92 Main St, Ashland, ME 04732 Phone: (207) 435-6213 Contact Us

Things to Know

Things to Know About the North Maine Woods


All parties flying in must abide by North Maine Woods Rules & Regulations. Land Use Permits are available from many commercial brush pilots or you may obtain them from North Maine Woods, P.O. Box 425, Ashland, ME 04732. If you use an open fire in a designated fire permit campsite, a fire permit must be obtained from the Maine Forest Service in advance of your trip.


Outfitters, transportation services, guides and flying services conducting business in the North Maine Woods are required to obtain a Commercial Land Use Permit. The purpose of the permit is to ensure that businesses operate within established safety guidelines to protect their customers as well as private landowners and to monitor the scope of business activity on lands managed by NMW.

A special permit is also required by individuals, guides, or outfitters wanting to place tree stands (more than ten days) or place animal baits for the purpose of hunting. Please call us prior to running bear hunting dogs during August and September. For more information and permits for these activities, contact the NMW office at 207-435-6213.


Mobile homes are not allowed in the NMW for recreational use. Only single vehicles less than 28 feet in length and vehicle and trailers with a combined length of less than 44 feet will be allowed entrance. Large vehicles within these limits may also be required to travel at certain low traffic periods through any checkpoint if requested by the checkpoint receptionist on duty.


No bicycles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles or horses are allowed at any time of year in the North Maine Woods area. This is necessary for logging road safety and to reduce the possibility for forest fires in hard to reach locations.


The roads within North Maine Woods are privately built for the purpose of managing the woodland area. Through traffic from Canada into Maine or Maine into Canada is not permitted via the road system in NMW. Recreationists may travel to their desired destinations within the area and then return to the country from which they entered. Parties entering at one of the Canadian Border checkpoints must leave via the same checkpoint.


The opportunity for hiking and backpacking is limited in the North Maine Woods area due to the absence of developed hiking trails. There are trails to some of the Maine Forest Service’s fire towers and some abandoned roads are suitable for hiking, but there is no list available. Checkpoint receptionists or local forest rangers and game wardens may be able to direct you to suitable hiking areas.


The North Maine Woods map is intended to provide general information on the roads, checkpoint locations and major campsites in the area. It is not intended for navigation off the main roads. U.S.G.S. maps or the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer are recommended sources for more detailed maps of the NMW area, and these maps are available at many sporting and retail centers in Maine.


The weather varies greatly in Northern Maine. A local saying is “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” May temperatures can range from 20 to 70 degrees on any given day and snow falls at least once during the month. During the summer, the temperatures average from 50 to 80 degrees. We suggest visitors pack clothing for both extremes. Rain is unpredictable with the average seasonal amount between 35 to 45 inches.

The temperatures begin to drop below freezing in mid-September with day time highs in the 50s. In November it is common for temperatures to approach 0 with highs in the 40s. Snow depths can build up anytime after the first week of November. Storms bringing up to 30 inches of snow have occurred anytime after mid-November. November hunters are cautioned to camp near main roads and listen to weather forecasts. In some years, visitors have had to abandon their vehicles over the winter due to deep snow fall in remote areas that were not accessed by winter plow crews.


Biting insects are common most of the summer. Visitors should be equipped with insect repellant at all times. The peak time for mosquitos and black flies is from the end of May through July. Daily periods of increased insect activities are during morning and evening hours. Visitors who are allergic to insect bites or bee stings should remember to bring precautionary medication.


Water supplies within the North Maine Woods area are not tested for safety. It is recommended that you bring water from a known safe source. If that is not feasible, you should not drink water directly from any stream or pond without treating it to kill bacteria and other organisms such as the protozoan Giardia lamblia. The best and safest way to treat the water is to boil it for at least one minute. While other methods are available, they may not be totally effective against Giardia organisms and are not recommended.


Operation Game Thief, which is financed by private citizens, pays cash for information on poachers. If you see someone violating Maine’s fish and game laws, call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-253-7887. Callers may collect rewards up to $1,000.00 while remaining anonymous.


Arsonists cause one out of every four Maine wildfires, endangering people, burning homes, destroying timber and wildlife, and degrading Maine’s air and water quality. These losses can be reduced if citizens report information about arson to the Maine Forest Service.

If you have information about wildfire arson, call the Maine Forest Service Arson Prevention Number, 1-800-987-0257. Your call will be kept in strict confidence. Maine’s forest rangers and all citizens appreciate your help.