With more than 600,000 acres in preserves located around the state, Maine land trusts are a great resource for expanding one’s list of possible destinations. As a bonus, many land trust properties can be found close to home. When done in accordance with appropriate social distancing and preparedness, getting outside can be a safe way to stay healthy, relieve stress, and recharge.
The best place to get started is by finding a Maine land trust near you. Check out your local land trust’s website to locate available properties, read descriptions, view trail maps, and get directions. If you have additional questions, contact the land trust instead of leaving it to chance. Lastly, visit websites or socialmedia pages before heading out to make sure you have the most up to date information. Visiting a part of Maine that’s new to you or looking to discover a new favorite hike? Be sure to check out Maine Trail Finder. They even have a calendar of events happening outdoors around the state.
Another good resource if you’re heading outdoors is Look Out for ME, sponsored by the Maine Office of Tourism. Their website can help you plan your visit, with information on where to stay, activities, seasonal festivities, and so much more. They’ve also got the latest on COVID-19 protocols for recreating outside, and information to help visitors keep each other, the land, and the wildlife safe. Here are a few quick trips to get you started.
- Visit a lesser-known spot and explore places close to home.
- Have a plan B (and C). If your first destination has a busy parking lot, go to the next spot on your list!
- Get outside earlier or later in the day to avoid peak times.
- If you are exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19, or if you have recently been exposed to COVID-19, please stay home.
- Stay at least six feet away from other people.
Finally, remember that conditions will vary around the state, but here are some things to keep in mind:
- Even when the weather is fine, hiking trails can be slippery and wet, with snow, ice and mud in many locations.
- Choose an appropriate trail to minimize potential injuries that will place further stress on health care resources.
- Ticks can be present even in the colder weather. Wear light-colored pants and closed-toe shoes, apply bug repellent, and check your body when done.