If you are new to boating or don’t own a boat, there are still many ways to explore all the Maine Island Trail has to offer! Check out this list of resources for rentals, guides, lessons, and tips to help get you started. It’s never too late to make your maiden voyage on the Maine Island Trail!
Rentals, Tours, & Charters
- MITA partners with many fantastic businesses, guides, and charters all along the Maine coast, many of whom offer substantial discounts for MITA members. Check out mita.org/benefits for details.
- The Maine Association of Sea Kayak Guides and Instructors (MASKGI) lists outfitters and guides by region, making it easy to connect.
- Join a boat sharing program like Freedom Boat Club and enjoy all the perks of having a boat without any of the hassle. At Freedom Boat Club, MITA members get $1,000 of the one-time entry fee!
Want to meet more people with similar interests? Meetup groups are a great way to do that! The following are a few meetup groups MITA is aware of:
Tips on Buying Your First Boat:
- Wondering how to choose a sea kayak? Read this article by the experts at Maine Kayak Co on how to demo and choose a sea kayak.
- When buying a larger boat such as a power or sail boat, there are many sites with articles that help break down the costs, types of boats, and other considerations like storage, maintenance and more. Here are a few to get you thinking:
- Work with a certified yacht broker like those at East Coast Yacht Sales to ensure that you get the most experienced brokers and the best deals.
- Need charts? Hamilton Marine has everything you need to navigate the coastal waters of Maine.
- Download or view NOAA nautical charts online.
Skill Building & Safety:
- Take your boating skills to the next level with courses from reputable instructors and organizations like these:
- Visit MITA’s Online Events page to find recordings of online events. These events cover fun and interesting topics like:
- Whether you are buying your first boat, renting one for the day, or going out with a guide, it’s important to know about boating safety equipment and guidelines. Learn more at these sites:
- Have emergency backup covered with a membership to SeaTow – the AAA of boating!
Easily Accessible Islands:
Even if you don’t plan to buy or rent a boat, with some planning you can visit and camp on islands by using public transportation! Here are a few awesome options:
- Duck Harbor Campground (Isle au haut): From mid-June through late September you can access the campground by a Ferry from Stonington to Duck Harbor. Check the Isle au Haut Boat Services company for the ferry schedule. Space is first-some, first-served and it’s best to be there at least a half hour before departure.
- Little Chebeague Island (Casco Bay): Take the Chebeague Island Ferry to Great Chebeague. Little Chebeague is then walkable at low tide. Time your arrival and departure times according to the tides and be ready to get your feet wet! Don’t forget to factor in walking time, as you’ll need to traverse the length of Great Chebeague (about an hour’s walk) and then cross the intertidal zone to Little Chebeague.
- Little River Island (Cutler Harbor): This island features a historic light station that you can tour or book for an overnight stay. Boat transportation is provided for open house visitors and overnight stays.
- Portland’s water taxis such as CBA Water Taxi, Foggs Water Taxi, and others will carry you to/from Casco Bay islands, including Cow Island, Little Chebeague and Jewell Island. Bring a group to split the fee and make the trip more affordable.
- Swan Island (Kennebec River): A ferry service for day users and campers is available from the town of Richmond, ME by reservation. Swan has 12 overnight sites available, including 10 shelters, 1 campsite, and one large group site. Camping reservations are required.
- Warren Island (Lincolnville): Quicksilver Water Taxi can take you to this destination. For a fee, you can stay at one of the 9 campsites and 3 group camping areas. Reservations are recommended.
Be sure to download the Maine Island Trail App to get all the details on these wonderful islands!
If you have any suggestions for resources to be added to this list, please email email@example.com.