It's literally the crown of the Queen City.

When I was a little boy, I went to Hilltop pre-school on Ohio Street, which is still there today. Often, when my mom or one of my grandparents would come to pick me up, I'd ask them to drive me past the Thomas Hill Standpipe. It was fascinating to me as a kid. When you're 5 years old, it looks like it's a million feet tall.

New York City, Empire State Building, 5th Avenue
Daniel Caja
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In fact, I assumed it was as tall as the Empire State Building. At that age, you have no reference for anything. In reality, it's only 110 feet high. Which is indeed, significantly shorter than the Empire State Building. But I have to say, the views form the top are nearly as spectacular.

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Tour dates for the Standpipe have been released for 2024.

It's a tradition around these parts, to climb the 100 steps to the top and soak in the amazing views from the tallest spot in Bangor. Especially in the fall. The foliage views are just over the top. Which is why they did away with the winter tours a couple years back, to allow for an additional fall tour.

visionsofmaine
visionsofmaine
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Basically, the winter one had to be help in the middle of the day, and didn't really offer much in the way of views, other than a snow-covered Bangor. Not to say that isn't lovely, but most people long for those crazy-awesome foliage views.

This year's tour dates look like this, according to the Bangor Water District:

  • May 15 (Weds)      3 – 6 p.m.
  • July 17 (Weds)       4 – 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 2  (Weds)       3 – 6 p.m.
  • Oct. 16 (Weds)      3 – 6 p.m.

Are the tours open to everyone?

Short answer, yes. However, there is no handicap access to the promenade deck at the top. So if you can't climb the stairs yourself, you're out of luck. But other than that, it's open to everyone. There are 100 stairs total, that wind around the standpipe, so it'll take a minute. But the views are worth it every day of the week. There is no charge.

Focussed runner man jogging on stairs
Circle Creative Studio
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By the way, parking is extremely limited in the immediate vicinity of the Standpipe, which is located on Thomas Hill Road. If you're able, you may find the experience more pleasant if you park a block or two away. Other than that... the first visit isn't far away. See you there in May...

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