The following post was written in collaboration with Madison (Maddie) Kahn of Outside / Backpacker Magazine. Maddie approached me with the idea for the story and I assisted her with the research and development, compiling the sightings information and making hiking suggestions based on areas with the highest number of Mt. Lion sightings. With permission from Maddie, I have asked to publish my blog posting ahead of her future article and she agreed! Thanks Maddie!
Even I have a Mt. Lion sighting story, that occurred one late night while driving down the Lake Road in
St. Agatha. In the glow of the headlights a large long tailed cat leapt across
the road and was gone in less than a second. If not for my passenger swearing he had seen the same sight, I may have not believed my own eyes. It would be less than a year later, a confirmed cougar sighting was made in St. Agatha,
bringing credibility to my account.
Most reported cougar sighting remain unconfirmed, likely based on individuals claiming to see Mt. Lions when in actuality they see large mature bobcats with unusual but not uncommon dark tan
coats (see game camera photo above). Only a small handful of these accounts by using
scat, hair and foot print identifications have ever been authenticated (See RED dots on Map). What is of course not yet determined is if these animals represent a real indigenous population of Maine Mt. Lions or if these are pets released into the wild. Currently 6 Maine residents are licensed to keep these large cats but it is suspected many more unlicensed owners exist.
Below is a listing of the town where sightings have been made. By mapping these sightings, it is easy to
note there exists a concentration of animal sightings well within the boundaries of central Maine. It is a misnomer to think that to potentially see one of these large cats you need to travel into the most remote and isolated
areas of the state.
Maine Mt. Lion Sightings Confirmed Sightings (Red):
Maine Mt. Lion Unconfirmed Sightings (Black):
Waldoboro - Medomak Pond
Within the areas of highest concentration of sightings, there are a number of access points and hiking
trails were one may chance to potentially see a Maine Mt. Lion. Several means
exist to find more in-depth information concerning these trail systems
including: Maine Trail Finder and an excellent book titled “Applician Mountain Club – Maine Mountain Guide
Given the areas of the
highest likelihood of seeing a Maine Mt. Lion, I have selected the following
1. Deboullie Mountain Trail - Long
2. Big Squaw and Little Squaw Mountain Trail - Greenville
3. Little Moose Mountain Trail - Greenville
4. Mount Megunticook Trail fromthe North - Lincolnville
5. Crocker Hill Trail - Paris
6. Frye Mountain WMA– Augusta
7. Down East Sunrise Trail -
8. Bald / Ragged Mountain - Camden
9. Bangor City Forest - Bangor
10. Check out other Interesting Areas to hike in Maine with: One Minute Hikes Map
11. Other secret areas exist, where you may be able to find Maine's mysterious BIG CAT'S. If you wish to inquire about these additional areas please comment on this post and include your e-mail address. I will personally respond to any inquiries.
*If you are really serious about attempting to see a Mt. Lion it would pays large dividends to hire a Maine
guide who is skilled in the art of predator calling. These professionals are skilled in the use of electronic devices are capable of luring in meat eating predators from miles away. Hiding in a
portable blind and using these “calling” devices, photographs and video of these
elusive cats of legend may be possible if enough time and energy is
For more on Mt. Lion sightings from my blog as well as the links
to the online information used to craft this article, please see the
*Disclaimer – Mt. Lions are obviously
large, fast, smart, agile and dangerous animals that have been known to hunt,
kill and eat unsuspecting hikers and backpackers. If you are planning to look for these large cats, you need
to know that you are potentially putting yourself at risk of possible dismemberment
and /or death. Please take all appropriate precautions whenever visiting the Maine woods and pursuing large game animals.