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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 cycling and canoeing, 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.

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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.

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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 hiking or biking, angling or ATVing, always stay on a designated trail.

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Avoid peak

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.

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Avoid spreading
invasive species

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.

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Don't damage

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.

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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 pack that out, too!

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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.

Maine camping
  • Know your personal limits and always recreate within your ability
  • Pack essentials like food, water and fire starter
  • Be weather wise and dress in appropriate moisture-wicking fabric and layers – including proper footwear
  • Wear sunscreen, and protect your eyes from the sun and its reflection off water
  • Stay hydrated
  • 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
  • Wear a mask and maintain social distancing while on trails. Review our COVID-19 travel protocols to help ensure a safe visit
  • Be sure to bring a physical, waterproof map and a compass along with your cell phone - with or without cell service, you will have what you need to navigate and be found
  • The sun starts setting earlier in the fall. Be sure to plan accordingly for shorter days when planning a hike or other activities.

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 respectfully and responsibly by always asking landowners for permission and checking postings first.

Ready to head out?

Check out 12 Ways to Recreate Responsibly and Sustainably in Maine plus a few of our favorite adventures for sunny summer days.

Partner Resources

Help us spread the word. We’ve created a downloadable Look Out for ME messaging toolkit containing assets that can be used in both your digital communications and physical spaces, including:

  • Initiative logos
  • Social media posts and images for your social channels
  • Printable posters to hang on-site
  • A program introduction to email to your clients


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Beginning May 1, travelers from all states will be able to travel to Maine without providing a negative COVID-19 test result or quarantining, unless otherwise determined by the Maine CDC. If a state experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases, the Maine CDC will apply testing and quarantine protocols to all travelers from that state.

Learn how our safe travel protocols are helping ensure everyone's visit is a safe one.