Southern Maine Wildlife: Flora and Fauna of Ogunquit
Southern Maine’s natural beauty and magnificent wildlife are in a league of their own. You don’t need to stray far from the coast for a scenic stroll through vibrant flower gardens before your whale watching tour off the coast of Ogunquit Beach. Just a short trip north also reveals The Pine Tree State’s lush evergreens and, if you’re lucky, a glimpse at a majestic moose. Here’s a guide to the natural wonders waiting in the Ogunquit area.
The aromatic wonders of Ogunquit know no bounds. Every spring, wildflowers of every variety grow up and down Maine’s beachside trails, including (but not limited to) colorful lupines, trilliums, and trout lilies. The Marginal Way sports sea roses and wildflowers bursting in sunny yellows, bright blues, and vibrant purples.
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens feature hundreds of Maine’s top floral features within 270 acres. Before you go, check which ones are in bloom on the facility’s online database. Here at The Dunes, we maintain a little flower power of our own with gardens full of colorful tulips and sunny daffodils.
The waters off the Maine coast are home to countless species of whales, including Humpback, Finback, Right, and Minke whales as they migrate to feeding grounds on the shores of the Atlantic. Learn all about them and see these marine mammoths up close on a whale-watching tour.
If you’re looking to catch wildlife in their natural habitat, take a day trip up to Steep Falls Wildlife Management Area. You’ll encounter everything from high-flying eagles, osprey, and waterbirds to beautiful families of deer grazing in the open field. You might even spot a moose as you hike around Lake Sebago, about an hour and a half away from The Dunes. At the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge over in Wells, you’ll see New England Cottontails, Saltmarsh Sparrows, and Piping Plovers thriving across 9,000 acres of coastal habitat.
Bird Watchers Ahoy
Set atop rocky cliffs with vast overviews of the Atlantic, The Marginal Way is considered an official Maine birding trail. The mile-long pathway is lined with low shrubs, making it an ideal landing spot for sparrows, mockingbirds, and cardinals. You can also spot migrating passerines in the spring and fall, as well as Harlequin Ducks and Purple Sandpipers when the weather is cooler.
What they lack in aerial prowess, they make up for in cuteness. Puffins (not to be confused with penguins) have a home in southern Maine, off the coast of Monhegan Island. Hop aboard a ferry to the island from Port Clyde, New Harbor, or Boothbay Harbor and watch puffins romp around on the rocky shores. You can also find many other migratory bird populations (and fellow bird watchers) on Monhegan during the spring and fall.
In between your excursions through southern Maine’s natural wonders, recharge your batteries with a peaceful stay at The Dunes — we’ll be happy to give you more pointers on Ogunquit’s flower-ful footpaths and the best places to catch Maine’s majestic wildlife.