Thanks to selective thinning, many of the old-growth eastern white pines in Brown Woods have been preserved. These trees tower over lovely loop trails which total a mile in length.
The trail begins from two entrances at the parking area, allowing hikers to loop in either direction through forested wetland, along the Main Loop Trail, or optionally continuing on the Back Loop Trail, which also provides access to a spur trail to a pond. Along with the tall pines, there are tree species such as larch, northern white cedar and siberian elm. The delicate and beautiful pink lady slipper can be found here in the spring; just be sure to look and not touch, as they are relatively rare. The the forest also includes a stand of hardwoods including northern red oak, american beech and paper birch, with areas of bracken and Canada mayflower (wild lily of the valley) beneath.
In a clockwise direction, the Main Loop continues straight (left) at the first trail juction; to the right is a narrower path with a footbed of leaf litter cutting through the center of the trail network. At the next juntion, the short Back Loop heads downhill to the left, off of which is a packed dirt side trail leading to a small pond bordered by exposed rock. The pond's shore is a great spot to sit and take a break or look for frogs in the water. A trail heading north from the pond leads toward a residential area and is not part of this trail system.
Back on the Main Loop after completing the Back Loop, the trail travels under balsam fir with a carpet of blue-bead lily and eastern starflower. The trail passes by the narrower path (on the right) cutting through the center of the network, and then continues under many more tall pines. There is a small clearing through which the trail becomes somewhat grassy at its edges just before returning to the parking area.
The Main Loop and Back Loop are accessible via wheelchair; the Pipeline Trail, the spur trail to the pond, and the path cutting through the cener of the loop are narrower and have a surface of dirt and leaf litter. The Main Loop and Back Loop are about 7-feet wide, with a surface of gravel, packed dirt, and pine needles. There are sometimes roots and rocks sticking up from the otherwise flat surface.
The Main Loop is of mostly easy grades, with a couple segments that have a grade of up to 6%. It is narrower at its two entrances from the parking lot, closer to 4 feet wide, and with a couple large rocks near the southern entrance with about 3.5-foot between them, and with encroachments by grass near the northern entrance narrowing the gravel to about a foot or two of gravel, with the grass beyond this at the edges on either side.
The Back Loop slopes down towards its far end and back up again, in both directions, with a maximum grade of 12%.
Visit Bangor Parks and Recreation online for more information or contact:
From I-95 Northbound: Take Exit 184 in Bangor to Ohio Street. Continue straight across Union Street (it appears you are going back onto I-95), and bear right to come out on Ohio Street. Turn left onto Ohio Street and go 2.0 miles. The Brown Woods parking area will be on the left.
From I-95 Southbound: In Bangor, take Exit 184 to Union Street. Take a right onto Union Street and go 1.2 miles, turn right onto Griffin Road; go 0.8 miles on Griffin Road then turn left onto Ohio Street. Go 0.7 miles on Ohio Street, the Brown Woods parking area will be on the left.
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