Who can blame people?  Maine has beautiful state parks and recreational areas, and with non-essential businesses closed down, many people are flocking to the the parks to prevent boredom.

All dressed up and nowhere to go?  Well, State officials are asking you to avoid the crowds and go where they aren't.

With goals of social distancing and not being a part of a group of more than 10, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry, provide these reminders on how you get some fresh air and exercise, while staying safe at the same time.

Go where they aren’t (AKA how to avoid crowds!)

  • Visit a lesser-known spot and explore places close to home. Consider visiting a nearby Wildlife Management Area, or less trafficked state parkpublic land or local land trust.
  • Have a plan B (and C). If your first destination has a busy parking lot, go to the next spot on your list! Maine Trail Finder is a great resource.
  • Get outside earlier or later in the day to avoid peak times, and please keep your visits brief.
  • Recharge in your backyard and neighborhood! Backyard adventures in the time of coronavirus are an excellent idea. Remind friends and neighbors to stay safe by tagging Instagram pics with #backyardpark.

Know before you go

  • If you are exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19, or if you have recently been exposed to COVID-19, please stay home.
  • Stay at least six feet away from other people.
  • If you do decide to go for hike, remember trails are likely to be slippery from ice and mud, which can increase the difficulty level. Stick to easy trails to avoid injuries and further stress on health care resources.
  • Be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • Be prepared for limited access to public restrooms (use the bathroom before you leave home).
  • Always leave no trace, including cleaning up after your pet, so be sure to bring a disposable bag to carry out any waste.
  • And remember to help stop ticks by wearing light-colored pants, closed-toe shoes, and applying EPA-approved bug repellent.
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