Photo Credit: ANITA MUELLER
1. Aroostook State Park
Aroostook State Park was the first state park established in Maine in 1938. Today its expanded to 800 acres and offers a beach, two peaks, miles of nature trails, and idyllic camping. The park features a good variety of common songbirds. Echo Lake is productive for diving ducks and gulls.
From Route 1, approximately 3 miles before Presque Isle, turn onto Spragueville Road. This road may not be marked, but is near the Aroostook Union Garage building. There is also a road sign pointing toward the Transatlantic Balloon Flight site. In just a little over a mile, turn left onto State Park Road. From Presque Isle, follow Chapman Road to Niles Road and continue to a right turn onto State Park Road.
2. Lake Josephine and Christina Reservoir
Lake Josephine and Christina Reservoir are owned by McCain Foods, one of the chief potato processors in Maine. Both are extraordinary for an abundant and variety of waterfowl, including ducks that rarely breed in Maine such as Redheads, Northern Shovelers, and Ruddy Ducks. Look for shorebirds in migration. Birders have permission to view from the road around the pond. Avoid active farming and harvest operations. Christina Reservoir is bounded by a dike that provides multiple observation points. The brush along the water's edge and the trees behind the dike are excellent for warblers and sparrows.
From Presque Isle, take Route 10 at Academy Street east toward Easton. At 1.4 miles, bear left onto Conant Road. in about 4 miles, turn right onto Station Road, then left onto Richardson Road to get to the main gate for a pass. The access for Lake Josephine is also on Station Road, just before the wood yard. A perimeter road follows the dike around the south and east side and exits north through a farm field (Avoid when active.) Christina Reservoir is on Conant Road, 2 miles beyond the Station Road turnoff. Park at the entrance road and hike the levee on foot.
3. Collins Pond
Collins Pond in Caribou is particularly productive in late summer and autumn. The autumn abundance of Canada Geese encourages many other species of waterfowl and shorebirds, despite the popularity of the park's walking trail. Hooded Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks join the more common waterfowl, while Short-billed Dowitchers and Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs number among the shorebirds.
A couple miles before Caribou, traffic splits into two parallel routes along Route 1 and 164. Prefer Route 164 to Collins Pond, turning left onto Roberts Street just before the center of town and proceeding to the Lions Club Park.