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Prepare for changes at reopened state parks and beaches

On Monday, ten midcoast and southern Maine beach state parks and campgrounds reopened after being closed since mid-March.

AUGUSTA, Maine — As warm weather rolls into the weekend, more people are expected to head to state parks and beaches, according to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry.

Ten midcoast and southern Maine beach state parks and campgrounds reopened after being closed since mid-March on June 1, and if you haven't been to one yet, Communication's Director Jim Britt says it is a different park experience now.

"Expect some bathroom closures, expect some amenities like playgrounds to be closed, wash areas or rinse areas to be closed. So come prepared,” said Britt.

It's recommended guests bring their own disinfectant and hand wash, and go to the bathroom prior to arriving.

New messaging will tell visitors proper protocols, such as masks and when you should have one on, to ensure the safety of the staff and other visitors.

Rangers will monitor traffic in-and-out of the facilities to maintain safe distancing on beaches.

"We are going to limit the capacity of the beaches to 50% for now,” said Britt.

Since June 1, Maine DAFC has seen a drop in out-of-state visitors in state parks by approximately 5%. This is compared to 2019 which was a record-breaking year. However, campground reservations are up about 15% for Maine residents year-over-year, Britt says.

As for hikers, Maine DAFC suggests having a Plan B or even a Plan C if you arrive to find a full parking lot near the trailhead of your favorite spot.

 "Wherever your favorite hiking place might be if you arrive and see a very busy parking lot don’t make matters worse by parking on the street.," said Britt. "A crowded parking lot equals crowded trails."

Britt recommends having a Plan B, even a Plan C. If you need new areas to explore try using the website, Maine Trail Finder.

“You might not even know it, but you might find your next new favorite trail.”

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