Maine Island Trail Association
58 Fore Street, Suite 30-3, Portland, ME 04101
The Maine Island Trail is a 350-mile waterway through some of the most beautiful paddling in North America. It runs between 162 islands and coastal waterfront properties from Cape Porpoise Harbor to Machias Bay and into the Canadian Maritimes. Depending on your definition, there are two to five thousand
coastal islands in Maine, so it is important to be well informed before you paddle up to one.
Established nearly 20 years ago, the Maine Island Trail is the oldest water trail in the United States, and a model for many others nationwide. The trail has been established and maintained by the Maine Island Trail Association (MITA). MITA helps its members to explore the wild and beautiful coast of Maine in a way that protects this exceptional resource for future generations.
Along the route, both state-owned and private islands are available for day use or overnight stopovers. The state-owned islands are open to all, but the private islands are open only to MITA members (or to other guests of the owner) by agreement with the landowners. Most important, MITA balances its work to provide access to the islands with work to preserve these special places. It does so by promoting environmental education, volunteer stewardship, and land conservation. MITA's work depends upon the active involvement of some 4,000 members from across the country, and some 300 active volunteers who work the trail.
: 350 miles
Overview of paddling level required
: Every paddling level is available on the Trail.
Put in locations
: See the current issue of the MITA Stewardship Handbook & Guidebook; sites on the Trail change annually as do put-in locations.
Suggested maps and where available
: The only identification of all sites on the Trail is in the current edition of the Stewardship Handbook. Many sites are offered by the property owner only on the condition that access be limited to MITA members who are committed to Leave No Trace practices, therefore distribution of the Stewardship Handbook is restricted to current MITA members. Membership is available at www.mita.org and is $45/year ($65/family).
Best time to paddle for specific weather conditions
? The Trail offers superb paddling May through October, with the busiest months being July and August.
Best time to paddle for availability of campsites
? The Trail includes sufficient sites so that campsites are nearly always available, but MITA members are asked to continue on to another site if a site is filled to its capacity as designated in the Stewardship Handbook.
Camping is permitted on most of the 160+ sites that comprise the Trail; see the Stewardship Handbook for specific information on each site.
Types (primitive, outhouse, running water, etc)
: Virtually all sites are primitive, none have running water and only a few have outhouses. Human waste must be carried out from all other islands.
Group size or number of campers accommodated if different groups
: See the Stewardship Handbook for details of each site. The Trail has a limited number of sites that can accommodate organized groups such as Scout troops, paddling clubs, outfitter trips and the like. Site-specific campsite capacities, outlined in the Stewardship Handbook, have been established to preserve the natural integrity of the islands.
: Reservations and permits are not required.
Trip suggestions, include paddling level required for each
: See the Stewardship Handbook for details; also consult the MITA website at www.mita.org
. There are many sites that accommodate day visits and/or overnights. MITA recommends a stay of no more than two consecutive nights in any single site.
How can one get involved with using, maintaining or supporting the trail?
MITA welcomes members who use the Trail or who simply want to support the Trail; join and/or contribute at www.mita.org