Northern Maine was made for outdoor enjoyment. Highlighted by a low rolling countryside, Aroostook County offers more than 2,000 lakes, streams and rivers, and plenty of opportunities for camping, hiking, biking, golfing and canoeing.
Known simply to Mainers as “The County,” it is larger in area than the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. Dotted with rolling farmlands that produce more than 40 million bushels of potatoes each year, the countryside is covered each July with white potato blossoms.
Outdoor enthusiasts especially love “The County” because it offers unlimited opportunities for hiking, fishing, unrivaled canoe trips and whitewater rafting during spring runoff.
While Presque Isle and Caribou are the commercial centers of “The County,” much activity is centered in smaller towns such as Fort Fairfield, which hosts the annual Potato Blossom Festival, and New Sweden which celebrates its Swedish heritage with a traditional Sommerfest each summer.
A highlight of the region is its strong Acadian heritage, especially in the St. John Valley in Northern Aroostook County and local voices carry a Francoise lilt, and menus in most restaurants highlight several traditional French-based offerings.
Another highlight is the fact Fort Kent is best known as the northern end of Route 1, which begins in Key West, Florida, and became a federal highway in 1926.
Some highlights of “The County” are:
- Houlton features the Market Square Historic Business District that includes 28 architecturally significant structures dating from 1885 to 1910.
- The Oakfield Railroad Museum is located in the original railroad station in Oakfield and takes visitors back in time to the 19th century and the beginning of the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad in 1891.
- The Museum of Vintage Fashion is located in Island Falls and contains 17 rooms of displays of collected children’s, men’s and women’s fashions.
- Caribou’s Nylander Museum features geological collections, and collections of local butterflies, moths, mounted birds and animals.
- The 16 buildings in the Acadian Village in Van Buren are furnished with period furniture and other artifacts dating from 1790-1900.
- The Fort Kent blockhouse was constructed in 1839 for the bloodless Aroostook Border War. The site was part of a more extensive fortification and contains a small museum.
- The Reed Art Gallery at the University of Maine at Presque Isle features the work of Maine and Canadian artists.
IN THE REGION …
OPEN MAY TO OCTOBER
Acadian Festival in Madawaska – includes a re-enactment of the first Acadian landing in northern Maine – late June.
Maine Potato Blossom Festival in Fort Fairfield – celebrates one of Maine’s most famous foods – mid-July.
Annual Community Bazaar in Van Buren – is a three-day carnival – early August.
Presque Isle State Fair – midway and agricultural exhibits – early Aug.
Houlton Potato Feast Days – includes parade, dances, store sales, a fun run, and more – late August.
Lille Classic Music Festival in Lille Village/Grand Isle – chamber music by groups from near and far – early Sept.
For exact dates and a more complete listing, check the calendar of events
For regional information please visit www.visitaroostook.com