Hikes & Brews: Bangor City Forest and Bangor Beer Company
Just minutes from the hubbub of the Bangor Mall area and Interstate 95 is a surprisingly wild 686-acre chunk of land known as the Bangor City Forest. The property is also known as the Rolland F. Perry City Forest in honor of the former city forester, who cared for Bangor’s parks and woodlands from 1964 to 2006. Nine miles of trails wend through these big woods, which are popular with hikers, runners and mountain bikers, and in winter, are open for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Start at the Tripp Road trailhead, just off Stillwater Avenue, and follow the East-West Loop Trail counterclockwise for an easy and very pleasant five-mile circuit. A short distance along the trail is the Orono Bog, a mile-long boardwalk through a raised peat bog, and a must-do side trip (this fragile environment is closed from December 1 through April 30; so, if you miss it, plan to come back to see this ecologically rich wetland).
Oriental Jade, one of Bangor’s most popular restaurants, was established in 1979 by the Lo family. Find “the Jade,” as it is affectionately referred to by locals, in a far corner of the sprawling Bangor Mall parking lot, and you’ll have also found the Bangor Beer Company. Attached to the family’s restaurant, the brewery opened in October of 2017. Entrepreneur and co-founder, Tyson Lo, describes the decor of the comfortable tasting room as “Brooklyn in Bangor, a mix of hipster, eclectic, nostalgic and casual. A really unique place in a sea of chain restaurants.” 10-2 and Catchphrase are the flagship brews; the former, a West Coast-style IPA heady with grapefruit aroma, while the latter is a less bitter New England IPA with a creamy body. Brite is a great everyday German lager, while Killed by Death, an imperial stout, is perfect for winter sipping. Twelve taps ensure something for every palate, from the regulars to limited releases to surprise brews. Munchies? Order Chinese and American delights from next door.
Hike: Bangor City Forest – www.mainetrailfinder.com
Brew: Bangor Beer Company – www.bangorbeerco.com
— Text & Photos: Carey Kish, of Mt. Desert Island. Carey is an avid beer drinker, editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide, and author of AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast.