Foliage views + Maine hikes = ❤️


No matter where you hike, hike prepared

stream with fall foliage in background

As the leaves turn and Maine's forests light up with color, hiking enthusiasts near and far seek our hiking trails. The unmatched views and cooler days present ideal hiking conditions, but hikers need to be prepared for fall's unique conditions: shorter days mean hikes may need to start earlier in the day to be done by dark, additional layers should be packed especially at higher elevations, and an icy mountain top is possible. 


Before your picturesque day on the trail, refresh yourself on these safe hiking reminders:

  1. Tell someone who is not hiking with you 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.

  2. There are fewer daylight hours in the fall - plan your hike accordingly. Rushing can lead to slipping or falling, and hiking in the dark is challengingKnow how long the hike may take, and plan accordingly. Pack a flashlight just in case. 

  3. Know that conditions will vary significantly across the state and at different elevations. Maine is a large state, 35,385 square miles to be exact, and conditions will vary significantly from one area to the next. Winter conditions come much earlier in the northern parts and at higher elevations.

  4. Respect private landowners. More than 94% of Maine’s forest land is privately owned. The trail you may be hiking could be owned by a private individual, help keep this privilege by being a good land user. Keep it clean and stay on the trail. Be sure to not block paths, gates, or roads when you park.

  5. Dress for the weather and in layers. Pack layers to prepare for changing weather conditions. Stick to wicking base layers that dry fast (no cotton) and top them with warmer layers such as fleece and a wind and rain resistant outer shell.

    Know what shoes are needed, for many trails hiking shoes with strong ankle support and tread are needed. It is best to avoid icy conditions altogether, but just in case, pack a pair of crampons or ice creepers.

  6. Be prepared for no cell phone service. Know your route without the help of your cell phone.

  7. Pack essential items. You should always be prepared to spend a night in the woods should anything happen. Always pack water, high-protein snacks, and a fire starter. Learn more in our You Alone in the Maine Woods booklet (PDF).

  8. Keep it clean. Always leave the land as you found it, if not better. If you see trash that someone else left, pick it up.

  9. Stick to established trails and roads. 

  10. Be prepared for no restrooms. When nature calls, pick a spot at least 100 feet off the trail or away from a body of water, and bury your poop at least six inches deep.

  11. Share the woods. Maine is an outdoor playground for anglers, hikers, hunters, trappers, photographers, wildlife watchers, leaf peepers, and more... Give each other space and be courteous. With millions of acres of land, there is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy.

  12. Have a plan B. If the trailhead is full head to your next option. Consider adventuring during the week, and for shorter hikes, avoid peak hours. When parking, always make sure other vehicles can continue to drive through the road and never block roads, paths, or gates.