How to avoid crowded trails? Spread out a bit and explore!
June 11, 2020
Even without health concerns related to COVID-19, overcrowding can make recreation experiences less enjoyable and negatively impact the ecology of the wonderful parks and lands we all share. And with social distancing being so important to public health, overcrowding also risks your health and the health of our communities. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to avoid overcrowding recreation destinations.
One step to combat crowding is to seek out lesser-known, less heavily visited destinations. Already overflowing this spring have been places such as Tumbledown Mountain Public Land, campgrounds at the Bigelow Preserve Public Land, Camden Hills State Park, the Sunrise and Four Seasons Rail Trails, as well as some sites not managed by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.
Other wonderful destinations await without the crowding. Here's how to find them:
- Maine Trail Finder and Adventure Local Maine are great tools for discovering places to hike and bike. It also includes listings for water trails.
- The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands Find Parks and Lands feature helps direct you to information on the Bureaus varied destinations.
- Look for public boat launches for on-the-water adventures across the state.
- Maine ATV clubs support trail maintenance and management. Joining a club is a great way to learn about riding opportunities and to give back to the trails.
- Check out a Wildlife Management Area near you.
- Visit on the traditionally less busy days: Monday through Thursday. If it safely suits your activity, consider a visit earlier or later in the day.
- Make a back-up plan in case your first choice of location or activity is crowded or full.
- If camping in an area without reservations, plan to arrive early enough in the day to adjust if your anticipated site is already taken. This is especially important for backpacking and paddling trips.
- Stay up-to-date on current conditions by subscribing to our Alerts.
- Learn about Leave No Trace skills and ethics to better prepare for minimizing your impacts and staying safe,
- Please remember to share this with the outdoor enthusiasts in your life.
Sent in partnership with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.