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Experience Maine’s Amazing Wildlife Up Close at the Maine Wildlife Park

Owl at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, Maine
Discover the wonders of Maine's wildlife at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray. Learn about the park's history, exhibits, and conservation efforts, and plan your visit to this must-see destination for nature lovers and families.

Embark on a Wild Adventure: Visiting the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, Maine

If you’re planning a trip to Maine and looking for a unique and educational experience, the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray is a must-visit destination. This 40-acre park is home to a variety of native Maine animals and offers visitors the chance to learn about the state’s diverse wildlife and conservation efforts. Located just 30 minutes north of Portland, the park is easily accessible and makes for a perfect day trip.

Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, Maine

 

History and Mission of the Maine Wildlife Park

The Maine Wildlife Park was established in 1931 as a place to care for injured and orphaned animals. Over the years, it has evolved into a conservation and education center, dedicated to protecting Maine’s wildlife and teaching visitors about the importance of preserving natural habitats. The park plays a crucial role in rehabilitating animals that cannot be released back into the wild and educating the public about the state’s diverse ecosystems.

Moose at the Maine Wildlife Park

 

Exploring the Park

Upon entering the park, you’ll be greeted by a spacious and well-maintained layout. The main areas include the animal exhibits, walking trails, and picnic areas. The park’s walking trails wind through the forest, offering visitors the chance to observe animals in their natural habitats. Viewing platforms are strategically placed throughout the park, providing excellent opportunities for photography and wildlife spotting.

Deer at Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, Maine

To make the most of your visit, plan to spend at least 2-3 hours exploring the park. Start by visiting the animal exhibits, then take a leisurely stroll along the walking trails. Be sure to stop by the picnic areas for a lunch break and don’t forget to check out the gift shop for souvenirs.

Maine Wildlife Park Directory Map
Maine Wildlife Park Directory Map – Click image to download PDF

 

Wildlife Encounters

One of the highlights of visiting the Maine Wildlife Park is the chance to see native Maine animals up close. The park is home to a variety of species, including:

  • Moose: As Maine’s most iconic animal, the park’s moose exhibit is a must-see.
  • Black bears: Learn about these powerful creatures and their role in Maine’s ecosystem.
  • Lynx: These elusive cats are rarely seen in the wild, making the park’s exhibit a unique opportunity.
  • Bald eagles: Watch these majestic birds soar overhead and learn about their comeback from near extinction.
  • River otters: These playful creatures are always a crowd favorite, and the park’s otter exhibit is no exception.

In addition to these popular animals, the park also houses several rare and endangered species, such as the New England cottontail rabbit and the Canada lynx. Park staff are always happy to share tips on spotting and observing animals, so don’t hesitate to ask for advice.

Lynx at the Maine Wildlife Park

 

Educational Programs and Exhibits

The Maine Wildlife Park offers a variety of educational programs and exhibits designed to teach visitors about the state’s wildlife and conservation efforts. Guided tours led by knowledgeable park rangers are available throughout the day, providing insights into the animals’ behaviors and habitats. Interactive displays and exhibits scattered throughout the park offer hands-on learning opportunities for visitors of all ages.

Raccoon at the Maine Wildlife Park

For families with children, the park offers special activities and learning opportunities tailored to young visitors. These programs are designed to be both educational and entertaining, making the park a great destination for families.

Baby moose at the Maine Wildlife Park

 

Visitor Amenities

In addition to the animal exhibits and educational programs, the Maine Wildlife Park offers a range of visitor amenities to make your visit comfortable and enjoyable. Picnic areas and rest stops are located throughout the park, providing the perfect spot for a lunch break or a quick rest.

Picnic area at the Maine Wildlife Park

The park’s gift shop offers a variety of souvenirs and wildlife-related items, including books, stuffed animals, and apparel. Light snacks and beverages are available for purchase, but visitors are also welcome to bring their own food and drinks.

Gift shop at the Maine Wildlife Park

The park is committed to making its facilities accessible to all visitors, including those with disabilities. Wheelchair-accessible trails and viewing platforms are available, and the park’s staff are always happy to assist visitors with special needs.

 

Interesting Facts about the Maine Wildlife Park

  • The park is home to over 30 different species of native Maine wildlife.
  • The park’s black bear exhibit is one of the largest in New England, featuring a spacious enclosure and a viewing platform.
  • The park’s moose exhibit includes a life-sized replica of a moose that visitors can climb inside to experience the animal’s impressive size.
  • The park’s bald eagle exhibit includes a live eagle cam, allowing visitors to watch the birds in real-time from the comfort of their own homes.
  • The park hosts several special events throughout the year, including a popular “Halloween Fest” in October.

Black bear at the Maine Wildlife Park

 

Planning Your Visit

The Maine Wildlife Park is open daily from mid-April through November 11th. Hours of operation vary by season, so be sure to check the park’s website before planning your visit. Admission fees are reasonable, with discounts available for children, seniors, and groups.

Three chipmunks at the Maine Wildlife Park

Parking is available on-site, and the park is easily accessible by car. If you’re traveling from out of town, there are several nearby accommodations and dining options to choose from.

To make the most of your visit, plan to arrive early in the day when the animals are most active. The park can get crowded on weekends and holidays, so consider visiting on a weekday if possible. Weather in Maine can be unpredictable, so be sure to check the forecast and dress accordingly.

Muskrat at Maine Wildlife Park

 

Support Conservation and Education with a Visit to the Maine Wildlife Park

A visit to the Maine Wildlife Park is an unforgettable experience that offers a unique glimpse into the state’s diverse wildlife and conservation efforts. Whether you’re a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun and educational day trip, the park has something to offer everyone.

Moose resting at the Maine Wildlife Park

As you plan your Maine vacation itinerary, be sure to include a stop at the Maine Wildlife Park. Not only will you have the chance to see native Maine animals up close, but you’ll also be supporting the park’s important conservation work.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your visit to the Maine Wildlife Park today and discover the wonders of Maine’s wildlife!

 

Frequently Asked Questions about the Maine Wildlife Park

The following are answers to some common questions about the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, Maine.

Can I feed the animals at the Maine Wildlife Park?

No, feeding the animals is strictly prohibited for the safety of both visitors and the animals. The park’s staff ensures that all animals receive a proper, balanced diet.

Is the Maine Wildlife Park accessible for visitors with disabilities?

Yes, the park offers wheelchair-accessible trails and viewing platforms, and the staff is always available to assist visitors with special needs.

Are dogs allowed in the Maine Wildlife Park?

No, pets are not permitted in the park, with the exception of service animals. This policy is in place to ensure the safety and well-being of the park’s animals and visitors.

Can I take photographs of the animals?

Yes, photography is encouraged at the Maine Wildlife Park. However, visitors are asked to refrain from using flash photography, as it can startle the animals.

Is there a best time of day to visit the Maine Wildlife Park?

The best time to visit is typically in the morning when the animals are most active. It’s also a good idea to check the park’s schedule for any special events or programs that may be happening during your visit.

How long does it take to explore the Maine Wildlife Park?

The average visit to the Maine Wildlife Park takes about 2-3 hours, depending on your pace and level of interest. However, many visitors find themselves spending even more time observing the animals and participating in the park’s educational programs.

 

Contact Information
Maine Wildlife Park
56 Game Farm Rd, Gay, Maine 04039
207-822-6460
mainewildlifepark@maine.gov
https://www.maine.gov/ifw/wildlife-park/index.html

 

 

Picture of Mark Beale - Author Bio

Mark Beale - Author Bio

Mark has an extensive background in the Maine Hospitality Industry, having owned the Ledges By The Bay, a boutique oceanfront hotel property, in Rockport Maine, for 40 years. He sold the property in 2016 but remains well-versed in the Maine Tourism industry and has written a number of Maine travel-related articles for various blogs and publications over the years.

Mark founded the TakeMe2 Travel Guides platform, an online travel guide initiative, designed to promote tourism in Maine, New England and in other key states – by providing in depth, unbiased information to potential tourists and travel consumers. TakeMe2 currently features the TM2Maine.com website.

Mark is also currently a stakeholder in VONT, a digital marketing agency in Westbrook, Maine, where he leads VONT's search engine optimization (SEO) practice.

Mark is versed in a number of digital information technologies including web design and development, digital video, electronic design and digital imaging technologies as well as internet marketing tactics such as blogs, web properties, and other smart media such as AI chatbots for content, image and video enhancement. One of his primary tasks at VONT is to find the successful application of these new information platforms in marketing and then teach VONT's marketers how to use them to create marketing campaigns more efficiently, creatively and cost effectively.

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