12 Apr 2022

Shared Love for the Land: Tips for enjoying Maine’s outdoors year-round

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The Maine outdoors provides a cherished feeling of special places throughout the state. Maine’s working landscapes include farmland, pastures, cropland, woodland, and forests. These natural resources are connected to businesses which provide products, like farm-raised food and fiber for people. At the same time, they provide habitats for wild animals and plants. Well cared-for, and respected natural resources are critical to the wellbeing and livelihood of Mainers and its natural beauty.

Sugarbushes filled with maple trees are an example of land that has different benefits. It is a source of local food, income and jobs, and wildlife habitat.
Depending on the farm or woodlot, there may be different uses from season to season. Care and attention is necessary year-round.

What do Maine’s working landscapes offer?  

  • Pastures and crop land are local sources of food 
  • Open and wooded areas are homes for thousands of wildlife, bugs, animals, and native plants  
  • Farms, woodland and forests provide local jobs in agriculture, forestry and tourism  
  • Special places to get outside and respectfully appreciate Maine’s beauty year-round  
A landscape showing a potato field in Maine during late summer
Potato fields and wooded areas are sources of year-round beauty in Maine.

Know before you go – follow the four R’s

  • Respect: Treat land as the valuable necessity that it is to Maine. This helps everyone appreciate Maine’s beauty for generations.
  • Responsibility: Keep your pets on leash, and clean up after them—especially near pasture and farmland. This can help reduce the spread of unwanted disease between pets and farm animals or crops.
  • Right Thing: Follow the unwritten rules of Maine land use: ask for permission, say thank you. Set an example for others. Always carry-in and carry-out. See litter and trash? Do the right thing and pick it up.  
  • Right Path: Don’t assume a place is open to the public. In fact, 94% of land in Maine is privately owned, but there remain numerous recreational opportunities on privately owned land. Before you go, know where, and if, you may walk, hike, drive, bird watch, hunt, forage, travel and tour—and the safe ways to do so.

Why respect, responsibility and “the right things” matter:  

  • Respectful, responsible land use helps preserve these special places for the future  
  • Sustains community relationships 
  • Instills and improves our understanding for the value of Maine’s working landscapes  
A close up of a field of lavender growing in Maine
Crops of all types are grown in Maine. It can take months and years of dedicated effort to ensure the success of crops.

Want to learn how you can support farms, businesses and the outdoors?