The Orono Bog Boardwalk is a 4800' long wooden walkway circling out into the middle of a peat bog. It consists of 509, 8-foot sections. Each section has a 2"x 2"x 8' rail on either side. The first 16 sections are elevated approximately 3' above the surface using wooden posts and bridging.
The Boardwalk has 7 octagonal, 10-foot wide interpretative stations that provide visitors with information highlighting the geology, plants, and animals in that particular area. Each station has 4 benches. Other benches, positioned every 200 feet, allow visitors to rest and reflect upon their journey through the bog. These benches are located on 2'x8' sections attached to a regular Boardwalk section and serve as wheelchair and stroller turnarounds.
At section 100 (800 feet in) the Boardwalk splits and forms a loop, consisting of 409 sections (or 3200 feet). The first 186 sections (1500 feet) of the Boardwalk are dominated by woody vegetation and include a variety of fern species, black spruce, larch, sedges, skunk cabbage, leatherleaf, Labrador tea, bog bean, and other plants. The Boardwalk then travels through an open bog. Most of the trees and shrubs are less than 6 feet tall with a few conifers reaching heights of 20 feet. In some areas, the Boardwalk traverses peat that is over 25 feet deep. The vegetation in this area is dominated by a variety of peat species. Depending on the time of a visit the following plants may be observed blooming or fruiting: pitcher plant, bog rosemary, rhodora, sheep laurel, tawny cotton grass, two species of sundew, bog cranberry, and four species of orchid, including grass pink and white-fringed.
The Boardwalk is a wonderful place to observe a variety of bird species. During the "warbler wave" in May, bird watchers have reported over 18 species of warbler seen and/or heard from the parking area to the Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is a reliable place to view Lincoln's sparrows in late May and early June. Keep an eye skyward when you reach the open bog and you may see a hawk species or turkey vulture. Families of ravens are present throughout the year, especially at interpretative station five.
An informational kiosk at the beginning of the Boardwalk explains the history of the Orono bog.
The Boardwalk is ADA compliant for wheelchair use. Many wheelchair users take advantage of the Boardwalk to view a northern peat bog up close.
The Boardwalk is open from May 1st to the last Sunday in November and is staffed and maintained by over 50 volunteers as well as by a paid part-time student summer intern. Since opening in June 2003 the Boardwalk has had over 250,000 visits. Every year our knowledgeable guides lead tours for school classes and a variety of organizations, including garden clubs, YMCA/YWCA, scout troops, professional groups, and others.
The Boardwalk is checked for safety at least twice a day but visitors are cautioned to obey all rules posted at the beginning of the Boardwalk.
Visitors are asked to write down their nature observation on a whiteboard at the kiosk at the beginning of the Boardwalk and also note any areas that need attention for maintenance.
Visit the Orono Bog Boardwalk online for more information or contact:Orono Bog Boardwalk
From I-95 traveling north through Bangor, take Exit 186 (Stillwater Avenue). At end of exit take a right and travel along Stillwater Avenue through the Hogan Road intersection. Continue approximately 1.5 miles to Tripp Drive. Take a left onto Tripp Drive. There will be signs for the Bangor City Forest and the Bog Boardwalk. From the City Forest parking area follow the East Trail about 0.25 miles to the Boardwalk.
From I-95 traveling south to Orono, take exit 191 (Kelly Road). At the end of the exit take a right and travel about 0.75 miles until you reach Stillwater Avenue. Take a left at Stillwater and travel approximately 2 miles to Tripp Drive. Take a right on Tripp Drive and following directions as outlined above.
If it is necessary to drive closer to the Boardwalk for reason of disability, trail users can call the Orono Bog Director at (207) 866-2578 to parking lot gate to allow driving access the additional quater-mile from the parking area to the Boardwalk. Please provide at least one weeks notice if you need the gate opened.
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