We're blessed here in New England, particularly in Maine, with ample places to go to enjoy an up-close-and-personal experience with nature. And now, those of us in Central Maine (and those who travel to Central Maine) have a new nature walk to check out!

For years we have all been familiar with Augusta's popular Viles Arboretum. According to their website, the arboretum has been around since 1982. And Viles, along with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, has always had a mission of "providing educational, recreational, and inspirational opportunities through the conservation of land and the cultivation of trees and other woody plants from around the world."

And 'the Arboretum' isn't just a place where we've all gone over the years to walk through nature and explore different plants and trees on a school field trip, it's also a place where many of us have gone to have family photos taken.

Yes, the place is so beautiful that it makes the perfect backdrop for your fall-time harvest photos with your family.

Viles, Google Earth
Viles, Google Earth

Now, according to the Kennebec Journal, the famous nature destination has a new experience! The newspaper is reporting that the Viles Arboretum recently opened a boardwalk at the 224-acre facility.

This new boardwalk aims to help visitors get a closer look at the arboretum's wetlands.

The KJ reports that Viles used funds from the Bureau of Parks and Lands, as well as other fundraising efforts, to pay for the new boardwalk.

Weeks Oliveri, whose husband is the former arboretum director, told the Kennebec Journal in part,

“It’s a bonus because so many people don’t like to get out where it’s wet. And you really shouldn’t be walking on a wetland, so it gives the opportunity to see a wetland without damaging it or without getting bothered (by the wet). It adds another dimension to the place.”

There was a ribbon cutting that took place at the arboretum on Saturday as the facility unveiled the new 520-foot boardwalk which is featured on the northern edge of the property.

The total cost of the nearly tenth-of-a-mile boardwalk? According to the KJ, $157,480. Getting even closer to all nature has to offer right in our own backyard? Priceless.

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