Franklin Countys First News

Maine Trail Finder offers support to local businesses

Maine Trail Finder, the premier online resource for finding people-powered trails in Maine, is offering free “trailside services” listings to businesses that cater to trail users through April 1, 2021.

The website has seen unprecedented levels of usage this spring as Mainers have looked for opportunities to recreate close to home. The Center for Community GIS, which oversees Maine Trail Finder, wants to strengthen the connection between the website’s rapidly growing user base and outdoor businesses.

“Last summer we launched Trailside Services because people want to know where to find that après-trail beer, the best local grub, and great places to stay near to the trails they are walking, riding, or paddling,” said Stephen Engle, CCGIS’s Director. “Although the world has changed, trail users want to continue to support businesses, whether in their home communities or in other parts of the state where they look forward to visiting soon.”

Trailside Services, which were formerly listed on a fee basis, appear on a searchable interactive map of Maine as well as on detailed trail and outdoor events pages. Recent website upgrades allow businesses to provide information about their current offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as no contact payment and check-in, delivery services, and online ordering.

“As both an avid hiker and an innkeeper near the Appalachian Trail, I appreciate the breadth of content and organization of Maine Trail Finder,” says Travis Ferland, owner of the Rangeley Inn and Tavern. “The information is conveniently cross-referenced for each point of interest, making it easier for me to find trailside services when I'm hiking, and for other hikers to find my business.”

Interested businesses can learn more and sign up at MaineTrailFinder.com.

This promotional opportunity is made possible by a grant from the High Peaks Initiative, a collaborative of local, regional, and national non-profit organizations working in the Maine High Peaks region, and support from the Maine Department of Outdoor Recreation.

Launched in 2010, MTF now lists over 1,000 trail systems across Maine. All trail postings are approved by the organizations that steward the trails and know them best. MTF also hosts an outdoor events calendar and features a blog on all topics related to outdoor recreation. Users can sign up for a free account to save personal trail logs, earn digital badges, and favorite and wishlist trails.

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