Trail Tips

Getting outside and active can be very rewarding, but it can also be challenging–especially on a longer hike or excursion!
A prepared outing minimizes risk and trail impact and maximizes fun!
Here are some tips to help you prepare for your trail adventure.

   If lost or injured, please call the Maine Warden Service for help: (207) 287-8000

Before heading out…

Recreate responsibly: Follow the COVID-19 protocols recommended for the trail you are visiting. Learn more at Maine Trail Finder.

Know Where to Go: Use a map to plan your activity and stay oriented while on the trails. Smart devices are making this easier, so don’t hesitate to bring one along. Let someone know where you’re headed and when you expect to be back.

Whither the Weather: Take a look at the weather forecast to prepare for your outing (or reschedule to a nice day)… but remember, the weather in Maine changes often, so a raincoat, sunscreen, and warm layers are always a good idea!

Pace Yourself: Know what your limits are and plan to hike trails that are within them. The SNAC trails are rated easy, moderate, and strenuous, so you can increase the challenge as you improve your endurance on trails.

Snack Attack: Bring along a small snack in case you get hungry or feel a drop in energy while exercising.

Think about Drinks: It’s a good idea to drink water or hydrating fluids during the day, especially when you’re active. Bring along a water bottle or hydration backpack on the trail.

Learn the 7 Leave No Trace Principles: Plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of other visitors.

Share the Trail: Some of the trails in the Second Nature Adventure Challenge are maintained for multiple types of use — hikers should not be surprised to meet others on motorized vehicles, horses, or skis.

Pack the right supplies: This is especially important for longer outings and if you’re less experienced with longer hikes or trips. This resource has some good ideas for safety and clothing for each season.

Health & Safety Tips

Avoid the Ivy: Learn to recognize poison ivy, which commonly grows along the edges of trails, fields, and rivers. If contacted, use soap and a washcloth to vigorously wash the oils from your skin.

Prevent Lyme Disease: Avoid walking in long grasses, wear long pants/sleeves, use insect repellents, and check yourself for ticks regularly.

First Aid: Carry a simple first aid kit in the woods, and know how to use its contents. From blisters to bug bites, it’s got your back! A multi-purpose knife might come in handy too.

See and Be Seen: Bring a flashlight or headlamp and wear reflective clothing when you might be out after dark.

Slippery when Wet: Some trails will be slippery after a rain or if they are covered in fallen leaves. Watch your step!

Watch out in Winter: Plowed paths may be icy, especially in shaded areas. Consider slipping on a simple traction device over your shoes for extra grip.

What to wear?

Avoid shoes blues: Closed-toed shoes with good ankle support and traction are the best for hiking on the varied terrain in Maine.

Beat the Heat: Wear lightweight, breathable clothes and consider exercising in the morning or evening, when it is cooler. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after activity.

Cotton Schmotten: Choose synthetic or wool clothing rather than cotton, which takes a long time to dry when wet and will make you very cold and uncomfortable.

Layer Up: When exercising in cooler weather, wear layers which are easy to add/remove so that you can maintain a comfortable temperature.

Save your Skin: Use sunscreen and/or wear long light layers and a hat when out during the day.

Bugs be Gone: Wear light-colored clothing, DEET-free insect repellent, or a headnet to safely keep the biting bugs at bay.