The Maine Island Trail, a recreational water trail that connects more than 200 islands and mainland sites along the coast of Maine, can now be explored virtually with a mobile app, released July 1.
Available for anyone to download, the app contains information about publicly-owned Maine islands on the trail, pump-out services and launch points, tide charts, island photos, safety information and MITA news and event information, according to a recent press release.
MITA membership is required to unlock information about the privately-owned islands that are a part of the Maine Island Trail, per MITA’s agreement with the owners who generously allow MITA members to visit their islands.
“Developing an app is a major milestone for MITA,” said MITA Executive Director Doug Welch in the press release. “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.”
“Hopefully some users will become [MITA] members,” Welch said, “but in any case we will have shared valuable information about safe, responsible, fun boating on the coast to the public at large. We feel like that is the least we can do as good stewards of the coast.”
The new mobile app follows the 2013 creation with Rising Tide Brewery of Maine Island Trail Ale.
Chimani, a developer of mobile apps designed to enhance outdoor experiences, has created apps for the 14 most visited national parks, including Acadia National Park. And working with the Baxter State Park Authority, they recently released an app for Baxter State Park.
“Chimani wanted to partner with MITA because of their commitment to the coast of Maine and the use mobile technology to enhance and transform the outdoor experience,” said Kerry Gallivan, Chimani’s CEO and co-founder, in the press release.
MITA has provided its members with a conventional paper guide to the trail annually since the trail was established in 1988 to become the first water trail in North America. While some people are content with the paper guide, MITA hopes the mobile app will appeal to younger and more technologically-inclined people, according to the press release.
“The paper guide is wonderful, and will not be going away,” said 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. You can 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,” he said.
Although it is not intended for navigation, the app 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,” said Welch.
Like all Chimani apps, users can download the entire chart set over Wi-Fi to prevent any chance of incomplete chart downloads in the field due to loss of cellular signal.
Those who enjoy the public version of the MITA app and want to join MITA to unlock the entire app (which includes privately-owned islands) can do so at www.MITA.org/join or by calling 761-8225. Codes for the app will be emailed to registrants upon joining.
Chimani apps are available on iOS, Google Play, Amazon Kindle and Google’s Field Trip app. For information visit www.chimani.com