This guide initially displays common tracks of all shapes. Use the selectors below to view particular shapes, include rare species, or search by name.
Anything that moves over the ground leaves some sort of marking of its passage. In particular, footprints left behind in soil, snow, mud, or other ground surfaces provide a means of recognizing different species. The illustrations and characteristics listed below highlight key features that can be used to identify the tracks of many of the animals in the area.
Alderness Wilderness College
Animal Track ID [PDF]
Elbroch, Mark, 2003 Mammal Tracks and Signs: A Guide to North American Species
Lowery, James, 2013 Tracker’s Field Guide. Falcon Guides
North Woods Guides
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Drawn based upon US Geological Society image
Photo: Katie Collins
Photo: Jennifer Macke
Black Bear(Ursus americanus)
Family: Uridsae (Bears)
Gait: gallop, overstep walk
Form: large claws; round toes
Front Foot: 5 toes; 2.1 in (5.3 cm) - 5.3 in (13.5 cm)
Hind Foot: 5 toes; 2.8 in (7.1 cm) - 8.0 in (20.3 cm)
The heel pads on both the front and hind paws may or may not register. The marks from the inside toes often register deeper than the others.
Black bear scat is typically a pile of amorphous matter. Due to the variety of a bear's diet, it can appear as a thick cord with blunt ends.
Mammal Guide - Bear