These 9 Easy Hikes Near Bangor, Maine are great if you want to stay in the area for an easy or moderate walk through the woods.
Bangor, Maine is located 2 hours North of Portland, and about an hour northwest of Bar Harbor. It is not a big travel destination, unlike many other parts of the state. Because of it’s proximity to many coastal tourist towns and Acadia National Park, many people stay in Bangor simply for the cheaper lodging. Even so, the area’s natural beauty should not be overlooked!
Bangor and some surrounding towns have a plethora of land trusts and preserves that have done an excellent job providing property for the public to enjoy. These 9 easy hikes near Bangor, Maine truly are easy. They are not mountainous hikes or to any destination, really. These are meant to be local and peaceful walks through the forest. (If you want grand and mountainous, Acadia National Park is just an hours drive away.)
I find the simple and uninterrupted walks through nature are often underrated and forgotten. My goal with this list is to make sure that doesn’t happen. Enjoy!
1. Walden Parke Preserve, Bangor
Distance: 5.2 miles of networked trails
Pets: Yes – leashed on Blue Trail Loop only
The Walden Parke Preserve encompasses over 400 acres of beautiful forest and wetlands. The property abuts the Bangor City Forest, and some of the trails cross between the two, creating a huge natural wonderland accessible for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing.
The main loop – Blue Jay Trail – is about 2 1/2 miles long, with smaller trails cutting through the middle. It is an easy hike with a small section of elevation gain. Leashed dogs are allowed on the Blue Jay Trail only.
This preserve contains large beaver wetlands and several additional habitat types including hardwood and softwood forests in varying stages of maturity, vernal pools, and a portion of Caribou Bog. Woodland flowers bloom here in the spring, and blackberries can be found in the fall. Listen closely to hear ruffed grouse thumping on the forest floor as you hike the trails. This is one of my favorite hikes near Bangor, Maine!
2. Central Penjajawoc Preserve, Bangor
Distance: 2 mile loop
The double loop trail through Central Penjajawoc Preserve weaves narrowly through dense woods and marsh near Walmart on Stillwater Ave. The 265-acre preserve is quiet and less congested than other popular trails in the area like the Bangor City Forest.
A narrow, but fairly level, 2-mile trail composed of two loops is open to foot traffic only. No bikes or pets are allowed, but skis and snowshoes are okay in the winter.
The trail begins alongside a good stand of tamarack trees — golden at the right time of the year — and passes a wide variety of trees, wildflowers, ferns, mosses and lichens. At its far end, the trail crosses a field of milkweed to access a scenic view of Penjajawoc Marsh which attracts an abundance of birds, especially during the spring and fall migrations.
3. Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden
Distance: 2.3 miles of networked trails
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Maine Audubon Centers are my favorite places to enjoy nature throughout the state. The Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden is one reason why! It features a variety of habitats including a 191-acre pond, and a 229-acre sanctuary with trails winding through field, wetland, forest, and lake shore.
Various trails are ideal for nature study, wildlife-watching, walking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The trails range in difficultly from level, mowed fields to steep rocky trails. Mowed paths through the fields are flat and easy to walk in the summer and offer the some of the highest diversity of butterflies in the Penobscot Valley area.
The wide array of diverse habitats in one area makes it a sanctuary for wildlife. The property provides year-round habitat for wildlife ranging from small salamanders and tree frogs to more than 130 bird species, to bear, and even moose!
4. Bangor City Forest, Bangor
Distance: 17.5 miles of networked trails
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Pets: Yes, leashed only
Rolland F. Perry City Forest encompasses more than 680 acres of wildlife habitat and working forest in Bangor, Maine. It features more than 4 miles of access roads and more than 9 miles of trails for running, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. It is owned by the city of Bangor and open throughout the year.
There are 18 separate trails that network together to make a seemingly infinite number of possible routes throughout the forest. Couple that with the fact that it is adjacent to the Walden Parke Preserve and connected to the North Penjajawoc Preserve, and the hiking possibilities are endless.
Trails vary in length and difficultly with more than 4 miles of gravel access roads providing flat easy walking and more than 9 miles of “secondary” trails for running, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. The hill connecting to the southern access of the forest was once a town dump, but now affords a scenic view and great sledding in the winter time.
5. Orono Bog Walk, Orono
Distance: 1 mile loop
Difficulty: Easy, wheelchair accessible
The Orono Bog Boardwalk is a premier destination in the Bangor/Orono area for persons wishing to experience the beauty and fascinating plants and animals of a Maine bog. The 1-mile boardwalk loop trail begins at the forested wetland edge in the Bangor City Forest, and after 800 feet crosses the Orono town line into the portion of the Orono Bog owned by the University of Maine. Along the way the boardwalk passes through a wide range of changing vegetation and environments on its way to the open, peat moss carpeted center of the Orono Bog.
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. This is certainly one of the most accessible hikes near Bangor, Maine.
6. Buck Hill Conservation Area, Veazie
Distance: 2 miles of networked trails
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
The Buck Hill property has a variety of habitat types, including several periodically mowed fields, streams and 53 diverse forested acres. The American Chestnut Foundation planted the American chestnut trees near the main trailhead in the spring of 2005, and continue to manage them.
Most trails are mowed or maintained as wide, easy walking paths with gentle terrain. Beware, however as some areas with narrower trails and steeper pitches exist. No motor vehicles allowed on trails.
7. Jeremiah Colburn Natural Area, Orono
Distance: 3.5 miles of networked trails
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Trails at Jeremiah Colburn Natural Area meander over roots and rocks through the old, mostly pine tree stands on the property.
Several fun features exist on the trails, including an enormous white pine called “Big Old Tree,” which provided the inspiration for the Orono Land Trust Logo. Additionally, the so-called “Pineapple Tree” features a pine and an apple tree growing intertwined together. Lastly, the “Porcupine Tree” is recognized by the huge pile of porcupine droppings at its base.
The property is also a great place to look for wildflowers and birds. A stream runs through the center of the property. Additionally, at the eastern end of the property, Sally’s Field is mowed annually to maintain a field habitat.
8. Ecotat, Hermon
Distance: 1.3 miles of networked trails
Ecotat Gardens and Arboretum is an 88 acre site consisting of about 15 acres of gardens interplanted with mostly non native trees and shrubs, many with permanent labels. Mature second-growth native trees cover a gentle slope extending from the gardens to the marsh below. This is one of the only hikes near Bangor, Maine that has an extensive garden on the same property!
Several trails descend from the gardens into the woods and interconnect with cross paths. A 3/4 mile native tree trail highlights 30 mostly mature specimens with descriptive signs. A laminated guide is available for the tree trail as are other guides to all trails, current perennials and shrubs in bloom as well as garden highlights.
9. Reeds Brook Trails, Hampden
Distance: 2.1 miles of networked trails
Reeds Brook Trails is located in the heart of Hampden, Maine. A collaborative effort between community volunteers and several organizations allowed the development of these trails to happen.
The trails are intended to be accessible multipurpose (non-motorized) four season recreational trails for all members of the greater Hampden community. All non-motorized activity is welcome, including skiing, running, biking, walking, and snowshoeing. Follow the green loop twice for a 5K cross-country ski or running course.