Moose are a Canadian icon. If you’ve ever wanted to see one close up, now’s the time to visit Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park.
Every spring, the moose are drawn to the ditches along Highway 60 to drink standing water that contains road salt. After a long winter eating nothing but twigs, their bodies are craving sodium. It’s not unusual to see five or six of the big beasts within a ten-kilometre stretch of road, all slurping up the salty remnants of snowstorms past.
The best time to spot a moose is at sunrise and sunset. Keep an eye out for low lying, boggy areas along the highway – the moose love to gather here and it’s easy to take photos. Just be mindful that you’re stopping on a busy highway. Be sure to pull well off the road, activate your hazard lights and watch for cars as you leave your vehicle.
Traffic isn’t the only hazard, of course – so are the moose. They may seem quite docile, but they’re still wild animals. Justin Peter, a former Senior Naturalist at Algonquin Park, has this advice on staying safe:
The only downside of moose viewing this time of year is that the males don’t have their massive antlers. They lose them every year and have to start fresh in the spring. The moose’s coats also look a little patchy because of tick infestations. But it’s a small price to pay for an up-close look at these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat!
Have you ever been close to a moose? Share your stories!