Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn Sarnacki

Outdoors Reporter

U.S. combat veterans Todd Rogers of New York (from left), Cecil Thayer of Ohio, Sean Gobin of Virginia, Matthew Donnelly of Pennsylvania and Jesse Swensgard of Ohio stand on Baxter Peak on Mount Katahdin on Sept. 12, 2014, after completing the 2,185-mile Appalachian Trail through the Warrior Hike "Walk off the War" program. Gobin, founder of the program, supported the team during their long trek from Georgia to Maine.

‘Walk off the War’ veteran hiking program finds support in Maine, continues to expand

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Sept. 19, 2014, at 10:41 a.m.
Under blue skies, five U.S. combat veterans picked their way over the rough granite of Katahdin on Sept. 12, to complete their 2,185-mile hike of the Appalachian Trail. As participants of the “Walk off the War” Warrior Hike program, these men chose to embark on the arduous wilderness journey as …

Tackling your dog’s fears, from thunderstorms to balloons

on Sept. 18, 2014, at 10:42 a.m.
Is your dog deathly afraid of anything? If so, what? I posted that very question on Facebook recently, and the responses I received were all over the place — fireworks, baby wipes, balloons, the basement, lobsters, ear ointment, tall men, books, belts, firearms, antlers and bird feeders. To dog owners, …
Find the Rabbit Trail in the Bangor City Forest to find the "Crazy Camo" geocache, which is listed by specific GPS coordinates at

BDN geocache travel bug arrives in Texas

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Sept. 17, 2014, at 1:16 p.m.
Last August, I hid a box in the woods of Bangor, and in it, I placed a small treasure. But it didn’t stay there long. Today, that “treasure” is hidden in a residential area in Killeen, Texas. It got there in the hands of strangers, people who probably will never …

Joys and challenges of being a Maine environmental steward

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Sept. 17, 2014, at 10:09 a.m.
Julie Winzler, Maine Conservation Corps environmental steward of the Bigelow Preserve, talks about her job maintaining public campsites and teaching the public how to responsibly enjoy the wilderness.

Taking care of 36,000 acres no easy task

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Sept. 17, 2014, at 8:39 a.m.
“I don’t know what that is,” said Julie Winzler, eyeing a charred piece of trash before dropping it in a bag. Leaning over a fire pit, she continued to pluck out bits of tinfoil and beer cans. It may not be glamorous, but as environmental steward of Bigelow Preserve, it’s …

Biologists discuss increasing bear populations at northeast conference

on Sept. 16, 2014, at 3:08 p.m.
The growing black bear population in the northeast was a main topic of discussion at the Northeast Black Bear Technical Committee meeting on Aug. 27 and 28 in Front Royal, Virginia, according to a press release recently issued by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. For this annual two-day …

1-minute hike: Essex Woods in Bangor

on Sept. 16, 2014, at 11:36 a.m.
Difficulty: Easy. The main trails are wide, gravel and mostly smooth, making much of the trail network accessible to off-road strollers and wheelchairs. How to get there: To reach the main entrance, start at the intersection of Stillwater Avenue and Essex Street in Bangor. Drive 0.7 mile on Essex Street …

1-minute hike: Essex Woods in Bangor

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Sept. 16, 2014, at 11:27 a.m.
BDN reporter Aislinn Sarnacki explores the trails of Essex Woods in Bangor and discovers some local wildlife on Sept. 14, 2014.

Talk show host Bill Maher endorses referendum to ban bear baiting in Maine

on Sept. 15, 2014, at 3:02 p.m.
While visiting Portland to perform his stand-up act at Merrill Auditorium this weekend, famous comedian and television host Bill Maher issued a statement in support of the referendum to ban the use of bait, dogs and traps to hunt black bear in Maine, according to a press release issued today by Mainers …

Kingfisher, merlin and sandpipers, highlights of recent Bangor outings

on Sept. 15, 2014, at 10:25 a.m.
A series of loud honks announced the arrival of Canada geese to the Essex Woods wetlands on the morning of Sept. 12, a sunny day with an unmistakable crispness of autumn in the air. The geese were flying south, and the wetlands were just a pitstop. I watched as they circled …
Two white-tailed deer pause at the edge of the woods on March 8, 2013, beside Indian Point Road, less than 0.5 mile from the entrance to Indian Point Blagden Preserve on Mount Desert Island.

Islesboro considers hiring sharpshooter to cull deer, reduce Lyme disease risk

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Sept. 11, 2014, at 2:23 p.m.
The island of Islesboro has long been known for its booming deer population, making it a popular place for hunters. But in recent years, residents have become concerned that the high number of deer — more specifically, the ticks the deer carry — are the cause for a spike in …
O2X co-founder Peter McCullough wraps flagging tape around a tree at Sunday River to mark a race route that will be a part of the Sept. 27 Sunday River 02X Summit Challenge.

New off-trail mountain race O2X Summit Challenge coming to Sunday River

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Sept. 10, 2014, at 2:38 p.m.
A new type of adventure race is coming to Maine, and it’s designed to challenge athletes with the state’s rocky, rugged terrain. At Sunday River on Sept. 27, racers will gather for the O2X Summit Challenge, a timed footrace that will lead participants through natural obstacles — rivers, cliffs, rockslides …

New mountain race O2X Summit Challenge coming to Sunday River

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Sept. 10, 2014, at 2:30 p.m.
A new off-trail mountain race, the O2X Summit Challenge, will be hosted at Sunday River on Sept. 27, 2014, and will challenge racers with natural obstacles such as rivers, cliffs, rockslides and thick forests as they climb to the top of the mountain range.

1-minute hike: Mount Will in Bethel

on Sept. 09, 2014, at 10:27 a.m.
Difficulty: Moderate-strenuous. The loop trail on Mount Will is about 3 miles long and climbs to the top of the mountain, which rises about 1,700 feet above sea level. Though trail signs (added up) indicate the loop is 2.6 miles in total length, the town of Bethel has measured the …

1-minute hike: Mount Will in Bethel

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Sept. 09, 2014, at 10:24 a.m.
Bangor Daily News reporter hikes the 3-mile loop trail to the ledges of Mount Will in Bethel for a view of the Androscoggin River Valley and western Maine mountains on Sept. 3, 2014.
The eighth annual Pedal the Penobscot had record participation Sunday, when 225 bicyclists showed up at the Bangor Waterfront for the event.

Pedal the Penobscot draws record number of cyclists to Bangor Waterfront

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Sept. 08, 2014, at 5:05 p.m.
The eighth annual Pedal the Penobscot Road Ride attracted 225 bicyclists to the Bangor Waterfront on Sunday. Participation in the late-summer ride has continued to grow over the years. Last year, 208 registrants participated. The ride is a fundraiser for the Bangor Land Trust, which has conserved more than 800 …

Where in the woods am I?

on Sept. 08, 2014, at 9:18 a.m.
I headed to western Maine last week to cover an exciting outdoorsy story, and while there, I took a few hours to hike a small mountain with ledges that provide great views of the area. See if you recognize this hike by viewing the some of the photos I took while …
A screen shot of the live audience at the television town hall debate on the upcoming bear baiting referendum on Sept. 4, an event co-sponsored by the BDN and CBS13, WGME, in Portland.

Fiery debate on bear hunting underscores heated campaign on Question 1

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Sept. 05, 2014, at 2:33 p.m.
Opinions clashed and debate turned heated Thursday during a fiery television town hall debate about the future of black bear hunting in Maine. The public debate, held in Portland, was co-sponsored by the BDN and CBS13, WGME. In light of the upcoming bear referendum — Question 1 on November’s ballot, …

A surpising variety of wildlife found near the Bangor Mall

on Sept. 04, 2014, at 12:42 p.m.
The constant roar of traffic blended with birdsong as I walked along the even gravel path. Looking up and to my left, I watched cars speed past on Interstate 95. Turning to my right, a wetland stretched out before me — murky water, lily pads, skeletal dead trees and cattails. …

1-minute hike: Shore Acres Preserve on Deer Isle

on Sept. 02, 2014, at 11:41 a.m.
Difficulty: Easy. The 1.5-mile loop trail travels over fairly even terrain to several scenic locations along the shore. The trail is well-traveled and marked with blazes. Be careful of exposed tree roots and rocks. How to get there: From Route 15 in Deer Isle, turn onto the Sunshine Road at …
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