If done in accordance with appropriate social distancing, getting outside during this challenging time can be a safe way to stay healthy, relieve stress, and recharge. 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.
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. Lastly, visit their webpage or social media sites before heading out to make sure you have the most up to date information. Another great resource that includes all types of trails throughout the state is Maine Trail Finder.
In recent days, federal, state, and local governments have been forced to shut down popular public outdoor areas, because too many visitors have made social distancing problematic. To ensure land trusts and other conservation lands do not follow, please adhere to these recommendations from Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands:
- 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, and please keep your visits brief.
- 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 it is spring in Maine. Conditions will vary around the state, but here are some things to keep in mind:
- Hiking trails are likely to 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.
- With ticks becoming active, wear light-colored pants and closed-toe shoes, apply bug repellent, and check your body when done.