Visit Maine Aroostook County for camping, hiking, cabins and the outdoors
Aroostook: Rugged, pristine place of beauty and self-reliance
Located at the northernmost tip of Maine, adjacent to the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, Aroostook County is a place of wild beauty. It is the home to 2,000 bodies of water, including those of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, a 92-mile-long ribbon of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams that attracts people eager to canoe and kayak through rugged forests. “The County,” as Aroostook is known to Mainers, also is home to the 600-acre Aroostook State Park, encompassing Echo Lake and Quaggy Jo Mountain. The entire region is an Eden for people who want to hunt, fish, hike, paddle, cross-country ski, or snowmobile, and who are willing to arrive well-equipped; there’s no grocery store around the corner.
The county seat is the town of Houlton; the county’s largest town is Presque Isle. Presque Isle is home of the northernmost campus of the University of Maine. This campus also is the location of the sun in the world’s largest model of the solar system, extending 40 miles from Presque Isle down Route 1 to Houlton. This University of Maine campus also has the Northern Maine Museum of Science, which has more natural science exhibits on more diverse topics than you can probably imagine (examples: meteorology; fossil fish; geological time; crystals; climate; Northern lights; Greek letters and mathematical symbols; infinity mirrors).
Another interesting community is Madawaska, settled by French Acadians in 1785 after they were forced to flee Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island because they would not pledge allegiance to the British. Most of Madawaska’s residents are of Acadian descent, and French is still spoken here — with a little Quebecois and English thrown into the mix, creating a unique blend of languages is known as Valley French. Madawaska also is the location of the International Snowmobilers Festival.