Hirundo Wildlife Refuge
Activities: Walking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, wildlife, birding, guided tours. Family-friendly, great for a day trip.
Location: Old Town
Region: The Maine Highlands
With over 2,400 acres of pristine natural wilderness, 7 miles of walking trails and educational activities for all ages, Hirundo Wildlife Refuge is Old Town’s best kept secret. Whether on the water or in the woods, young or old, there’s much to enjoy, learn and witness. Leave your furry pal and bikes home—this refuge works to protect the land, bird populations and other wildlife.
Hike the well-maintained trails sprawled across the diverse ecological environments. Friendly to both kids and seniors, you can witness the many swallows and other birds flitting about the wooded and open-field habitats. In the winter, you can rent snowshoes for free on Saturdays to trek through the sparkling wonderland. The interpretive stations along the trails highlight the unique features of the varying habitats. Complete your hike at an observation deck overlooking a serene pond. The seating options available allow you to have a picnic and relax to your fullest.
Paddle on the Pushaw and Dead Stream. Canoes and kayaks can be reserved for free public use on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer and fall. Free from motorized boats, you can make your way through the beautifully quiet waterways and wetlands. In the spring, keep your eye out for Osprey coasting along the water’s surface. In the fall, witness hundreds of alewives on their journey back to the ocean.
Learn about ecology and wildlife through a wide array of programs and events for all ages. Whether walking the woods on a guided tour to learn about how animals and plants adapt for the winter months, or paddling under the full moon, all your senses will be engaged at Hirundo. Kids’ sense of wonder will be sparked as they navigate this outdoor “classroom” through hands-on activities that leave screens behind.
Hungry after your hike or paddle? Head into Old Town and enjoy a mix of breakfast and comfort food at Governor's Restaurant & Bakery, or grab a pizza and other pub staples at O.T.O Maine. Just a 20-minute drive away is the city of Bangor—where’s there’s plenty of places to eat, shop and explore.
From Augusta: 94 miles
From Ellsworth: 47 miles
From Lewiston/Auburn: 124 miles
From Portland: 146 miles