Location: Baring, Maine
Webpage: National Wildlife Refuge
General Description: The Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge is the easternmost and one of the northern most National Wildlife Refuges on the Atlantic flyway. Moosehorn consists of over 28,000 acres of second growth forests. The refuge’s landscape is varied, with rolling hills, large ledge outcrops, streams, lakes, bogs, and marshes. A northern hardwood forest of aspen, maple, birch, spruce and fir dominates the upland, with scattered stands of majestic white pine. Management of the land is to improve the biodiversity and habitats for a host of wildlife species including woodcock, ruffed grouse, moose, deer, a variety of songbirds, bald eagles, and osprey nests.
1) On the drive into the Headquarters, we stopped to watch a bald eagle nest with two fledgelings trying to work up the nerve to fly from the nest. There are a number of poles erected along the road at this location, but this was apparently the only one in use this year.
2) The Headquarters also includes a small Visitor Hut with a volunteer that was only too happy to provide us with all the information we needed about trails in the refuge and the best locations to attempt to see a moose.
3) We walked the Raven trail which is a 1.5 mile foot trail through the forest near the headquarters. They have a few interpretive signs along the trail and a brochure with numbered stops that gave an excellent understanding of the management practices being used to create the diversity in habitats you see along the trail.
4) We also hiked along the roads, which are closed to the public, that created about a 4 mile hike along the Mill Bridge Road, the Two Mile Meadow Road, and part of the Headquarters Road Trail. It is an easy hike that includes examples of numerous habitats including beaver ponds, bogs, ridge uplands, and what they consider to be “old-growth” forests that are over 100 years old.
5) We drove the loop road to Vose Pond that includes a couple of beaver ponds in addition to the larger Vose Pond, providing us the best chance to see a moose. However, the middle of the day is not the best time and we did not see any.
6) South of the Baring Division outside of Calais, Maine, there is also the Edmunds Division south of Pembroke on US 1. This separate division of the refuge is nearly all Wilderness with only a few trails. It does include a loop drive on rough dirt roads through the woods, where you can park at a couple of locations to hike into the wilderness. We took two of these hikes, but cut them both short as it started to rain.