The mission of the Maine Island Trail Association is to “advance a model of thoughtful use and volunteer stewardship of Maine’s wild islands, creating an inspiring recreational water trail that is cared for by the people who use it.”
In 33 years, MITA has never owned island properties; instead, through simple handshake agreements with island-owning individuals, families, nonprofits, and government entities, MITA facilitates island access for responsible boating explorers. A current directory of sites on the Trail is laid out in an annual Maine Island Trail guidebook and mobile app.
The success of the Trail rests on balancing island visitation with volunteer stewardship and visitor education. Every year, hundreds of volunteers conduct thousands of hours of stewardship work on the Trail with coordination from MITA staff. Those who travel the Trail pledge to “leave no trace” during their island visits. This reliance on “user-stewardship” engenders a shared commitment among island visitors, volunteers, and owners to care for the Trail. MITA is deeply proud of this three-decade tradition.
Today, the Trail is more than eight times larger than it was at its founding, gradually growing from 30 mostly state-owned islands to 246 wild islands and coastal mainland sites from Kittery to Cobscook Bay owned by more than 100 partners. As the Trail grows, MITA continues to uphold its end of the bargain to island owners and visitors: to keep these magnificent spaces pristine and beautiful.
YOU CAN JOIN MITA BY VISITING MITA.ORG/JOIN. START PLANNING THIS SUMMER’S WILD ISLAND ADVENTURES TODAY!
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