Orono Land Trust: Orono High School Land and adjacent trails
This is fourth of a series.
A gem of a property is owned by the Town of Orono, cared for by the Orono Land Trust, and right in the center of town.
Behind the Orono High School football field is a wooded property with many trails and the school’s ropes course. The trails are mostly high and dry on this property and have been greatly improved by volunteers and by students who use the trails for cross country and skiing. The trail system extends onto the adjacent privately owned property which has a conservation easement held by OLT as of December 2002.
The town property has a vernal pool known as Lost Pond. This vernal pool completely dries out in summer and produces many salamanders and wood frogs in the spring. Another private landowner granted a conservation easement to OLT in November 2006. This adjacent land also has a vernal pool called “The Frog Pond.” This pool does not usually dry out and produces even more yellow and blue spotted salamanders and wood frogs than Lost Pond.
In spring, the town property has many lady slippers along with trillium and other wildflowers. A beautiful beech grove is surrounded by oaks, birches and pines. Signs of deer and bear can be found. This area welcomes walkers, joggers and bicyclists.
In snowy weather, The area is groomed for skiing by the Penobscot Valley Ski Club. Spur trails are available for snowshoers and a connector trail parallels I-95 all the way to Dirigo Pines on Kelly Road. This preserved area can be accessed behind the Orono High School football field (park in the school parking lot). There are two trailheads there. The property can also be accessed off Forest Avenue across from the Cota Land (near Shadbush Lane).
Trail maps can be downloaded at: www.oronolandtrust.org. OLT is an All-Volunteer Accredited organization. Membership dues help OLT maintain trails. Please become a member online.