In New England: Moose gawking season

Tim Jones

"Moose gawking" is a popular pastime throughout northern New Hampshire and inland Maine. Moose are impressively large critters. Although they can run as fast a horse, they usually prefer to stand beside the road or on the edge of a pond - often looking like they are posing for photos.

Spring is prime time to spot moose. In the winter they move as little as possible. When warmer weather comes, they seek water and salt - a favorite spot to gather is roadside puddles, so use caution when driving in moose country.

Yearlings are so friendly they may come close or even follow you.

New Hampshire Sightings

Moose adventures abound in the Granite State. As soon as the snow's gone, moose show up on the sides of the Kancamagus Highway (Rte. 112), from Lincoln to Conway. Rte. 302 from Twin Mountain to Bartlett is another good bet, as is Rte. 3 from Pittsburg to the Canadian border (known locally as Moose Alley).

If you want to see a moose from your canoe or kayak, paddle on Lake Umbagog near Errol.

The best places to hike to see moose are Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge in Jefferson and the Kilkenny region of the White Mountains National Forest.

If you're afraid you won't spot moose on your own, you can always try a guide service. Outdoor Escapes New Hampshire ( will take you to moose on foot, in a canoe or, if necessary, by SUV. Or you can sign up for a cushy "moose tour" and ride right to the moose in an air-conditioned van - the town of Gorham is among those offering this service (

Maine moose

Most of Maine is moose country. On some roads, like Rte. 1, north of Caribou; Rte. 201, from Solon all the way to Jackman; and Rte. 16, from Rangeley to Stratton, you may see more moose than other vehicles in the spring.

The town of Greenville (, on the shores of aptly named Moosehead Lake, is one moose-crazy town with two operators providing moose tours: The Cozy Moose (207-695-0242; and Northwood's Outfitters (866-223-1380;

Millinocket ( has three moose tour operators: Dale Stevens (207-723-5465;, New England Outdoor Center (800-766-7238; and Maine Quest Adventures (207-746-9615;

Jackman has no operators, but the locals will give moose-spotting advice.

Note: From May to July, prepare for black flies: Bring insect repellent.