The Maine Island Trail is a 375-mile recreational waterway that spans the entire coast of Maine. America’s oldest recreational water trail, it connects over 200 island and mainland sites open for day visits or overnight camping while traversing a variety of natural settings from sandy beaches and quiet bays to saltwater rivers and bold shores. Trail properties are owned by an assortment of private landowners, conservation organizations, and federal, state and municipal agencies, all of whom generously make their land available to visitors in exchange for the promise of respectful use and careful stewardship.
All Trail sites are accessible by personal watercraft – such as sea kayaks, sailboats or powerboats – although reasonable access to some sites may depend on the sea conditions or the tide. Some users choose to travel the Trail in one fell swoop, but most opt for a more leisurely approach, exploring different regions and visiting new island and mainland sites over time. Detailed information about each site is contained in the paper Trail Guide and the new App, which are updated annually and available with a MITA membership. MITA members not only receive comprehensive information about the Trail, helpful tips for safe and responsible boating, and guidelines for low-impact recreation, but members also support ongoing stewardship and education efforts aimed at preserving Trail sites and experiences for future generations.
The Maine Island Trail is a dynamic water trail. There is no official route, and the experience is influenced by the weather, the seasons and by regional variations in the character of the Maine coast. The Trail itself is constantly changing. Sites are frequently added and removed, usage guidelines are revised based on owner preferences, and stewardship strategies are adjusted to meet changing environmental conditions. To ensure that Trail sites remain well cared for and to fulfill our pledge of responsible use to site owners, it is important for all visitors to plan their trip using current information about the Trail.
The concept of the Trail was based on a simple premise – that conscientious users could be entrusted with the stewardship of some of the most treasured places on the Maine coast. Please join us in this effort to ensure long term preservation of these incomparable natural resources as you reconnect with nature, reinvigorate your spirit, and replenish your sense of discovery while exploring the wonder and beauty of the Maine Island Trail.