Track Guide

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.

Track References

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
Nature Tracking
North Woods Guides
Outdoor Action

Subject Area Experts (all guides)

Steve Cary (butterflies)
Beth Cortright (insects)
Terry Foxx (invasive plants)
Leslie Hansen (mammals)
Richard Hansen (fish, mammals)
Dorothy Hoard (butterflies, trees)
Chick Keller (flowers, herbarium)
Shari Kelley (geology)
Kirt Kempter (geology)
Garth Tietjen (reptiles)
David Yeamans (birds)

Web Development and Content Management

Pat Bacha
Jennifer Macke
Graham Mark
Akkana Peck


Please contact us for local nature questions and sightings. We welcome comments, corrections, and additions to our guides.

For more information about local nature, please visit our Nature Blog or subscribe to PEEC This Week.

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Showing 1 of 29 tracks.

Drawn based upon Beartracker image


Photo: William N. Norton


Photo: NC Wetlands


(Castor canadensis)

Family: Castoridae (Beavers)

Gait: bound, walk
Form: small claws; long toes

Front Foot: 5 toes; 1.7 in (4.3 cm) - 3.5 in (8.9 cm)
Hind Foot: 5 toes; 4.1 in (10.4 cm) - 7.9 in (20.1 cm)

The hind foot has very long webbed toes; the inner toes do not always register. The track may appear bird-like.

Beaver scat is primarily made up of clumps of woody material. It is often deposited directly in water, washing up on shore.

Mammal Guide - Beaver 
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