Errol, New Hampshire 03579Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge Official Website
Whaleback Ponds are in the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge and are home to moose, deer, beavers, otters, loons, eagles, and ospreys. The ponds are named after the Whaleback Mountain, which rises above the horizon and resembles the shape of a whale's back. The mountain is part of the Mahoosuc Range, which stretches from Maine to New Hampshire. The ponds are accessible by a dirt road that leads to a parking area and a boat launch.
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Umbagog Lake has extensive wetland complexes that are excellent for waterfowl production. One example is Harper’s Meadow. In 1972, the Secretary of the Interior designated part of the wetlands at Harper’s Meadow as a Floating Island National Natural Landmark. This designation recognized the floating bog and wetlands as a significant natural area, one of a very special group of places illustrating the diversity of the country’s natural history.
Umbagog Lake is more than 7 miles in length and covers more than 7,000 acres, making it one of the largest lakes along the New Hampshire/Maine border. It has an average depth of only 15 feet.
The Umbagog area, unique in its habitats, provides a home to many different species. Situated in the southern range of the boreal forests and the northern range of the deciduous forests, the Umbagog area is a transition zone providing homes to species of both habitat types. A total of 229 bird species have been observed on the refuge, and 137 species are known to breed there. There are many species of songbirds, including 24 varieties of warblers. The abundance of fish in the lakes and rivers provides food for the local populations of osprey and bald eagles. Mink, otter, muskrat, and beaver can be seen in the lakes and rivers while black bears, bobcats, fishers, marten, white-tailed deer, and a dense population of moose inhabit the uplands. The extensive wetlands and marshes provide ideal habitats for waterfowl, such as common mergansers, American black ducks, common goldeneye, and common loons.
Restrooms on site
Wheelchair accessible trail
Content from Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge Official Website and New Hampshire’s Wildlife Viewing and Birding Trails, p. 3
Last updated November 22, 2023