Wildlife on the
The forested landscape and many water features found on the Midstate Trail in Massachusetts provide habitat for a diverse selection of animals.
Chipmunk, gray squirrel, red squirrel, and fisher are common. Other mammals found are skunk, muskrat, raccoon, beaver, and red fox. Coyote, black bear, and moose are occasionally sighted. Many varieties of salamanders, frogs, turtles and nonpoisonous snakes can be found along the Midstate Trail as well.
Bring your binoculars to sight some of the nesting birds, such as bobolink, hummingbird and infrequently, swallows and bluebirds. More often, you will see the cardinal, sparrows, warblers, the robin and numerous blackbirds, including the red winged. Several hawk and owl species are regularly seen along the trail. In fall, numerous raptor's, most notably the red tail hawk, can be watched migrating over Mount Watatic and Wachusett Mountain.
This page will be updated regularly with eyewitness reports from the Trail. If you have any animal sightings from the Midstate Trail, please e-mail Don with your account or use the Midstate Trail message board. Photos also welcome.
Past Wildlife Observations...
In early May of 2000, I crossed paths with a moose (no rack) while pedaling my bicycle up the "up" summit road at Wachusett Mtn., where the Westside Trail crosses just north of the Midstate junction. He/she looked at me with
ambivalence and slowly ambled down Westside Trail.
In late November of 1999, we were riding the summit chair lift just around dusk and spotted a black bear ambling downhill on the west edge of Upper Tenth Mountain (ski) Trail -- which had no snow made on it yet. It's like he
walked off the Midstate Trail where it meets the top of the ski trail. The quad chair moves fast so we were whisked from the scene before the bear left the scene. This bear was good-size, maybe 200 lbs.
Everyone's seeing plenty of turkeys all over the range of the Midstate, they tend to browse in groups and are good at stopping traffic. They seem unexpectedly fearless, since I know plenty of people hunt them.
Porcupines are rampant in north county and the Wachusett Reservation -- they're often seen up in trees. Their only predator-- the fisher cat -- is growing in population in north county, and I know locals who've spotted this
Thanks for your attention to a great web site,
Marie Auger -- Midstate Trail Committee; Westminster Conservation Commission
Just north of the west branch of the Ware River, (which is about a half-mile north of the Barre Falls dam) is a beaver colony, hidden in the woods a little off the trail. After you cross the river you pass through a big field - a clearing of tree stumps, bordered by woods. On the right (traveling north on the trail) is the pond in the woods. The little guys have dammed up an old bridge abutment. Pretty smart work.~ Michael Paul