Nature & Wildlife
What is a Puffin? Where can they be seen?
Maine is a birder’s paradise for many reasons, but one thing that makes Maine particularly special is that it has the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Puffins are small, extremely photogenic seabirds with a black back and head, white belly, orange legs and feet, a white face and a beak outlined in orange — very unusual and stunning birds.
The islands that are puffin’s nesting grounds are Eastern Egg Rock in the Mid-Coast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast. The best months to see puffins from tour boats are June and July, but excursions to the islands happen from May through August.
Watch a whale as it rises from the sea right before your eyes or see delightful Atlantic puffins nesting on coastal islands. Spot seals resting on the rocks or a moose as it ambles by a lake. Maine is synonymous with wildlife and there’s no better place to see animals in their natural habitat
Maine celebrates its animal friends with annual festivals, and dozens of parks and forests. Visit the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge with thousands of acres dedicated to bird preservation. Or retrace Henry David Thoreau’s steps through Maine on the Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail. There are so many opportunities for family and friends to enjoy Maine’s wildlife first-hand, come visit today!
Kennebec & Moose River Valleys
The Kennebec River Valley region offers visitors a wonderful combination of outdoor adventure, scenic splendor, history and culture. Famous for its whitewater rafting and snowmobiling, the region also boasts nationally known museums, Shakespearean theater, Maine’s capital city, and an international heritage corridor.
The Maine Highlands
The Maine Highlands offer excellent wildlife viewing. Here you can hike Maine’s highest mountain or ’s largest lake. You can experience whitewater rafting or explore pristine wilderness. Bangor is Maine’s second largest city with many cultural and historic activities to entertain your family. This region is home to Baxter State Park is a magnificent, 200,000-acre wilderness preserve. Trails lead up mile-high Mt. Katahdin and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
Downeast & Acadia
Downeast Maine is filled with natural wonders — from Acadia National Park to the peaceful woods of Grand Lake Stream. Enjoy myriad lighthouses, shopping and dining on the freshest seafood imaginable. This region also offers a medley of lodging options, from cozy B&B’s to luxurious resorts.
Aroostook is the state’s largest and northernmost county and is known to Mainers simply as “The County.” With more than 2,000 lakes, streams and ponds Aroostook is a wildlife lover’s paradise. In Presque Isle, don’t miss the start of a fascinating scale model of the solar system that stretches along Route 1 to Houlton. Enter the North Maine Woods and its 3.5 million acres of undeveloped wilderness or plan a guided canoe trip through the 92-mile chain of lakes, ponds and rivers that forms the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.
The County also offers 2,300 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and 1,200 miles of contiguous ATV trails with lodging and dining establishments along the way — a great way to enjoy Maine’s great outdoors.
Scenic bays, craggy peninsulas and sparkling offshore islands surround Midcoast Maine’s fishing villages, seaside resorts and bustling harbor towns. This region is rich with Maine’s maritime past and has a vibrant local arts scene; don’t miss the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. There are endless options for wildlife viewing, ocean-level from a kayak, or atop Mount Battie in the Camden State Park, but be sure to leave time to enjoy freshly caught seafood the many local cafes and restaurants.