At the top of our Maine bucket list was spotting a moose. We were so optimistic when there were signs along all the main roads warning of moose, but were having no luck at all. So we started to research and found out about the Maine Wildlife Park. Their website promised “Welcome to the Maine Wildlife Park, where you’re guaranteed to see moose, and more animals in a day than you could ever spot in the wild!”, so we had to go check it out!
The Basics & Getting There:
Maine Wildlife Park
56 Game Farm Rd.
The Maine Wildlife Park is open every day, but they do close for winter. This year that happened on Nov. 11, and they will reopen for visitors in April. Gates open 9:30-4:30, visitors can remain until the park closes at 6 PM. Admission is cash only, no cards. They do have a small freestanding ATM unit near the entrance if needed. The cost of admission is $10 for anyone 13-59, and they offer seniors over 60 a discounted rate of $7.50, while anyone under 13 is free! So that makes this a very family-friendly place to spend part of your day.
It was easy to find the park using our GPS, and there were also large signs along the main roadway. Once you turn off the main road you follow a gravel road for a bit until you reach the parking lot. There were several handicapped parking spaces right by the entrance, so it was easy to get settled, bundle up, and then head off to explore!
Exploring the Park:
Rolling into the Wildlife Park, it had the feeling of a small zoo. There were lovely nature paths between the various animal enclosures. A good amount of benches along the trail and a fair-sized picnic area settled among trees near the entrance. When we were ready to leave we saw a family setting up a birthday party in the picnic area, and this seemed like such a fun idea! The paths seem to be fairly shaded with large trees, so even in the summer, you could avoid being in too much sun. Some plantings along the way have identifying markers, which we stopped to learn at along the way.
The animals here are all Maine native species and for one reason or another, needed a protective environment. They are unable to be returned to the wild, so this gives them a safe place to live. When we first arrived we explored the nocturnal house. It was so fun to see the flying squirrels jumping around with other nocturnal creatures. They move SO fast! While the floor in this enclosed space was easy and flat, the space is really dark, so proceed slowly until you’re in the viewing area.
The moose is the star of the show. There is only one moose right now, but there are areas prepared for others, if the need should arise. When we were visiting the moose was resting quietly right by the fence, so we sat and watched him for a long time. It was so neat to finally see a moose so close, because before this it was hard to understand exactly how BIG a moose really is.
I also really loved visiting the bear and watched for a long time as he hunted out oranges that had been hidden around his enclosure as sweet treats.
Other animals include owls, raccoons, foxes, bobcats, porcupines, turtles, peacocks, lynx, cougar, coyote, eagles, and assorted reptiles or amphibians.
Using the freewheel, we had no trouble navigating where we wanted to go. Some packed dirt trails, gravel paths, and other portions were paved. They did have signage indicating alternative routes for wheelchairs that were easy to spot. Without something similar, you will want to have a friend who can help push or boost you through certain areas. There were maps of the trails available at the entrance, but you did not need the map to find your way.
The restrooms were easy to access from a wheelchair. Enough room to maneuver and the sinks were a good height to reach.