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Recreation Areas

Public Reserved Land


Maine’s public reserved lands comprise more than half a million acres of protected wilderness. You can explore many of Maine's natural features at these multi-use areas, such as all seven summits of the Bigelow Mountain Range. You can go hiking, camping, fishing or cross-country skiing while keeping an eye out for moose and bald eagles. Some campgrounds charge a fee. The Maine public lands are also home to a portion of the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail, which winds through northern Maine on its way to the Canadian border. No matter what time of year you visit, you'll be sure to find your own secluded spot of wilderness, as many of these lands are only accessible via unpaved private roads.

Many of Maine's more than half a million acres of Public Reserved Lands offer backcountry recreation and camping in wild and remote locations. Camping is allowed at most of the 29 land units that range in size from 500 to more than 43,000 acres. You should be prepared for and have experience in rugged wilderness camping, as public reserved lands—unlike state parks—are not staffed. Land units set around mountains are destinations for camping and hiking, while other locations feature primitive oceanfront tent sites or remote waterways for canoeing, kayaking or fishing. Camping is free on most lands, but you'll need to pay a use fee at a handful of the units. Large lakes such as Moosehead, Flagstaff and the Upper and Lower Richardson Lakes have public islands accessible to campers.