Just about eight miles south of us, right on Rt. 26, is the Maine Wildlife Park. It’s been a family favorite of ours since Alex was born 19 years ago, and I recommend it over and over and over again to our campers.
Wild animals that are injured, abandoned or have become human dependent are housed in The Park. Most are here permanently for their safety because they couldn’t survive on their own in the wild. I could talk for hours about the positive changes I’ve seen through the years, mostly through volunteer services . . . Larger living areas for the animals; new trails; informational exhibits . . .
B and I visited The Maine Wildlife Park last week. Before my camera’s batteries ran out, we saw these cuties:
lots of deer
Through the rest of the visit, I kept whining over my dead batteries until Ben said, “You’ll just have to come back, Mom. I’ll come too, if you want.” You would have whined too, if you saw the cool stuff we did. Imagine these:
The mountain lion, sitting up tall on top of his rock, surveying his kingdom.
The coyote was sleeping, but the fisher was running back and forth, back and forth in his cage. He was bigger than I thought he’d be. And the claws on his feet . . . whoa!
The albino porcupine came out for a minute. He was kind of an odd looking fellow. Eventually, he slowly lumbered back into his log. The raccoon was adorable, though. He calmly watched everyone going by.
The eagle sat high on his perch, looking down over the turtle pond and the wetlands trail. His enclosure is relatively new, and very impressive.
The peacocks were in rare form, screeching over and over, while fanning their feathers.
At the turtle pond, Ben tried very hard to find all the species listed on the information board. I didn’t realize how many of them were endangered.
Ben and I also discovered the hawk we saw this winter was really a Cooper’s hawk. The red tailed hawk was much bigger. We also got a very close look at the Barre and Great Horned owls!
Throughout the park are signs like these:
and interactive displays like these
to help educate and entertain.
There’s three different trails you can wander along, too. The Tree Trail identifies the different varieties of Maine trees. The Game Trail challenges you to find as many different animal silhouettes as you can. And the wetland trail offers a chance to see birds (Ben saw a veriole!), turtles and fish.
I recommend you bring a picnic lunch. There’s a nice pine grove area with picnic tables and B-B-Q grills right inside the entrance of The Park. After lunch, you can buy a drink, ice cream or other treat at the snack shack. Then visit the Nature Store for fun and/or educational souvenirs. Ben picked out a really cool whistle/compass combination to carry on our hiking trips this summer. I bought some posters to go in our rec room . . . aaaaaaand a pair of silver, dragonfly earrings. I couldn’t resist!
Feeding the animals people food, is not permitted. But bring plenty of quarters because you’ll find animal food machines to feed the bear, deer, pheasants, ducks, geese, and turkeys. And if you walk all the way down to the end of the fish hatchery, you can feed the fish too.
On Thursdays in July and August, there’s Story Time with a craft at 11:00am. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, there’s animal talks at 11:00am and 1:00pm.
For more information on prices, directions and such, click on the link on the right. You can’t go wrong with this day trip!