Bangor City Forest
Known affectionately to local riders as "the dump" or "the bog," the trails at Rolland F. Perry City Forest and Walden-Parke Preserve are a hidden surprise.
Less than two miles from the perfume counter at Macy's department store at the Bangor Mall lays an intricate web of rocky, rooty singletrack and easier double track trails, all contained within nearly 1,000 acres of wildlife habitat and working forest. This mountain bike network winds through towering spruce and pine trees, past pristine ponds and along narrow rocky ridges. Need to gear up before your ride - it's just a 5-minute drive from a Starbuck's latte.
The easiest way to access the trails is to park at the end of Kittridge Road, just off Hogan Road. There you'll see a field resembling a half dome-literally the capped former city dump. Over this sloping hill you pass birdhouses where red winged black birds fly about and down past an iconic beaver dam leading to the trail network.
There's something for every rider: from the smooth gravel path of Deer Trail to the rocks and roots of Bear trail to the woodsy path of Woodchuck. (This network, including the smooth West and East trail, is popular with walkers and runners, so be considerate.) In general, you get classic Northeast single track-lots of rocky, rooty trails.
Cross over to the west side of the old Veazie Railroad bed, and you enter the Walden-Parke Preserve, owned by the Bangor Land Trust, a 300-acre habitat that includes hardwood and softwood forest, vernal pools, and a large bog. Through the woods lies a series of less technical single track, but lots of fun, flowy loops through thick swaths of trees, along the edges of the bog, on top of rocky outcrops.
Unlike at city forest, the mountain bike trails are not marked, but local riders or the group at The Ski Rack, located just off the Hogan Road, can direct you to excellent trails: Charlie's trail or Ianazzi's or Hayden's.
For more information, check out www.cityforest.bangorinfo.com or www.bangorlandtrust.com.
And enjoy this wild place so close, yet so far from the Bangor Mall.