Maine Island Trail (ME)
Length: 350 miles
Waterway: Atlantic ocean (coast of Maine)
The Maine Island Trail is a 350-mile waterway extending from Cape Porpoise Harbor, Kennebunkport, on the west, to Machias Bay on the east. The Trail winds its way along the coast, around magnificent and exposed capes, through protected saltwater rivers and quiet bays, and among islands large and small. It includes over 150 islands and mainland sites along the route, available for day visits or overnight camping.
The public sites on the Trail are owned by municipalities, the State of Maine or the federal government and are open to all. But many of the islands and sites on the Trail are owned privately and are open only to MITA members (or to other guests of the property owners). MITA's permission to access the private sites on the Trail is a very special privilege. The owners share these sites with us out of generosity, and receive nothing in return but a promise of good stewardship. To help retain access to these places, MITA members are asked to care for these properties as if they were their own, and to follow carefully the specific island use guidelines posted by the owners.
The annual Guidebook is your complete resource for exploration of the Maine Island Trail. Many people ask where they can buy the Guidebook. The answer is: It isn't for sale. Members receive it every spring and it's valid only for that year's boating season.
Why isn't it for sale? We encourage users of Maine's coast and supporters of access and conservation to support MITA through membership. Your dues fund the stewardship, education, and management to preserve these places for you and future generations to enjoy. The Guidebook is an added benefit, as is access to many private islands listed within. Because sites are added and removed from the Trail every year, and usage guidelines change annually as well, it is important to renew your membership and have a current copy of the Guidebook with you whenever you travel the Trail. Thirty-two islands were added to the Trail between 2005 and 2008.
Twenty years ago, a handful of boating enthusiasts from Maine launched a revolutionary idea. The group envisioned a virtual path through the water linking uninhabited islands into a coherent whole — a "water trail." They called it the Maine Island Trail®. Since then, according to the American Canoe Association, 500 water trails have been developed nationwide. The concept of a water trail is now well known to almost any American who owns a boat. The first was the Maine Island Trail, which since 1988 has grown to include over 150 properties and 350 miles down the coast of Maine.
Maine Island Trail Association
58 Fore St, Suite 30-3,
Portland, ME 04101
Maine Island Trail official website: www.mita.org/