It’s all about respect.
For the land. For yourself. And for everyone that experiences Maine’s abundant natural resources before or after you. And if you enjoy the outdoors, from hiking and camping to snowshoeing and snowmobiling, you probably think our mountains, waters and forests are just as worthy of respect as we do. Whether you’re venturing out into Maine’s abundant public or private lands, a state park or Acadia National Park, here’s how we can all do our part to conserve the state’s natural resources, season after season, and for generations to come.
Take Care of the Land
Tread lightly and leave no trace. Just a few simple words, but some very real ways to keep the place as pristine as you found it. Take note.
Where ya headed?
To check if you’ll be on public or private land—and so you’re aware of any restrictions or fees—always research your destination ahead of time.
Stick to established trails & roads
When two paths diverge in the woods, you can still take the one less traveled. As long as it’s still a marked trail or road. Whether you’re cross-country skiing or hiking, snowmobiling or ATVing, always stay on a designated trail.
Plan around peak hours in the middle of the day to avoid crowds on the trails. And always have a Plan B in mind in case the parking lot is already full.
Invasive species like to hitchhike, so don’t transport firewood, and be sure to brush your boots and dry your boat before you head to your next adventure.
Considering they help us breathe, provide shelter for forest wildlife, and are just plain pretty. To protect the forest, only build fires in approved sites and extinguish them thoroughly.
No litter bugs allowed
There are no garbage cans in the wilderness. So if you pack it in, you need to pack it out. Pretty simple. That includes biodegradables like apple cores and banana peels. Be sure to bring bags for pet waste and that out, too!
If you need to go, don’t be like a bear
Scat happens. When nature calls, pick a spot at least 100 feet off the trail or away from a body of water, and bury your poop at least six inches deep.
Take Care of Yourself
Always plan for the unexpected, and be sure to share your route and plan with someone who’s staying behind.
- Know your personal limits and always recreate within your ability
- Pack essentials like food, water and fire starter
- Be weather wise and dress appropriately
- Bring a basic first aid kit and make sure you know how to use it
- Research your destination and comply with any policies in place
- Travel with a friend
- Cell service can be finicky so bring a physical, waterproof map and a compass and know how to use them
- Wear a mask and maintain social distancing while on trails. Review our COVID-19 travel protocols to help ensure a safe visit
Did you know about 94% of Maine's forest land is privately owned?
But more than half of it is open to public recreation. To keep this good thing going, be sure to venture out responsibly by always checking postings first and treating the land with respect.
Resources to Plan a Safe Trip
Ready to head out?
Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy snowy winter days.