May 28, 2018
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Recreation news


Canoe tours, trail walks

OLD TOWN — Hirundo Wildlife Refuge will offer free guided canoe tours and trail walks this summer to explore the natural history of the plants and animals that inhabit the streams and forests of this region.

Hirundo Wildlife Refuge is a 2,400-acre nature preserve located eight miles northwest of Old Town on Route 43. The refuge spans Pushaw and Dead streams and encompasses vast wetlands including domed bog and maple and juniper swamps, mixed hardwood and evergreen forests and a forest pond.

Naturalist Gudrun Keszocze will lead the tours.

The canoe tours will offer basic canoe instruction and explore the plants and wildlife found in Pushaw Stream. Come enjoy this unique ecosystem and learn about the diversity of bird, aquatic plant communities and conservation issues and efforts and observe mammal behavior in the tranquil beauty of the refuge.

Canoes, paddles and life jackets will be provided. Meet at the parking lot at Gate 3. Reservations are requested.

Guided canoe tours are scheduled to begin on Sunday, July 10. They will be held at 9 a.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sundays, except for July 17.

On Sunday, July 17, there will be a canoe and rescue skills clinic 12:30 -3 p.m., so only one guided canoe tour will be held at 9 a.m.


Additional times may be reserved upon request. To make your reservation, call Gudrun Keszocze at 944-9259, or Fred Bryant at 827-2230.

Also beginning in July, the refuge will offer guided trail walks at:

• 6 p.m. Wednesdays.

• 9 a.m. Fridays.

• 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Other times for group tours are available on request. The naturalist will lead participants along some of Hirundo’s many wooded and stream-side trails, and share her knowledge of many topics including vernal pools, stream ecology, forest succession, nesting birds and native snakes, all nonpoisonous. Look for the sign along Route 43 directing you to the refuge.

Visitors are welcome to visit the refuge and explore trails on their own, 9 a.m.-sunset seven days a week.

Visit for a trail map and directions.

Children’s triathlon

ORONO — Eastern Maine Medical Center, the University of Maine and Kohl’s Cares for Kids will present the third annual Cub Tracks Youth Triathlon on Sunday, Sept. 25. As in the past, this year’s Cub Tracks Youth Triathlon is a competitive, yet friendly, event for ages 7 to 13.

The backdrop of the University of Maine offers athletes a scenic and fun course that winds through the campus, including the Wallace Swimming Pool, the Alfond Track and Field and the university’s bike paths.

The cost is $20 per child, and each participant must be accompanied by an adult. Parents or guardians stay on-site during the race.

To register, visit

Preregistration is required. There will be no registration on the day of event. The triathlon starts at 1 p.m., but all participants are asked to attend a mandatory pre-race meeting at noon.

For more information, call 973-4600.

Canoe and rescue skills

OLD TOWN — An instructor from Maine Bound Outdoor Adventure Center at the University of Maine will lead a clinic on canoe and rescue skills 12:30-3 p.m Sunday, July 17, at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, 35 Hudson Road, Route 43.

The clinic is free. Preregistration is requested by July 15 at 944-9259 or 827-2230. For directions, visit

Golf tourney fundraiser

OLD TOWN — The Old Town High School hockey players will trade their hockey sticks for golf clubs on Saturday, July 16, during the 11th annual Golf Scramble at Hidden Meadows Golf Club in Old Town.  

The event will be hosted by the Friends of Old Town High School Hockey, and all proceeds will support the team. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m. with shotgun start at 8 a.m. Registration fee is $50 per player, $200 for a team of four. Carts are guaranteed for players registered and paid by July 9.

Try to win an Old Town canoe kayak, a family membership to Hidden Meadows Golf Course or a Taylormade club. To support the team, get a team together, donate a prize or sponsor a hole for $100.  For more information, contact  Laurie Miller at, or visit Hidden Meadow Golf Course at or call 827-4779.  

Conservation Trust Day

ORLAND — Join Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust on Sunday, July 10, for its annual meeting and a day of fun on the Dead River in Orland.

Meet at 10 a.m. at Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery for a paddle or hike to the Great Pond Mountain Wildlands Dead River property. Paddle from the hatchery up the Dead River to watch wildlife and enjoy the scenery, stopping at the Wildlands picnic point for refreshments, or take a round-trip hike of about 2 miles to the same spot. The hike is moderate with one steep section.

GPMCT will provide light refreshments. Bring a bag lunch if you like, and bring water, sunblock and insect repellent. Options will be available to hike up Great Pond Mountain from the picnic site. If you choose to take a drive on the Dead River property, the gate will be open for the morning. It is half a mile past the fish hatchery on Don Fish Road.

The annual meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. that day at Alamoosook Lakeside Inn in Orland with a dessert potluck followed by officer elections, awards, an update on the year’s activities, and a brief presentation from Jim Dow of Blue Hill Heritage Trust on its conservation focus areas and ecological study by Janet McMahon. Call 469-2008 or email for more information.

Memorial golf tournament

ORONO — The first Ryan J. Thomas Memorial Golf Tournament will be held at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, at Penobscot Valley Country Club. Presentation of prizes and dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m.

The tournament will have a shotgun start and a scramble format. The registration fee is $400 for a foursome, including greens fees, golf cart, barbecue and putting green.

Sponsorships are: tee, $500; course contest, $750; dinner, $1,000; and presenting, $3,000.

Ryan Thomas died on Jan. 2, 2009, after a lengthy battle with bone cancer. His strength and selflessness have inspired family and friends to start the Ryan J. Thomas Memorial Fund to help cancer patients with the hardships of treatments, raise money for cancer research and sponsor educational scholarships.

Send registration to Ryan J. Thomas Memorial Fund, 47 Colonial Road, Westbrook 04092, or register online at

Medicinal plant walk

HOLDEN — Fields Pond Audubon Center will hold a medicinal plant walk and and blending workshop with master certified herbalist Jessi Sader, 1-4 p.m. Saturday, July 9. The cost is $25 members, $30 others. Advance registration and payment are required at 989-2591.

Fundraising golf tourney

ORRINGTON — The third Bobbie Marecek Memorial Scramble is dedicated to the memory of  Roberta J. Marecek, who died in 2007 after a battle with cancer and leukemia. Proceeds will benefit the Breast Cancer 3-Day event, benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The tournament starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 9, at Rocky Knoll Country Club. The cost is $220 per four-person team, which covers 18 holes of golf, a cart, lunch and prizes. Sponsorships are available. For information or to sign up, call 949-7381 or email

Boat-building Challenge

BELFAST — The National Boat-building Challenge will return to Belfast on Saturday, Aug. 20, during the Belfast Harbor Fest, sponsored by Belfast Rotary Club. The competition was deemed a success in Belfast in 2007, 2008 and 2010, and has been held in South Carolina for the past 21 years.

The challenge involves two-person teams building a 12-foot wooden skiff in under four hours, followed by a rowing race. Teams are judged on how quickly they complete construction, quality of craftsmanship and speed on the water in the two-man relay rowing race.

For the $150 entry fee, each team receives plans and building materials, a workspace and competes for a $300 first place prize, $150 for second place and a $50 gift certificate for third place. Teams provide their own tools, worktables and oars, which can be made beforehand.

The competition will begin at 10 a.m. at Steamboat Landing in Belfast. Admission to the festival is free. Organizers said the National Boatbuilding Challenge is fun to watch.

For more information or to register, visit or call David Crabiel at 322-5805.

The Belfast Harbor Fest is a weekend event celebrating all things marine. Friday night a “Launch Party” kicks off the festival with music, food and locally brewed beer. In addition to the boat-building challenge, Saturday will feature a 5K race, pancake breakfast, a children’s area and a classic boat show. Nautical-related vendors and exhibitors will display their wares and give demonstrations on crafts and trades.

A Habitat Lobster Gala will be held noon-3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21. Tickets are $25 for the fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County and may be obtained by calling the office at 338-2344.

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