Three Maine Roads Where You’re Likely To See A Moose
A common question here in Maine: "Where can I see a moose?" If you travel these roads you'll have a fair chance at seeing one of Maine's most iconic critters.
Tourists and Mainers have at least one thing in common, seeing a moose is always a special moment. That is of course that you're not traveling full-send around the corner of a winding road, and boom...there's Bullwinkle. If you set out to scout for moose here are some places and tips to increase your odds of seeing these elusive members of the deer family.
Our criteria for selecting these roads stem from both personal experience traveling these roads for the past 30 years, and Maine DOT data. A few years ago, the Portland Press Herald created an interactive map of moose crashes in Maine using available Department of Transportation data. We selected roads that won't take you off established routes. Logging roads are excellent moosey vantage points for both hunters and nature watchers, but require the correct vehicle and knowledge of the particular road system. We want to give our readers an easy way to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures. Plus, these drives are a beautiful way to take in Big County views.
May and June are very active months for moose in Maine. But spring through the summer months are all active times of the year for most animals in Maine. Moose are mostly active at dawn and dusk. Their fur is a dark brown color, which can make them difficult to see, especially at night. Moose are often so tall that their eyes won't reflect vehicle headlights.
Traveling historic Rt.1 takes drivers along the Maine coast all the way to the Crown of Maine. The area of interest for moose peeping begins at the Aroostook County line. While the occasional moose sighting is possible throughout Washington county, (or basically anywhere in Maine) the odds increase beginning near the town of Orient. A dramatic uptick in moose sightings is north of Presque Isle to Fort Kent.
This is a VERY moosey road. The road winds through thick forests, wide-open hilltop summits, and oceans of farmland. It's a beautiful and oftentimes remote drive. Drawing from personal experience on this road, moose sightings really begin to become frequent north of Mt. Chase. Between Portage Lake and Fort Kent is probably the busiest stretch of road for moose. While DOT data shows few crashes, there's probably been A LOT of close calls. The photo above was taken just off Rt. 11 in Winterville Plantation.
While this road is the shortest stretch of road we're recommending, there are a lot of moose along the route. Also known as New Sweden Rd., or Caribou Rd., Rt. 161 travels from Caribou to Fort Kent. Moose sightings uptick from the area of Madawaska Lake, north to Fort Kent.
Note that moose are wild animals, so we can't guarantee you'll definitely see them along these roads. But your chances are certainly better in these areas, probably than any other place in Maine. If you see a moose remember to give it plenty of space and view from a distance.