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Of moose and men

The remote northern edge of New England is home to one of America’s most impressive mammals. Explore the state’s backwaters by canoe for a chance to get close to the mighty moose

Maine’s Great North Woods is a heavily forested wilderness, where nature had the upper hand. Distinguished from the rest of New England by its boundless scale, the Acadian back country vanishes, as if by magic, under snowfall in winter, only to be reborn in a spectrum of summer colour as life returns to the tree and ponds. Out go the snowmobiles, in come the wobbly canoes and muddy boots.

By late June, the few hikers, hunter-gatherers and fishermen who venture to Moosehead Lake, the largest in Maine, are no longer alone. As summer arrives, the Great North Woods fill with eye-rubbing, hibernation-starved black bears, and the largest population of moose in the mainland United States. There are so many barrel-chested bulls, it’s sometimes hard to believe your eyes. Some are as tall as totem poles, others stronger than a grizzly. An adult bull male) moose can weigh as much as l,500lb, four times more than the average reindeer. These thoughts play on my mind as I leave the trailhead behind on a moose safari.

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