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
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
Please contact us for local nature questions and sightings. We welcome comments, corrections, and additions to our guides.
Drawn based upon Beartracker image
Photo: Juan Cruzado Cortes
Photo: William Terry Hunefeld
Family: Cricetidae (New World Rats and Mice, Voles, Hamsters, and Relatives)
Form: small claws; round toes
Front Foot: 5 toes; 4.0 in (10.2 cm) - 0.7 in (1.7 cm)
Hind Foot: 5 toes; 0.6 in (1.5 cm) - 0.9 in (2.3 cm)
Front and back prints may overlap giving the impression of alternating single prints.
Scat consists of a pile of fecal pellets that can vary in color and texture. Woodrats build a "house" of sticks with their nest inside. There is usually a well-worn track going back and forth from the house.
Mammalian Guide - Woodrat