Best Practices When On Private Land
When on private land, Maine's long history of private land-public access highlights that landowners willingly open their lands and trails to recreational users and traditional sportsmen with an understanding of mutual respect. To maintain this relationship and ensure continued use, users must actively respect boundaries and rules and follow the best practices below:
- Obtain expressed permission or follow posted guidelines before starting any fires.
- Share the trail with motorized users and respect their right to use it.
- When passing or being passed by motorized users, walk single file.
- Familiarize yourself with the property boundaries and avoid crossing into neighboring properties without permission.
- Leave no trace of your visit by carrying out all trash and litter, ensuring the land remains clean and free from unnecessary impact.
- Stick to established paths and trails to minimize the impact on the land's natural environment. Do not create new trails or cut switchbacks.
- Observe wildlife from a distance and refrain from disturbing them. Do not pick plants, flowers, or disturb natural features.
- If pets are allowed, keep them under control at all times to ensure they don't disturb wildlife or leave waste behind.
- When encountering gates or fences on private land, leave them as you found them and close gates to prevent livestock from escaping and maintain the landowner's privacy. Do not break locked or posted gates, and do not trespass.
- If you notice any issues, such as damaged trails, potential hazards, or unauthorized activities, report them promptly to the landowner or the appropriate authority.
Remember that continued access to private land for recreation is a privilege. It is crucial to actively respect landowners and their property to maintain positive relationships and preserve access for future generations. By following these best practices, you can fully enjoy the beauty of private lands while actively contributing to their conservation and long-term sustainability.
If you want to receive more information about trails and access, sign up for our newsletter.