BDN photo by Aislinn Sarnacki A visitor walks along the Orono Bog Boardwalk, surrounded by skunk cabbage and ferns at the edge of Orono Bog on May 14, 2013. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki | BDN photo by Aislinn Sarnacki

The Orono Bog Boardwalk opened for its thirteenth season at 7 a.m. this today — Monday, June 29. The grand opening celebration included a ceremony in memory of Bill Glanz, a University of Maine professor and Boardwalk bird tour leader who passed away last year, according to a press release about the event. The new boardwalk section 151 has been sponsored in his name.

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The boardwalk, which typically opens earlier in the spring, opened late this year because it is being reconstructed, section by section. Volunteers have worked more than 1,000 hours since October 2014 to remove and replace sections 106-203 of the boardwalk, including two wheelchair turnouts and two interpretive stations. While the old boardwalk was constructed of wood, these newly-installed sections are constructed of composite decking with cladded aluminum siding and stainless steel footings and are expected to last for many years.

To learn more about this project and to view a video of the boardwalk, click here.

The next phase of boardwalk reconstruction project will begin as soon as the fund raising campaign has reached its goal. About 90 percent of the funds need to complete sections 204-252 plus two wheelchair turnouts have been raised. Upon completion of this phase, the project will move it to its final phase of fund raising and reconstruction, according tot he press release.

The Boardwalk is located in the Rolland F. Perry (Bangor) City Forest, where it wends its way through forested wetland and out onto a broad, open peat bog. Jointly managed by the Orono Land Trust, the City of Bangor and the University of Maine, the boardwalk first opened in June of 2003, and since then, it has been visited by almost 300,000 people.

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The bog that the boardwalk visits is home to many different plant and animal species, including summer wildflowers, carnivorous plants and nesting birds. Seven interpretive stations along the 1-mile boardwalk help visitors interpret their surroundings.

The boardwalk is wheelchair accessible and numerous benches are located along the route, making it an ideal trip for families.

The boardwalk is free of charge and open from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. seven days a week during the summer, with hours adjusting for day-length changes in autumn.

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A volunteer staff maintains the boardwalk and provides information and education for visitors, including school and community groups. Its operation and maintenance are funded entirely through donations, sales of boardwalk merchandise, and grants.

For information about the Boardwalk, or to volunteer or contribute to the reconstruction campaign and continued operation of the Boardwalk, please visit umaine.edu/oronobogwalk/ or e-mail jim.bird@umit.maine.edu or call 866-2578.

Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn Sarnacki is a Maine outdoors writer and the author of three Maine hiking guidebooks including “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine.” Find her on Twitter and Facebook @1minhikegirl. You can also...