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Traveling with kids in Maine and want to see a MOOSE

GA
Level Contributor
100 posts
2 reviews
Traveling with kids in Maine and want to see a MOOSE

We are traveling with 2 boys ages 7 and 9 to Portland. We are renting a car and do some traveling this weekend and next weekend. (I have a meeting in Portland that week). Any suggestions on an itinerary? We can travel north of Portland one weekend and south the next. We are OPEN for any suggestions. We would love to see a moose while we are there if possible. My husband even wants to go to Boston. Don't know if we will get it all in but we love to ride! :) We just have to be in Portland for our fight out Sat afternoon (25th)

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
292 posts
68 reviews
1. Re: Traveling with kids in Maine and want to see a MOOSE

Hi Raivey,

My husband and I are headed to Maine in October, and I'd posted our tentative itinerary on this forum for review, including hinting at a desire to see a moose.

The responses were unbelievably informative, and, as such, I thought I'd link it below for your Moose Review. In particular, posts #1 and #6 might be of special interest:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28940-i175-k39230…

Have a great trip!

Boston
Level Contributor
7,342 posts
40 reviews
2. Re: Traveling with kids in Maine and want to see a MOOSE

You could do Boston as a day trip. It is about a 2.5 hour drive. You can also go to Boston via the Amtrak Downeaster. Runs from Portland to Boston's North Station. Might be more relaxing. You don't need the car in Boston. You might even consider staying over a night or two in Boston.

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
Level Contributor
7,215 posts
158 reviews
3. Re: Traveling with kids in Maine and want to see a MOOSE

You'll have to go more than an hour or more from Portland to even give yourself a reasonable chance of seeing a moose in the wild....and no matter where you look for them, there are never any guarantees because they go where they want when they want......

However, considering the age of your boys and their interest in wildlife, I'd strongly suggest you consider a ride up to the Maine State Wildlife Park in Gray, ME.....about a half hour north of Portland. It's run by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and features most of the species of animals native to Maine. It's "residents" are almost exclusively critters that were either abandoned by their parents, rescued, or, who are, for whatever reason, unable to survive in the wild. Their "homes" are designed to resemble their natural habitat as closely as possible in a non-wild environment. It includes deer, bear, moose, raccoons, groundhogs, etec. etc.... It's not a fancy "zoo", but does offer a great chance to see okebty of Maine wildlife close up in a realtively short period of time.

More info available at: www.maine.gov/ifw/education/wildlifepark/

Brunswick, Maine
Level Contributor
24 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Traveling with kids in Maine and want to see a MOOSE

I agree with the post above. Moose are hard animals to find. That being said, Rangeley is a beautiful town with a good chance of seeing a moose. It is about 21/2 hrs from Portland.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
4,109 posts
35 reviews
5. Re: Traveling with kids in Maine and want to see a MOOSE

If you are headed south of Portland, stop at Len Libby's candy shop on Route 1 in Scarborough. They have a thousand pound CHOCOLATE moose that your kids might like to see.............and they have homemade ice cream that you all might like to EAT.

GA
Level Contributor
100 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: Traveling with kids in Maine and want to see a MOOSE

My husband mentioned driving all the way up to Fort Kent. How far would it be from Portland? Would it be worth the drive? Any suggestions on what to see in that area? What about Canada? Do you definitly need a passport or will birth certificate do? Of couse the kids don't have passports and my husband ordered one but may not be here in time.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
4,109 posts
35 reviews
7. Re: Traveling with kids in Maine and want to see a MOOSE

If you're willing to drive that far, head up to Moosehead Lake. I know you were looking for cabins, there are some great ones up there and someone recently asked for suggestions so just a page or two back on this forum you'll see a thread about cabins at Moosehead. That's your best bet and the area is spectacular at this time of year as well. Ask the local people up there where best to see a moose and they will point you towards a "marshy area".

I don't think I'd head up there without a reservation as it's quite a popular area for fishing this time of year. If you can't find a cabin however, there are some motels within an hour or so of the lake so you won't get stranded. I hope you can find a cabin up there though, it's a place you won't soon forget.

Boston...
Level Contributor
2,582 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: Traveling with kids in Maine and want to see a MOOSE

You should buy or download a good map of Maine - Fort Kent is a 6 hour drive - one way- (approx. 350 miles) from Portland. The Maine experts here have pointed out to others that the roads in far northern Maine are not maintained as well as the roads in the rest of the state, so that 6 hour drive could easily be much longer.....If I recall your other posts, you are in meetings during the week and have the 2 weekends for traveling. Even a trip to Rangeley (no guarantee that you'll see moose though) will be a 120 mile drive (one way) on a combination of highway and mountain roads....distances are great in Maine! I love Mainer on the Go's suggestion of the Maine State Wildlife Park in Grey Maine - sounds like a given that you'll see a moose there! Also, Joesorce (in your other post) gave you some great suggestions for places to stay that your boys would enjoy. Love your enthusiasm about seeing all that Maine has to offer, but your time on this trip is limited......see what you can this time and then plan your return! Good luck with your trip; enjoy Maine!

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
Level Contributor
7,215 posts
158 reviews
9. Re: Traveling with kids in Maine and want to see a MOOSE

Portland to Fort Kent - about five and a half hours one way -- eleven hours of just driving time round trip. Is it worth it? That depends on the individual.... Fort Kent is a smallish Maine town in an area that is predominately woodlands, with some agriculture. Between Portland and Fort Kent you'll see a lot of miles-and-miles of nothing but miles-and-miles. Once you get north of Bangor, the next two hours is basically the four lanes of Interstate passing through undeveloped woodlands in order to connect major rural routes in northern Maine. Between Houlton and Fort Kent, you'll pass through some of Maine's classic potato farmlands, before the roadside gives way once again to woods. Some people find this kind of travel a refreshing break from what they experience at home -- others quickly decide it's one of the most boring drives they've ever made.

Fort Kent itself has a small downtown area, but is basically a gateway to the woods-and-waters area in the peak of Northern Maine. In the winter it's a major snowmobile center. But unless you're going to "get into the outdoors" there really isn't much else to attract people to that area.

If the intent is to get a look at Maine's woods-and-waters, there are places much closer to Portland, with much less driving time involved, to do that. You could take a ride up Rt 302 through the Sebago Lake area to Bridgton and Fryeburg, then take Rt 113 north through Evans Notch State Park to Gilead, ME, then US Rt 2 to Bethel, and Rt 26 back to Gray, then back to Portland and make the entire loop, with stops, in the time it would take you just to drive from Portland to Fort Kent.

As far as travel into Canada goes -- from everything I've read, Homeland Security and Customs-and-Immigration have taken a rather firm stand about requiring either a Passport or Passport Card for re-entry into the United States. It used to be that you could easily go back and forth with just a driver's license; then a birth certificate became advisable. Now they're saying a passport or passport card.... Have heard a few stories of folks "getting away with" a driver's license and birth certificate, but only after some rather lengthy delays at the border while officials verified their identities and documentation. I'd check the Homeland Security website, or simply Google "Travel to Canada" for the latest info. Don't think the kids will need passports, but would verify that by checking the website too.

MA
Level Contributor
120 posts
12 reviews
10. Re: Traveling with kids in Maine and want to see a MOOSE

If youre willing to drive 3ish hours, you have a pretty good shot of seeing some moose on the way to West Forks or Greenville. If you want to head up to Rockwood area of Moosehead Lake, a resort up there, Birches, I think is the name of it, used to have a moose tour on the lake. It amounted to a ride on a pontoon boat up to one of the lake's swampy streams. The areas north of West Forks up towards Jackman and north to the border has a lot of swamps and willoy areas that moose like to hang out. One rafting trip up there we saw 30 over the course of an hour or so right before dusk

If you want to make a full weekend out of it, here are two ideas

1) Drive up to Jackman and stay at Cedar Ridge Outfitters

http://www.cedarridgeoutfitters.com/

Its a hunting camp but they have terrific cabins, pool, hot tub, etc. We have stayed there several times on our rafting trips. Its a great place. At around dusk drive north through Jackman and I would guarantee you would get to see something. Just look for the swamps on the side of the road and there will probably be some muddy tracks crossing the street. A lot of great lakes and rivers to check out on short hikes. Also, believe it or not, there is an old WW2 POW camp up there in the woods. If you care to check it out, I can give directions.

2) Drive up to Greenville and take the Golden Rd from Greenville to Millenocket. A quick side trip is to check out a B52 crash on Elephant Mountain. You can drive right up to it, not much hiking involved. Golden Rd is a dirt road, but well traveled, just watch out for the logging trucks. A lot of moose up that way. Stay overnight in Millenocket at NEOC's Twin Pine Camps. Another bunch of cabins on Millenocket Lake

Complete the circle the next day by coming home on I-95