May 22, 2018
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Orono Bog Boardwalk a spiritual experience for many

Brandon Woo, (kneeling) Madeline Marks and her brother Jamie match pictures of bog plants with the real plants along the Orono Bog Boardwalk. (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT)
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — A stroll on the Orono Bog Boardwalk is a 4,200-foot-long sojourn through a shadowy, thick forest of ferns, skunk cabbage and moss into sunlight. For some, it is a sacred spot. To saunter over its wooden planks is a spiritual experience.

For others, it simply is a pretty place adjacent to the city forest nestled between Stillwater and Forest avenues, fascinating because it looks so different from the tall pines and rocky shores that are synonymous with Maine.

I go there as often as I can for exercise, stress relief and renewal. I’ve tried most forms of exercise and loathe them all. I’m no outdoor enthusiast. Sitting on a lake reading a book on a summer day is my idea of real recreation.

But I am middle-aged, overweight and have a fairly stressful job, so I am supposed to exercise. I sleep better when there’s less stress in my life. As for renewal, journalists need a daily dose.

I return to this place because I always leave it with a sense of hope. As I re-enter the world, I am confident that, for the next 24 hours at least, journalism and my place in it, will be alive and well. I’m also a nicer person, although not yet any thinner.

For me, the Orono Bog Boardwalk is more than a pleasant walk, it’s a joyous journey.

Getting There

Take Tripp Drive off Stillwater Avenue to the parking lot for the City Forest. Walk the East Trail north about a quarter-mile to the boardwalk entrance. Hours: 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m. May 1-Aug. 31; 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. September; 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Oct. 1-Nov. 1; 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Nov. 2-29. Closed: Nov. 30-April 30. Online:

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