Did You Know Bangor’s Best Sledding Spot Used to Be A Dump?
Let's get the weird detail out of the way...
When I was a kid, there were a few spots around Bangor that were legendary for sledding. you could slide in front of the Bangor Theological Seminary, which was a nice gradual, dependable spot. There was also Davenport Park, on the corner of 1st Street and Cedar. In my family, we called it Rocky Dundee, because all the little bumps in the hill made you fly in every direction. Why we called it that, I'm not totally sure.
Then of course, there's Bangor's most coveted spot of all... Essex Street Hill. that seems to be what most folks call it. Which is odd, because it's at the end of Watchmaker Street, so I'm not exactly sure why it's called Essex. There's a giant dog park in there now too, but kids still come from all over when the weather allows, to take their chances on the big hill.
That area has been a lot of things over the years.
The history of the hill is kind of weird. Of course, since the 70s, it's been the king of sledding hills, but before that it was actually Bangor's own little ski slope. There was even a tow rope and a lodge and everything. And back even further, the area was a city dump, according to the BDN.
So basically, you're sledding on a giant pile of old garbage buried into the hill. Now, I'm not implying for a second that anything bad is happening. You're 100% safe sledding there. we've all been doing it for decades and no one's grown a third arm yet, so no need to worry. But it is a big trash hill, just sayin'.
But it's rad to go down the hill real fast. Like this guy:
Now it's the rock & roll hill of Bangor.
These days, the former lodge is home to Maine Academy of Modern Music. It's a collaboration with Bangor Parks & Rec, where kids play in rock bands. The spot is the practice space for the kids to rock out in. So if you hear killer rock & roll coming out of the building on the weekends, now you know why.