Watching for Moose
The Umbagog Area is a wonderful area for viewing moose. In any direction from Errol Center you can watch moose as they gather to feed and drink along the roadsides in the early morning and early evening. Here is a sampling of where and how to look for moose.
When going moose watching, the primary thing to look for is the "Stomping Grounds", those areas that are marshy, muddy, and trampled close to the road. These are the areas the moose are likely to be seen feeding. Spotting moose here can be difficult when the moose are deeper in the forest. The areas are often full of uprooted trees and stumps. At first glance some of these look like moose, but look very closely. Watch for the animals moving. A pair of binoculars can help you spot those moose who don't venture out from the bushes. Depending on the time of day and other factors, you might see moose very close to the road.
Be very careful when approaching moose on the roadsides. They are large and often unpredictable. They sometimes cross the roads without regard to traffic. Because some weigh upward of 1000 pounds, extreme caution should be exercised when approaching them, even in a car, if you see a moose, slow down and be prepared to stop. Resume speed only after you have passed the animal. The following are the best locations for watching moose in Errol:
NORTH on Route 16 toward Wentworth's Location:
Just after passing the Errol dam, about 1.5 miles from downtown Errol, look for a narrow patch of wetland on the left side of the road. It is a difficult area to pull off, but because it is a straight section of road, most people will go around easily. There is another spot further up Route 16 about three to four miles from Errol Center featuring large areas of wetlands on both sides of the road. Moose cross here frequently and it is important to use caution when approaching.
SOUTH on Route 16 through Thirteen Mile Woods:
Moose watching throughout this area is sporadic and unpredictable, but keep your eyes open for the swamps on the bends in the river for the best moose viewing. The Thirteen Mile Woods sign at the southern entrance is an area where moose can often be seen. If you're lucky you can get a picture of them at the sign, they are so dose. At the Pontook Reservoir just below Thirteen Mile Woods, there is an area where moose are plentiful .The secluded backwaters and the flat areas just north of the Pontook Dam are best viewed from the road with the use of binoculars.
EAST on Route 26 toward Upton, Maine:
About six miles outside Errol Center the road dips down into a valley with a swampy area on both sides of the road. The area is easily visible from the road and the moose wander between both marshes freely. It is not unusual to see four or more moose at one time here. There are not many places to pull over on the roadside, but you can be seen if you pull over most anywhere.
WEST on Route 26 toward Dixville Notch, New Hampshire:
The stretch of road between Log Haven Campground and the Dixville Notch picnic area has many good locations for viewing moose. There is a clear-cut area on the left where water runs-off into a gully that is a good viewing area when there is abundant water. That area is good in the early summer and mid-fall. Further up the road there are curves in the road and the largest curve there is an area on both sides of the road where you can often see two or more moose at a time. It is difficult to spot them here because of growth in the forest they use as cover. It is especially important to slow down around these curves because the moose are often spooked and can cross without warning.