If you love to paddle or sail small boats, we have a wonderful secret to share. As the nation’s first-ever water trail, the Maine Island Trail is a 375-mile route, extending from the New Hampshire border to Canada, that leads small boaters to more than 200 wild offshore islands and mainland sites.
Created and protected by people who love the coast of Maine, the trail offers the opportunity for boaters to respectfully visit these sites for day use or overnight camping. There’s no official route; boaters are encouraged to simply enjoy these sites at their leisure, although there are some folks who do power-paddles! There are also plenty of professional outfits that offer guided tours. Most of the trail requires only basic paddling skills, but you must know how to navigate; it’s recommended you contact either the Maine Island Trail Association for their guidebook, or a local outfitter.
The trail includes lighthouses, seals, terns and other harbor life, pine-studded granite, narrow inlets, wide bays, and opportunities to cast a line for striped bass and bluefish, forage for blueberries, explore tidepools, wander beaches—then do it all over again as you hop back into your vessel for the next leg!