The hairy-tailed mole is about 15 cm (6 in.) long, with a short tail covered with stiff, grey hair. It is found in southwestern New Brunswick, through southern Quebec and Ontario, and in the northeastern United States.
This mole prefers forested areas or old pasture land where soil is relatively dry and loose. Moles's forelimbs are adapted for digging. The hands are turned permanently outward. This makes the animal clumsy on the surface but capable of tunnelling through loose soil at considerable speed by using the forefeet as earthmovers.
Permanent tunnels, together with the nests, are usually about 25 to 45 cm (10 to 18 in.) beneath the surface, but they are deeper in the winter months. The tunnels are constructed during hunting forays and to provide safe nesting and travelling areas. During the winter months the moles's prey—earthworms, insects and other invertebrates—move downward to avoid freezing. The moles follow them down.
Moles are preyed upon by owls, foxes and larger snakes.