Many of Maine’s trails at higher elevations and in northern parts of the State are still covered in ice and snow. Also, the roads to get to trails are still quite muddy or even impassable.
Do your research before heading for a hike and check local conditions. Consider a local trail as you prepare for bigger hikes later in the season.
Here are some hints from the MDIFW:
Spring hiking reminders:
- Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. Should something happen, this will be key to helping the Maine Warden Service and other search and rescue personnel help find you.
- Know that conditions will vary significantly across the state and at different elevations. It might feel like spring in southern Maine, but in northern parts and at higher elevations, there is still plenty of ice and snow! Some trails are extremely muddy and closed to prevent trail damage – research your trip before you go.
- Remember that it gets dark much earlier in the spring than the middle of summer. Plan accordingly, and always pack a flashlight in case.
- Dress for the weather and in plenty of layers.
- Hiking boots with ankle support and tread are ideal. It is best to avoid icy conditions altogether, but just in case, pack a pair of crampons or ice creepers.
- Be prepared for no cell phone service. Know your route without the help of your cell phone.
- Pack essential items, including high-protein snacks, water, and a fire starter. More info HERE.
- Roads may be impassable due to mud, snow, or a combination. Have a plan B, and stick to the places you know in the spring. Save your bigger adventures for later in the season.
- Respect the land by picking up after yourself and staying on the trail. 94% of Maine’s forest land is privately owned and more than half of that land area is open to the public. This access is an incredible gift, and in order to preserve it, we all need to do our part.