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 US Geological Society image


Photo: Scott Camazine


Photo: Kim Cabrera


(Mephitis mephitis)

Family: Mephitidae (Skunks)

Gait: lope, overstep walk
Form: large claws; round toes

Front Foot: 5 toes; 1.0 in (2.5 cm) - 1.8 in (4.4 cm)
Hind Foot: 5 toes; 1.3 in (3.2 cm) - 2.0 in (5.1 cm)

The small toe on the inside of the hind foot does not always register. The interdigital and proximal pads as well as the heel pad can often be seen in a print.

Scat is cylindrical with blunt ends. It is mostly composed of insect parts. Nests and burrows carry the smell of skunk musk.

Mammal Guide - Skunk 
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