We visited the coolest place yesterday. If I, for some reason, woke up in this forest and had no idea where I was, I would guess that I was in Florida or Costa Rica or some tropical location like that. I had no idea someplace like this existed in Maine. To what am I referring? The Bangor City Forest, of course.
There’s an interesting characteristic that belongs to the cities in Maine. While they may seen popular and congested while you’re driving through them, there’s rarely anything behind the storefronts and plazas. Woods and trees fill the voids around here and it doesn’t take long to exit the city streets to return to the middle of nowhere. It’s actually very cool and I love this feature of the area.
Bangor leads to nowhere in all directions. It’s a city up in the northern part of the state and, if I’m not mistaken, is the last real populated area south of the Canadian border. Well, there’s Orono I suppose. We’ll just call that part of the Bangor region.
We visited Bangor yesterday for some business. While there, Laura and I thought it would be fun to take a quick walk around part of the Bangor City Forest. The forest consists of traditional “woods” trails (a few miles worth) and a boardwalk through a bog (the Orono Bog Boardwalk). I wondered what the bog was all about and since it was only about a mile long, I suggested we give that a shot.
Let me tell you, our visit was totally worth it. I couldn’t believe how absolutely cool the boardwalk was. I wasn’t expecting our visit to be an adventure at all, but I can now say that those who visit Maine, and especially the Bar Harbor/Acadia region (because this park is on the way), should totally visit this place. It’s almost like an excursion at Disney World. It’s that nice.
Take a look at the entrance to the bog boardwalk. Remember, this isn’t part of the rest of the trail system. This boardwalk is separate and unto itself. These are informational booths as well as displays for the sale of some gear.
This is the cabin where the park stores the goods they sell. There was a girl working her shift there in the porch, watching over everything and making sure it was okay.
After walking through this neat little entrance area, we began our trek on the actual boardwalk. This was a surprise. The boards looked brand new and led straight through a jungle.
The biggest surprise was that there was water running under our feet. I saw it as I looked over the edge of the boardwalk. It was just trickling, ever so lightly. I didn’t even know it was there. It was running through all the plants and around the trees. I felt like I was in a terrarium.
After a little while, the jungle began to thin and we entered more of a pine tree area. You can see these pines in the next photo, in the distance.
After the pines, we walked into the bog itself. This is an interesting area. There were park signs every hundred feet or so, that explained what the area was about. As it turns out, we were walking on over ten feet of peat. It was all squishy and was super-saturated with water. The trees were very small and it felt like we were on another planet.
This first photo is actually three or four that I merged as one. I got the height I wanted by doing this.
After we walked the loop, we made our way out. I had to snap a few more photos at this point, so here they are. The first one is of the trees as they began to thicken and the second is the boardwalk again. I can’t get enough of that thing.
And that’s it! The next time we go, which will be in a month or so, I’m hoping the weather is a little cooler. It was hot and humid yesterday and the bog was practically steaming. I’ll take loads more photos next time and I’m sure they’ll be better than this go round. Thanks for reading!