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Hiking the Penobscot Watershed



If you ask us, autumn is Maine’s most beautiful season – the days are cool and crisp and the Technicolor foliage is on full display. What better way to spend a fall day than enjoying a hike within the Penobscot River watershed?


The Penobscot River is the longest river in Maine, and second longest in all of New England. The west branch of the river originates near Penobscot Lake close to the Maine-Quebec border, and the East Branch of the river starts near the headwaters of the Allagash. The result is a watershed that covers an area of 8,570 square miles – that’s a lot of room to hike!


Spanning such a large swath of the state, the watershed is also home to Maine’s Baxter State Park and our tallest mountain, Mt. Katahdin. You may be familiar with Katahdin's famous Knife Edge and Cathedral trails, but did you know that Baxter State Park offers hikers access to over 220 miles of trails crisscrossing its 235,000 acres?


And, if you're looking for something more laid back and close to home, there are some great walking trails along the Penobscot in Bangor and Brewer!


Our friends over at the Brewer Land Trust have worked hard to create a family-friendly park area along the river. The Brewer Riverwalk is a half-acre park that features walking paths, a children’s garden, and a waterfall. The planned expansion of the Riverwalk is slated to be ready by December.


Just across the river, Bangor is home to several trails perfect for hiking, running, cross country skiing (winter is coming!), and mountain biking. The Kenduskeag Stream Parkway winds its way through downtown all the way to the waterfront and is a great area for walking your dog or picnicking at one of the many picnic areas. Looking for waterfront views on your walk? Bangor’s Penobscot River Walkways runs along the river through Waterfront Park between Union Street and Railroad and Front Streets.


This fall while you’re out walking, hiking, biking, skiing or running along the Penobscot, think about how you’d like to see the river continue to improve – are there trails that could be expanded or picnic areas to be cleaned up? We’d love to hear your ideas! Shoot us an e-mail at penobscotrivercoalition@gmail.com.

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