Wildlife viewing in the area can take several interesting forms. There are also some basic rules that one must follow:
- When spotting a moose, don't stop in the middle of the road with all four doors open.
- Do not pick up or disturb any wildlife.
- View from a distance.
- Don't harass with a boat or make a wake.
- Don't get between mother and young.
- If the parents protest, leave the area.
WHERE TO GO: Birds such as osprey, heron, and eagles are best viewed from a plane or a boat. South Bog (an area of Rangeley Lake) and Richardson Lake are good for osprey and heron Stay away from eagles' nests with a plane as the birds will fly up and challenge the plane, not a healthy situation for either. If you want to see eagles, keep your eyes open around the dams and river inlets.
Loons are quite easily disturbed and will abandon a nest if too much activity is present. Use a canoe in places like south bog, Cupsuptic Lake, Aziscohos Lake, and, of course, the mother of all loon lakes---Umbagog.
Haley Pond, on the north end, has an abundance of waterfowl, as does Cupsuptic River and Lake. Take a canoe ride down the Cupsuptic River and the Kennebago River, being real quiet; and you will see almost everything. During the early morning or evening look for the small things as well as moose and deer. Look for birds, butterflies, and insects. Watch the swallows pick insects off the water. Stay late and watch the bats do the same thing. Go to an old building just at dark and watch the bats emerge…it's impressive! If you take a bike ride on any one of the many dirt roads in the early morning, you may see bear deer, rabbits, and coyote. If you're lucky, you might see a litter of playful fox pups. The bike is quiet, and the animals don't know what to make of it.
Try walking slowly and quietly. Look for warblers, thrushes, chickadees, and what have you. Don't forget to look on the ground for toads. Any of the many trails would be good. If you can stand the bugs, go to a bog; they are alive with life. Look for the small things, and the big things will take care of themselves. Try sitting quietly by a pond some evening; lots of things will appear right in front of your eyes…beaver, otter, various varieties of ducks, etc.
Lots of deer as well as moose show up in the late spring and early summer in the Deer Mountain and Stratton Road areas of Route 16. Remember, don't stop in the middle of the road and enjoy!