. I last visited Fort Point in August with my son to watch seals (  It was significantly warmer at that time.

The main road leading into the park is closed in the winter so to access the park you can use the alternative parking lot located at the end of Lighthouse Road. 

The park provides excellent views of the water, forested trails, a pier, a beach area (very strong currents), a historic fort and a lighthouse.  

Here is a map of my hike.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Sunkhaze Meadows NWR, Johnson Brook Trail

Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge consists of 11,484 acres of forest, peatland, and streams.

The Johnson Brook Trail is a 4 mile trail on the east side of the refuge featuring woods and wetlands on relatively flat terrain.  From the parking lot, it starts as a relatively wide trail but narrows after the first stretch of trail.  The trail today was covered with several inches of snow so I elected to snowshoe.  Parts of the trail are raised boardwalks presumably to cross wetland areas that today were covered in snow.  The northwest tail section of the trail was not well maintained with several downed trees making travel difficult.

Here is a map of my hike.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Essex Woods (Bangor)

I visited Essex Woods in Bangor today and hiked the Loop, Molly Lane and Jennifer Lane Trails.   Essex Woods consists of approximately 70 acres of forest and wetlands and includes a sledding hill and dog park.  The area is popular for hiking, sledding and mountain biking. 

The park lacks a remote feel due to its proximity to I-95 but offers a convenient place to hike within the city. 

I visited today to see if it was possible to hike from Essex Woods to Bangor City Forest along the old Veazie railroad bed, but there is private property separating the two parks and no trespass signs posted. 

Here is a map of my hike. 

The old Veazie Railroad bed, now the Molly Lane Trail

View of the sledding hill across the marsh, adjacent to I-95

The Jennifer Lane trail runs adjacent to I-95
Sledding hill from the top
Loop Trail

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Ecotat (Hermon)

The last time I was at Ecotat, it was August and my son and I spent an hour exploring the gardens and taking pictures of flowers and insects.  We hadn't explored the trails at that time. 

Today I returned solo, enjoying the fact that the weather had warmed substantially since the morning (it was minus 16 when I woke up and by the time of my afternoon hike had warmed to a balmy 19 degrees above).  I hiked on the outer perimeter trails for a little over 0.8 miles.  The trails were not marked, although they appeared to be clearly delineated and there were signs at trail intersections.   There was only one set of footprints which appeared a few days old.  There was, however, a large number of animal tracks throughout the preserve. 

Here is a map of my hike.

There are a number of interpretive signs throughout the preserve.