Parks and passes

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With temps expected to push well into the 80s later this week and a holiday weekend on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about lakes and beaches. And that means Maine’s state parks and public lands.

No matter where you are in Maine, there’s likely a beach or lake with a park within easy reach. That makes the Maine State Parks pass, which provides access to more than 30 parks statewide, a smart buy. With one purchase, you get a summer’s worth of recreation, and many parks offer activities such as guided walks, birding festivals, and other outdoor-oriented fun.

• A $60 Day Pass provides entry for one vehicle and all occupants, making it the best choice for families, couples, and neighborhood car-pool drivers.

• A $30 Individual Pass allows only the individual pass holder free day-use.

• Age 65 and older receive free day use with proof of age.

Even better, of course, is free access, which is what you get at Maine’s Public Lands.

Many state parks provide camping for a reasonable fee; at many public lands, it’s free.