Maine is a gorgeous state. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. When a lot of people think of Maine, they think of the beautiful coastline, full of miles of sandy beaches and rocky oceanfront cliffs. But beyond that, Maine boasts a stretch of lush wooded areas populated with a wide range of creatures, from moose to bobcat to owls to deer. Most of them are quite shy, and not at all fond of people, so you won’t always run into them in a hike through the woods. The Maine Wildlife Park aims to help introduce us to native Maine wildlife through 65-acres of primarily indigenous species. It’s a great spot to visit with kids of all ages.
We started our latest visit with a walk through one of the many family-friendly trails on site. This trail has a guide that teaches kids about some of the animals that live in this type of Maine habitat. It’s geared toward young children as most of the animals you’ll see are painted on signs. It feels a bit silly, as you can go out and visit real animals just a few feet away, but it’s a fun walk for kids and they can definitely learn more about woodland creatures.
The Wildlife Park has some great exhibits. We saw moose, black bears, bald eagles, lynx, foxes, woodchucks, raptors, and a variety of other cool animals. You’ll notice that I do not have a lot of pictures. Most of the exhibits are surrounded by chain-link fences, making for a poor photography experience. You can purchase a photography pass to get inside access for photographs. I might have to try that sometime! In the meanwhile, this is a turtle who was not behind a chain link fence. We spent quite a bit of time watching the turtles in their pond habitat.
Wildlife sanctuaries, in contrast to zoos, aren’t known for their breeding programs, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be missing out on baby wildlife. While we were there, these adorable deer were out in their yard for a bit so visitors could take a peek. There are also opportunities to feed some of the animals, including the adult deer and the black bears. Bring quarters with you.
Visit the Maine Wildlife Park
The Maine Wildlife Park is open daily from 9:30am-3:30pm, but guests can stay until 5pm. It is open mid-April through mid-November. In addition to all of the animal exhibits, there is a snack shop, a gift shop, and educational exhibits in the visitor’s center. You can bring your own food to eat at the picnic tables. The entrance fee is $5.50 for kids 4-12 (free for kids under 4) and $7.50 for ages 13+. There are discounts for seniors (60+) and military personnel with valid ID. They do not accept credit cards, so you’ll want to plan ahead.
The park is on Route 26 in Gray, Maine.