Trails & COVID-19

March 25, 2020 Claire Polfus
Stewardship, Using MTF

Updated April 2, 2020 in response to the Stay Healthy at Home Mandate.

The spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives. Although authorities have closed schools and many businesses, most outdoor spaces remain open. As we seek solace and health in the outdoors, it is important that we also protect the health of all of our neighbors. Many trail and outdoor organizations have issued guidelines for using outdoor spaces including:

  • Make the health of everyone in your community your priority. Go out only if you’re feeling healthy and you have not had close contact with anyone who is sick. Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If a sink isn’t available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs, handrails, and playground equipment.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting, including the outdoors. Shorten the time you spend at viewpoints, rest spots and picnic areas to ensure everyone can safely enjoy special places.
  • Know before you go. Some trails have been closed because of overcrowding. Before you leave your house, make sure you are following the regulations from local health officials and the trail manager for the trail you are visiting. Click here for a map of closed trails. Please note that you should also verify the trail status with the trail manager. Some trails managers have closed parking lots and infrastructure and have experienced crowding. Click here for a map of partially open trails. 
  • Be flexible. Have a Plan A, B and C. If your first choice trail is full, go to the next trail on your list. Visit trails at off-peak hours like early in the morning or in the late afternoon.
  • Be prepared. Trailhead restrooms and other facilities are likely closed. Pack snacks and water and dress for volatile spring weather in Maine. 
  • Don’t carpool with non-household members.
  • Engage in low-risk activities; now is not the time to try something extreme and end up in the hospital, taxing an already taxed health care system.
  • Please leash your dog! They are members of your household and need to keep their social distance as well (and most standard leashes are 6 feet in length).
  • Please note that all campsites in Maine are currently closed under the Governor's executive order.

Importantly, please also STAY LOCAL and AVOID HIGH USE AREAS when you are choosing where to recreate.

If you see a lot of cars at a trailhead, try a different trail or go during a less busy time of day. 

Tips for finding the right trail for you:

Find Trails Near me

Check the "Find Trails Near Me" box on our Find Trails Page to get a list of trails within 10 miles of your location. 

Connector Trails

Use the "View Connector Trails" feature on the trail map to see if you could bike to the trailhead or park elsewhere to avoid busy parking lots.

Trail manager Information

Some trails have had to close because of high use and people congregating. Check the trail manager's website, which is linked at the bottom of every trail posting, to make sure the trail is open.

For more information:

Stay safe and be well

Comments (2)
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aidan
June 04, 2020
and when has it been a public park's job to tell me how to wash my hands?
aidan
June 04, 2020
"Don't carpool with non-household members."
Seriously?
It's none of your business whether I carpool with someone I live with or someone I met yesterday.
What is this world coming to?
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