Seeing a moose is near the top of the to-do list for most visitors to the woods of Maine. One of the best places to make this a reality is Sandy Stream Pond in Baxter State Park.
The pond, which also offers stunning views of Mount Katahdin, is a short walk from the Roaring Brook parking lot. This time of year the lot doesn’t fill as quickly as the busy summer months, but visitors are still advised to secure a parking reservation through the Baxter website, www.baxterstateparkauthority.com.
The park also offers “Moose Passes,” which allow three hours in the park, on a first-come, first-served basis.
The half-mile trail passes through the woods, where moose tracks in the mud are your first indication that you are likely to see one of the ungainly creatures. Stay on the boardwalk to spurs that lead to the pond. Moose can often be seen munching on plants in the tranquil water.
This time of year, the foliage, which is beginning to turn, adds to the beauty of one of the park’s most popular spots for families with young children.
Remember to approach the pond quietly, not to get between moose moms and their offspring and to stay on the trails. Enjoy a lunch or snack on the big rock and wait for wildlife to emerge.
To get there: Use the Togue Pond Gate entrance (open at 6 a.m. weekdays, 5 a.m. Saturday and Sunday) to Baxter State Park (16 miles from Millinocket) and drive north on the Roaring Brook Road 8 more miles to the end.