Are Cliff Diving and Pier Jumping Illegal in Maine?
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
For the majority of the year, Maine exists as a state that is somewhere between downright frigid and mild and comfortable. But for at least a couple of months, Vacationland can get steamy and hot. When the temperatures rise, people begin searching for ways too cool off. Sure, there's plenty of places to take a dip in the ocean. But even in the height of summer, the ocean can be unforgiving and cold. Often, people turn to lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams as a way to cool off with a little added recreation. That added recreation could include jumping from a pier, bridge, or even a short cliff into water. But is that actually illegal to do in Maine?
Cliff Driving or Bridge/Pier Jumping is NOT Illegal by Maine State Law
There is no state law on the books that prohibits cliff diving or pier/bridge jumping. Several state laws do prohibit trespassing. If someone decides they'd like to jump off of a bridge, pier, or even a small cliff, that person is responsible for knowing whether the property is privately owned. Even if the property is publicly owned, there could be additional posted signage that prohibits certain activities.
While There is No State Law Prohibiting Diving/Jumping, Many Cities Have Ordinances
Some cities and towns in Maine have been forced to enact ordinances to quell the popularity of some bridge and pier jumping spots. Both Orono and Windham recently enacted ordinances that take responsibility for any injuries/accidents away from the town and place it on the individual.
Can I Still Get in Trouble for Cliff Diving or Bridge/Pier Jumping if No Laws Apply?
Technically, yes. Even if there are no ordinances prohibiting the action, any destruction of public or private property could result in fines or potential arrest.