The Coast of Maine in the Palm of your Hand

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Maine Island Trail Association releases water trail app for boaters.

This is an exciting way to engage the public in our work on the wild islands of Maine by letting people know what is out there and how to get there safely.

Never have the wild islands of Maine been easier to reach.

Partnering with Maine-based, software company Chimani, The Maine Island Trail Association (“MITA”) has developed an app that allows people to explore the Maine Island Trail virtually. This free app allows anyone to view publicly-owned islands, learn about the Trail, see spectacular island photos, locate pump-out services and launch points, view tide charts, learn safety information, and receive MITA news and event information. Membership with MITA is required to view privately-owned islands, per MITA’s agreement with the island owners who generously allow MITA members to visit their islands.

The Maine Island Trail is a recreational water trail that connects over 200 islands and mainland sites along the coast of Maine and makes them accessible to small boaters. The first water trail in North America, established in 1988, the Maine Island Trail allows boaters to explore and camp among thousands of islands in the most spectacular paddling and cruising grounds in the continental US.

The Trail is an “only in Maine” phenomenon, based on trust-based handshake relationships with the widest possible array of land-owners and a culture of concern for the coast. The Trail has enchanted tens of thousands of boaters in its 26-year history. Staying true to its grass-roots origins, MITA combines a hands-on approach to caring for the islands with modern methods of engaging younger people. The new mobile app follows the 2013 creation with Rising Tide Brewery of the smash-hit Maine Island Trail Ale.

“Developing an app is a major milestone for MITA,” reports Executive Director, Doug Welch. “We see this as an exciting way to engage the public in our work on the wild islands of Maine by letting people know what is out there and how to get there safely.”

“We are honored to partner with MITA to develop our latest app using Chimani’s core technology,” states, Kerry Gallivan, Chimani’s CEO & Co-Founder. “Chimani wanted to partner with MITA because of their commitment to the coast of Maine and to mobile technology as a means to enhance and transform the outdoor experience,” states Gallivan.

MITA has provided its members with a conventional paper guide to the Trail annually for 26 years now. Some people are content with the paper Guide, but MITA hopes the mobile app (available for iOS or Android) will appeal to people who are younger or more technologically-inclined.

“The paper Guide is wonderful, and will not be going away,” reports Welch. “But unlike the paper Guide, the app is interactive. We can notify you of upcoming events, change island listings, and offer you multi-media content straight through the app in real-time. And you will be able to report back to us through the app as well, send us photos of your adventures, or reports of problems you might encounter on the Trail. We’ve also provided a traditional reference library and other features that we simply cannot afford to print and mail out in a paper book.”

Although it is not intended for navigation, the app also features live GPS tracking superimposed onto a scalable NOAA chart layer that covers the entire Maine coast. “It is a convenient backup to your paper navigational charts,” says Welch, “and like all Chimani products, you can download the entire chart set over wi-fi to prevent any chance of incomplete chart downloads in the field due to loss of your cellular signal.    

Upon its release, MITA’s 3,800 members will immediately gain full access to the app through a code they will be provided. Those who enjoy the app and want to join MITA to unlock the entire app can do so at or by dialing 207-761-8225 during business hours (US Eastern time). Codes for the app will be emailed to registrants upon joining.

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Doug Welch
Maine Island Trail Association
since: 12/2008
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