Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Now that it is officially summer, we are excited to announce that our disc golf course will be opening next week! We have been hard at work putting the final touches on the course. We finally have all of the tee boxes built and are just clearing the last bit of underbrush before we open the course up to the public. We have yet to decide on a grand opening date, but we are hoping it will be in late July. We need a little time to straighten out all of the potential kinks in the system.
Our partner in crime during this whole process has been an amazing design company by the name of Explore Disc Golf. Brian Giggey, the owner of the company and designer of this course, has been working closely with all members of our team for the past few months. He has helped us put together a rather challenging 9-hole course that will include one of the longest holes that he has designed, 625 feet.
Here is an excerpt from his blog talking about our course. 'The current layout of the front 9 measures more than 3,300′ long with large changes in elevation and “turtleback greens” on several holes. While length off the tee will play a key role on this course, players must be precise with their shot making as proper disc placement will lead to high percentage opportunities. Several of the holes feature pinched fairways and small landing areas, like the 207′ 7th hole seen below. This “swing hole” will shoot over the corner of a dry retention basin — easily dishing out as many double bogeys as birdies before two tough finishing holes bring players back to the outdoor recreation center and popular on-site marketplace to grab some food before heading home.' – Brian Giggey
Along with opening the actual course, we will also be opening the Outdoor Center. It will be our pro shop for the summer months and will be open from 9 am to 7 pm. We are getting our first shipment of discs from Innova this week and will have the shop open and ready for business next Monday, July 6th. We will be charging $5/round and $8 to play all day with $1 disc rentals, with a portion of the proceeds helping to support our VAST (Veterans Adaptive Sports and Training) program!
Disc golf is a great way to get the whole family out and active during the summer months. Come play at Pineland Farms and enjoy amazing views of the farm! Keep an eye out for the official grand opening weekend dates and events to follow.
Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Pineland Farms would like to thank all of our readers for staying up to date and enjoying our weekly posts about our outdoor recreation programs! Pineland Farms is such a wonderful place to spend time with family and friends and we appreciate your support.
This past week and the week ahead of us are going to be some of our hardest manual labor weeks of the summer. Our entire crew of 11 people, have been and will continue to be out on the Oak Hill trail network, clearing underbrush and any dead trees that came down over the winter. It is a big undertaking but we are excited to see the end result. One of our main goals this summer is to clear this type of underbrush on all of our trails. We know that not only does it make for a more aesthetically pleasing walk/bike/run/jaunt through the woods but it is also a lot safer. We are very excited knowing the benefits of our hard work will be visible come winter time. We all know that beautiful look of a snowy forest with nothing but tall trees. We hope that this will be the case this winter. The added benefit to this clearing in the winter, is that while skiing, you will be able to see through the woods and around corners. This will aid beginner skiers and racers a like in helping them know what is to come around the next turn.
We have only just started this project, but anticipate we will be working on it in spurts throughout the summer. We ask that if you are using our trails this summer, which we hope you do, that you stay aware of our ongoing trail work. If you come across a crew, be sure to stop, look around and make sure that it is safe for you to pass. Our staff works hard to stay aware of our surroundings when working but for your safety please be sure that you are seen before crossing under a potential hazard (ex. a tree being cut down and chipped). Because of the enormity of this project we may not get to every trail, but expect some to have a much cleaner look the next time to come to visit us. We hope that you come out and reap the benefits of all of our hard work. See you on the trails!
Posted on Monday, June 8, 2015
If any of you readers have been out on our trails recently, you would have noticed a lot of cutting and clearing happening on the Access Loop. Our crew has been hard at work making this area ready for a new sport to be introduced at Pineland Farms. This summer, we are proud to announce that we will be opening a 9-hole disc golf course!
For those of you who don't know what disc golf is, it is exactly like regular golf, but instead of clubs, balls and holes, there are discs (similar to a Frisbee) and baskets as holes. For a more concise description, here is part of an article, introducing the sport, by the PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association).
"Disc golf is played much like traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a flying disc, or Frisbee®. The sport was formalized in the 1970's, and shares with "ball golf" the object of completing each hole in the fewest strokes (or, in the case of disc golf, fewest throws). A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target which is the "hole". The hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is called a Pole Hole® an elevated metal basket. As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive throw from the spot where the previous throw has landed. The trees, shrubs, and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer. Finally, the "putt" lands in the basket and the hole is completed. Disc golf shares the same joys and frustrations of traditional golf, whether it's sinking a long putt or hitting a tree halfway down the fairway, it is designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages, male and female, regardless of economic status."
"Disc golf can be played from school age to old age, making it one of the greatest lifetime fitness sports available. Specially-abled and disabled participate, giving them the opportunity to take part in a mainstream activity. Because disc golf is so easy to learn, no one is excluded. Players merely match their pace to their capabilities, and proceed from there. The Professional Disc Golf Association, with a member base of 50,000+, is the governing body for the sport and sanctions competitive events for men and women of every skill level from novice to professional. Permanent disc golf courses are found in countries worldwide."
Stay tuned for weekly updates on our progress and for information regarding our grand opening weekend! Follow this link to watch some great disc golfers play.
Posted on Monday, June 1, 2015
Now that is it officially June and despite today's rather dreary weather, summer is in full swing here at Pineland Farms. We just finished our second big event weekend hosting the very exciting Dynamic Dirt Challenge, and we are looking forward to what the rest of summer has in store. You may be doing the same, especially as school ends and activities in the great outdoors really start to call your name. Pineland Farms is a great place to come spend a summer day and one of the many activities that may catch your interest is orienteering. Not sure what orienteering is, well I am here to tell you all about it!
Orienteering is the sport of navigating in unknown terrain. Using a map and a compass, participants locate a series of checkpoints called controls. The challenge comes in determining the most efficient route around the course by interpreting land features indicated on the map. It is like a treasure hunt on the run.
Course Colors: While its roots are in Scandinavia, orienteering is an international sport with world-wide participation. Enjoyed by a wide variety of age groups and abilities, courses are color-coded to provide beginners to experts with mental as well as physical challenges.
- White: very easy, 1-1.5k in length, usually follows trail
- Yellow: easy, 1-2.5k in length, follows trails with some controls off-trail
- Orange: medium, 2-3k in length, more off-trail controls with route choices
- Red: medium, longer course of 4.5-6k
- Light green: Medium-hard, 3-4k in length, greater use of contours for controls
- Green: Hard, 3.5-4.5k in length, fine compass and contour reading skills required
- Blue: Hard, 4.5-6.5k in length, physically demanding
- Brown: Most difficult, 6.5k or more in length, advanced skills required
Orienteering is fun and challenging. For the most success, start with a beginner course and work your way up through the skills. Most orienteering meets offer clinics before the competition and will let you try more than one course.
Rules: At a local event, participants copy control points onto their map from a master map. After receiving a control description card and a control punch card, they report to the starting table to begin. The description card identifies the feature where participants will find the control at each check point, and the punch card verifies to the officials that the correct control was found. Often, the fastest route between controls is not the shortest route. Finding the best route is part of the fun. Even if you don't complete a course, it is important to always check in at the finish so that organizers know you are not lost.
Gear: When you go orienteering, it is important to remember to watch your footing and be aware of your surroundings. You will want to wear long pants if you are trying a course other than white to protect your legs from scratches or scrapes. Trail sneakers or light hiking shoes are good footwear, but don't be surprised if your feet get wet when you go off-trail. A simple compass is all that is needed to make sure your map is oriented to north. Take along some water and bring a whistle in case you get lost or injured. Remember: Always check-in at the finish when you are done.
Pineland Farms has the largest orienteering course in Maine, with 2,500 acres currently mapped. Our course has been the host site for the U.S. Night and Relay Orienteering Championships as well as the Maine Games. The public is invited to use our permanent course — we can also accommodate special, scheduled programs. To learn more about orienteering for schools and groups, please contact us.
Orienteering is a great summer activities for people of all ages, so come out to Pineland Farms this summer and try it out for yourself!