Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Maine Wildlife Park

Maine Wildlife Park sign
Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, Maine

Took the road less traveled today and landed at the Maine Wildlife Park! The last time I went to a place like this was the Catskill Game Farm when the 'kids' were small enough to fit into that witch's cauldron. OK, if you've been there, too you know it's no big deal. The Maine Wildlife Park is nothing like it. Seriously, this was the best $7 I have ever spent.

The trail map is a little hard to understand but nothing is as far away as the map makes it seem. So, just start walking and you'll eventually see everything! The trails I missed today due to threatening skies were the Tree Trail, the Game Trail and the Woodland Pond Trail. I was still blown away.

I was looking forward to the big cats exhibit and I probably could have watched the cougar all day. All of the animals in the park are in some way unable to live in the wild. When you see a cat like this one you wonder how it could come to be harmed in such a way that it now has to live in captivity.

Maine Wildlife Park cougar mountain lion
Cougar (mountain lion)

That was the one drawback. Captivity. But, these animals would not survive on their own, so this gives us an opportunity to get a close up look at the different species in Maine. (For a story about cougar in Maine, check this Down East article from 2011.)

Black bear

 If you're a UMaine Orono fan, this is your bear! And, the next bear is your bear, too, even though it isn't black!

brown black bear
A brown black bear.

After the bear habitat, I looped around to see the birds. An assortment of raptors, owls, turkeys and other birds, some definitely not native to Maine were on display.

bald eagle maine wildlife park
Bald eagle (native)

Peacock (non native)

It was a glorious day to wander through the park, even though it got very cloudy for most of the time I was there. I would definitely recommend a trip to the Maine Wildlife Park. About 2 hours would give you an excellent overview of the park. You can also pack a lunch and stay longer. Other attractions in the near vicinity are the Shaker Village and Poland Springs (the original spring and museum).

wild animals sign

How I got there from here: Turn right at the traffic light on the corner (Rt 136) and go across the interstate. Just over the interstate, bear left toward Bradbury Mountain State Park (Elmwood Rd). Stay on Elmwood to the end and turn left on Allen Rd. Go to the end of Allen Rd and go straight across at the stop sign. (Pineland Farms is straight ahead.) Take Morse Rd to the end and turn left onto Rt 202/4/100/Lewiston Rd. Go about a mile and turn right on Weymouth. Go to the end of Weymouth and turn right on Rt 26. The park is about a mile up on the right. (I find the 5-way intersection in downtown Gray to be nerve-wracking so this is a better way to go.)

There are rest rooms throughout the park. There is a small snack bar with ice cream and drinks. The nature store is over near the birds and has postcards and other small gift items.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main Street Freeport, Maine 04032

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