Your Four Season Vacationland
Maine has some of the most diverse snowmobiling, from mountains and wooded trails to open fields. One can view the beautiful scenery from the tops of many hills and mountains, and sightings of deer, moose and other wildlife are common. Many miles of trails travel on abandoned railroad beds and logging roads, with interesting bridges crossing streams and rivers.
Aroostook County, Maine
Some 250 Clubs in the State maintain most of the trail system with assistance from the State Bureau of Parks & Recreation. In the heavier snow belt part of the State, the largest State-of-the-Art equipment is used to groom the trails. Much of the ITS system (going from North to South and East to West) is groomed to at least 8 feet wide.
Conditions are generally good (at least in some parts of the State) from mid December to the end of March, with one of the heaviest snowfalls in the East.
Finding one's way is easy, as the trails are well marked with the trail number, mileage, direction, gas, food and lodging. Also many of the communities sell and service all the machines.
There are various scheduled snowmobile activities throughout the winter such as races, sno-deos and Clubs have group trail rides and cookouts. Maps are available in each area, so that one can go on their own or guides are available to escort groups on such activities.
Support the Sport - Join a Club and MSA
Aroostook County Offers Miles of Trails
With the first appreciable snowfall Aroostook County, the largest county east of the Mississippi puts out the welcoming mat for snowmobilers. Known to many as simply The County it is encompassed on three sides by the Canadian Provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec and offers everything the snowmobile enthusiast is seeking.
The March 1993 issue of Snow Goer Magazine rated Aroostook County Trail Riding the highest in New England and third highest in the entire North American snowbelt. The over 1600 miles of well groomed snowmobile trails include converted railroad beds while others traverse a power line up and over large rolling hollowed that capture the picturesque beauty of the landscape. Summer roads, abandoned logging roads, and a magnitude of club trails lead the snowmobilers over the crest of a hill and look out at the variety of terrain "The County" has to offer.
The vast majority of trail grooming is conducted through volunteers of the over 40 snowmobile clubs. The snowmobile clubs in Aroostook County develop and maintain their trails with the latest equipment and club members put in countless volunteer hours to keep the County's trail system in top notch condition for riding.
A person can spend an entire week's vacation in Aroostook County - snowmobile everyday - choose various routes - and with the magnitude of loop trails never cross the same trail twice May county communities are located right on the Canadian border which makes travel by snowmobile into Canada a cinch. Running through the heart of Aroostook County is the Northeast Snowmobile Trail (NEST), an international snowmobile trail system linking Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the Province of Quebec. NEST, the Interconnecting Trail Systems (ITS), and local club trails provide the snowmobiles with a variety of scenic rides to choose whether it be a long loop ride, short scenic ride, or a trip through the entire County.
It's common to see double wide snowmobile trailers headed North to the County on 1-95 and US Route I during the entire snowmobile season. There are other snowmobilers who fly into the county for a entire vacation of snowmobiling while their snowmobiles are enroute aboard a tractor trailer unit.
Aroostook County has direct snowmobile accessibility to gas, food, lodging, service and parts.
Whether you are looking for candlelight dining or a good old-fashioned home cooked meal, you will find the restaurant of your choice. In addition, there are several County businesses which provide snowmobile rentals and clothing by the day or week and snowmobile guides who provide everything including guided tours. ALL the snowmobiler needs to bring is his or her camera.
While the major winter activity is snowmobiling, "The County" also offers downhill skiing, cross country skiing (over 100 miles of groomed cross country ski trails); ice fishing; snowshoeing; and ice skating. "The County" is an area warm with tradition and hospitality, so a winter vacation is one you'll long remember. A variety of exciting activities await the visitor: snowmobile drag racing; winter carnivals; snowmobile events; a winter Mardi Gras; CAN AM International dog sled racing; and the famous Log Drivers cookout. These events draw thousands of snowmobilers annually. Snow falls early in Northern Maine's Aroostook County so be sure to start planning now.
You can travel to "The County" via Interstate 95, the Trans-Canada highway, or by air. Northern Maine Regional Airport in Presque Isle is serviced by several major commercial airlines with several other municipal airports offering accessibility for lighter aircraft. A person can actually cross the Canadian border by snowmobile at St. Pamphile, Quebec with New Brunswick ports of entry at Houlton, Maine; Fort Fairfield, Maine; Van Buren, Maine; and Madawaska, Maine. Additional border crossing information is listed on the snowmobile trail map.
THE FORT FAIRFIELD POTATO BLOSSOM FESTIVAL HISTORY
The year 1937 hosted the first ever Maine Potato Blossom Festival. The venue was an actual potato farm labeled the Doyle Farm, location is not documented. Here, a celebration was organized to honor the State's paramount commodity-the potato. It was held during the mid-summer when the potato fields were in bloom with beautiful pink and white flowers, and, also after planting season.
The first ever Maine Potato Blossom Queen, Irene Griffeth, was selected to preside over the festivities.
From 1937 to 1960, the Festival was hosted by a different community each year. In 1960, those involved with the planning of the Festival made the decision to select a permanent host community. Fort Fairfield - then the world's largest potato producing community - was selected to be the official host community. A community of 5,000 people banned together to accept this tremendous challenge.
To show respect to those serving our country during World War II, and, also due to Depression, the Festival was not held during those historical periods.
Over the years this event has realized the respect of many as one of the oldest and most established festivals in Maine.
It has drawn people from every State of the Union. It has received National media attention due to the uniqueness of the event. Celebrities such as Babe Dedricson, Louis Prema, K. C. .Jones and Tommy Heinshon have also participated in the Festival.
Recent years have seen the Festival focus on the importance of the family farm. Although farming has succumbed to the technological era, the family farm has been the mainstay of the industry.
This year will mark the 47th year of this event. Through the years it has realized many changes due to changes not only within the industry, but also, changes in the local economy. Contrary to the changes that have and will occur, this event has and will continue to promote the industry that has made the County what it is today.
Church of the Advent Episcopal
The Church of the Advent Episcopal is the oldest and perhaps most beautiful building in town. It was constructed in 1881. The historic structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. It combines the styles of high Gothic and Romanesque. This includes a high barreled vaulted ceiling, hand made pews, kneelers, railings, and walls which were put together with square handmade nails. The church contains the original altar, a new altar (c. 1912) and the original "1876" bell. In 1897 the church was moved to Church Street from its original site at the Protestant Cemetery on the Grand Falls Road. Come and visit with your camera it is well worth it! Masses: Call Eliza Ward at 325-4755 Priest: Perry Kingman
The town of Limestone possesses many historic cemeteries. The Protestant Cemetery is the oldest. It contains graves dating back to the 1860's; many of them belonging to the town's first citizens. The Kearney Cemetery, across from the Catholic Church on Main Street also dates back to the same period. It contains much of the Kearney family and their relatives. The St. Louis Catholic Cemetery dates to the early 20th century, and has some interesting headstones which bear inscriptions in French and English. The Webster Cemetery on Ward Road also dates back to the founding of the town. All of these cemeteries have many beautiful and unique headstones which are worthy of taking rubbings of. Family lines and genealogy may also be traced through them. Contact the Limestone/Caswell Historic Museum and Information Center for more information.
Limestone is a township located on the eastern side of Aroostook county adjoining New Brunswick, Canada on its eastern boundary. A relatively small, close-knit community, Limestone is rural in nature and is strikingly scenic with outstanding outdoor recreational resources. The community is essentially a blending of agrarian and "bedroom residential" characteristics.
Limestone is situated at the intersection of three well maintained highways. Route 89 travels west through downtown Limestone and intersects U.S. Highway 1 at Caribou. U.S. Highway IA traverses north and south from downtown Limestone. Route IA south provides access to the northern terminus of Interstate Highway 95, located 55 miles to the South at Houlton. The third highway is Route 229 which heads east two miles to the Canadian Border. The Limestone-New Brunswick port-of-entry provides 24 hour customs inspection with the Trans-Canada Highway located three miles beyond this border. Primary regional airport facilities are located at Presque Isle, 26 road miles from Limestone Secondary airport facilities, including passenger and freight transport, are located 12 miles from Limestone in Caribou. Bus facilities are also available in Caribou.
The Town of Limestone is roughly 25,000 acres in size with 48% of its acreage in farmland, 39% in forest, and the remaining 13% in developed area. Limestone is well known for its beautiful rolling hills interspersed with potato and grain fields, forested areas, and a variety of lakes, ponds and streams. There are three major watershed control dams located within Limestone that are utilized for recreational boating, fishing, swimming and picnicking. Limestone Stream runs through downtown Limestone and is one of many local streams that provides excellent fishing for native brook trout.
The name Limestone was derived during the 1800's from the limestone deposits contained in the rock strata underlying the rich, sandy loam found in the area. In the early 1900's it was mined at a quarry that now lies within the former Loring Air Force Base.
One of Limestone's strongest assets is its diversity of recreational resources. One of the most unique of these resources is the recreational area located in downtown Limestone. The community pond and Albert Michaud Memorial Park area provide a number of outdoor recreational activities which include, swimming, canoeing and fishing in the community pond and an equipped children's park area. The community pond meets the highest water quality standards and was built during 1976. The beach area is staffed by lifeguards during the summer and includes a bathhouse, beach, swimming area, boat launching ramp, general play area and a small playground.
An 85 acre Trafton Lake Recreation Area was constructed in 1967 and is located on the Ward Road, 3 miles from downtown Limestone. It is considered one of the best fishing lakes in northern Maine with trout weighing up to several pounds in size. There are extensive picnicking facilities at Trafton as well as a bathhouse, beach, swimming area, boat launching ramp, general play area and a small playground.
The Town of Limestone offers year-round recreation programs for both youth and adults. Little League is especially popular during the summer. Soccer, lawn volleyball, swimming and tennis lessons and numerous other activities are also included in the summer fare. During winter months the pool and gymnasium at the high school are open to the public. The department also offers such programs as pre-school enrichment, ballet lessons, organized activities, and a municipal ice skating rink.
The winter months round out the four seasons recreational opportunities for Limestone. Snowmobiling on groomed trails, expertly maintained by area snowmobile clubs, provide an endless network of "highways" that crisscross Aroostook county. Both cross-country and downhill skiing are available in and around Limestone, while other enthusiasts enjoy snowshoeing and ice fishing.
For the wildlife watcher and hunter, Limestone has plenty of wildlife including white-tail deer, ruffed grouse, fox, pheasant, rabbits, moose and bear. Aroostook county and adjoining sections of Canada are known nationally for their hunting and fishing opportunities. Limestone is perhaps one of the few communities in the country that can boast good trout fishing in it's downtown, community pond area.
During the summer months, a nearby stock car track provides additional excitement. For the golf enthusiast, there are several exciting golf courses in close proximity to Limestone that will challenge one's skill.
The Booster club has been organized as a support for youth activities thru community fund-raisers. Worthwhile and leisure recreation is the focus, as well as the establishment of a scholarship program.
Fourth of July
Limestone has the largest Independence Day celebration in the County. Throughout the week there are many events for all ages, ranging from the peanut parade and carnival, teddybear picnic and the strawberry shortcake festival. At 11 o'clock the longest running parade begins on Main Street. Following the parade, activities begin at Trafton Lake with swimming, picnicking, food and game booths, and a live band for your listening pleasure. The day concludes with a breathtaking fireworks display at dusk reflecting over Trafton. Come early, the crowds are large for this family oriented day.
Autumn is perhaps one of the most beautiful seasons in Aroostook County. The foliage changes from its green state to radiant jewel tones. The beautiful harvest moon rises almost every night and the constellations are magnificent. Perhaps one of the most fascinating experiences of the fall is the potato harvest, which takes place in September and October. Schools are dismissed for three weeks so that students may assist in gathering the earth's bounty. Some farmers still use the historic method of harvesting by hand with baskets and barrels, but most farmers now use mechanized harvesters. Almost any farmer would be happy to show curious visitors around their operations.
The winter months round out the four seasons of recreational opportunities for Limestone. Snowmobiling on groomed trails, expertly maintained by the Limestone Snowhawks and area snowmobile clubs provide an endless network of "highways" that crisscross Aroostook County. The trails are accessible to many local businesses for food, gas, or a cup of hot chocolate. The trails also interconnect to those in Canada. Both cross country and downhill skiing are available in and around Limestone, while other enthusiasts enjoy snowshoeing and ice fishing.
Spud Speedway, located on the Sawyer Road located on Thompson Road, Caribou, Maine, is home of the best stock car racing in Aroostook County. There are seats available in the grand stands and in the pit area for your viewing pleasure with multiple concessions. Along with the regular racing, there are many special events including Mini-cup cars, Vintage racers, Late Model Sportsman races, Funny Car shows. Spud Speedway holds a 50/50 raffle each weekend to benefit needy organizations. They also hold many drawings for door prizes. Come enjoy a fun filled family outing at Spud Speedway where the stock car racing is second to none May through September. For more information, check us out at www.spud-speedway.com, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Greg (207) 991-0854 or Karin (207) 227-9013. Kids under 10 always get into the grandstands FREE. No alcohol is allowed.
The Maine School of Science and Mathematics campus is in the town of Limestone. Located twenty minutes from the city of Presque Isle where the Aroostook Centre Mall, an 8-plex cinema and the airport are located. Limestone offers a small town atmosphere, a safe and welcoming home for the MSSM. Four season recreational opportunities abound. Canada is next door. Performing arts activities are available in three nearby sites.
More than a school, the MSSM is a total educational environment dedicated to encouraging high achieving students - tomorrow's leaders - to attain their highest personal goals in a supportive setting.
Winter in the Saint John Valley
The Saint John Valley in an international, bilingual region of the northeastern United States and the eastern Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec. It is the center of Acadian history and culture in the United States. The portion of the Valley which lies in northern Aroostook County, Maine comprises the rural towns of Allagash, St. Francis, St. John Plantation, Fort Kent, Frenchville, St. Agatha, Madawaska, Grand Isle, Van Buren, and Hamlin, which are situated along the Saint John River. The communities of Wallagrass, Eagle Lake, Winterville and Portage Lake lie along the Fish River. This region has been known for decades as a sporting paradise and recreational heaven. The population of this region is just over 22,000, not counting our Canadian friends. Come along with us and let's live the adventure!
The Saint John Valley is blanketed with crisp, white snow from December through the end of March, truly a winter paradise offering a wide variety of things to see and do. Take a family vacation this winter - come visit our beautiful valley!
Our local traditions include ample time for winter recreation at one of our region's three downhill ski areas that are situated on both sides of the border.
Experience miles of cross country ski trails which are expertly maintained by our local clubs. It's a very popular activity!
Don't miss the unique excitement of the Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog Race. This 250 mile/450 km adventure through the wilds of northern Maine will spark your imagination. It's become a Valley tradition!
The beauty of winter is enhanced by our slower, relaxed pace of life, beckoning sports enthusiasts, shoppers, and visitors alike. Experience our special Acadian hospitality along Main Street in Madawaska.
Cabin fever is cured with a hearty dose of local festivals and special wintertime events. You're invited to Fort Kent, where Acadians celebrate Mardi Gras every February with lively skits, bright colors, and great food.
Fresh fish are even better when they're pulled through a hole in the ice on one of our deep, clean lakes. Ice fishing areas are plentiful, and one of our many guides can show you the "secret spot" where there's a hefty lake trout or world-class landlocked salmon.
The snowmobile mecca of the East is found in the Saint John Valley, which is rated among the top three trail-riding regions in all of North America. When riding the trails, explore scenic Van Buren, located at the international connecting point between Maine and New Brunswick.
Strap on your snowshoes and take to the rolling countryside. Your nose crinkles with our fresh, clean air. Your ears fill with the quiet sounds of our woods and fields. It's truly an adventure!
Welcome To The Most Northeasterly Town In The United States MADAWASKA
The Town that was incorporated twice.
Records of Maine show two separate acts of incorporation of the town of Madawaska. The first was on March 15, 1831, and the second on February 24, 1869. The first, including territory south of the St. John River and disputed territory north of that river incorporated a tract of 4,272 square miles known as the Madawaska Settlement. It was more than 118 times the size of the ordinary Maine or United States township (6x6 miles); no other town of such magnitude has ever been created in Maine or in any other state.
OUR GREATEST ASSET
Our People! The people of Madawaska are genuine, family oriented, honest, hardworking people who are always there to greet a stranger with a smile. Our town is a great place to visit and an even easier place to live and work!
May of 1978, the Madawaska Historical Society submitted to the town of Madawaska, the proclamation designating June 28 as Acadian Day in the State of Maine. Since that time, Madawaska has been the site of an Acadian Festival, lasting anywhere from one day to a week of festivities celebrating the Acadian spirit.
Although festival events may vary from year to year, several have become traditional crowd pleasers. The Acadian Supper, a gourmet's delight in Acadian cuisine, offering such delicacies as pot en pot, ployes and fougere; the Acadian Festival parade with bands and marching units from throughout the state of Maine and Canada and the Arts and Crafts Fair. Lest we forget the reasons for this time of celebration, the opening ceremonies, the Acadian mass, bean hole bean supper, the reenactment of the Acadian landing and the closing ceremonies imbue one and all with a sense of pride and appreciation of our Acadian heritage. Our Family Reunions attract families from throughout the U.S. and Canada, to discover their roots. Once the Acadian spirit has captured their hearts, they return year after year to celebrate their heritage. Acadia, never will we forget her. We will continue speak her language, sing her songs and forever hold dear her traditions; for the spirit of those first Acadians and her descendants. June 28fh to July 4th.
OUR LAKES and Rivers
The lakes are big; the Fish River Chain of Lakes begins with Fish River Lake, 2,642 acres, max. depth, 46 feet, that flows into Portage lake, 2,474 acres, max. depth 25 feet, that flows into St. Froid Lake, 2,400 acres and 114 feet max. depth, that flows into Eagle Lake, 5,581 acres and 136 feet max. depth; Square Lake is the next Lake in the Fish River Chain of Lakes at 8,150 acres and 122 feet max. depth that flows into Cross Lake, 2,515 acres, max. depth 46 feet; Mud Lake is 972 acres and 20 feet max. depth. Long Lake is 6,000 acres and 163 feet max. depth.
Some of the world's largest cold water fish have come from one of these Lakes in the Fish River Chain of Lakes.
The St. John River flows in the opposite direction from any other river in Maine, it winds its leisurely way between the fertile lands of the valley, as if reluctant to leave the picturesque shores. Maine has 2,503 lakes and ponds, thousands of streams never counted and the only Atlantic Salmon rivers in the country.
WE HAVE IT ALL!
PEACE AND QUIET!
of our lakes, streams and of the close-knit communities, nestled within the picturesque St. John Valley.
The Valley offers families a peaceful and tranquil lifestyle.
EXCITEMENT AND ADVENTURE!
of our unique Acadian culture. There are beautiful museums and historical sites located throughout the valley. For the outdoor enthusiast, canoe down our expeditious St. John River.
CHALLENGE AND RESULTS
hunt for game - big and small. Tucked off by ourselves, we have managed to retain hunting and fishing territories of the highest quality.
A List Of Educational Information -
There are a lot of things to know about the State of Maine, and Aroostook County. Below are some links to information about the largest agricultural crop in Maine, the Maine Potato. Also links about Aroostook County, the largest county east of the Mississippi covering an area larger than Rhode Island and Connecticut together.
Aroostook County, Its Only Natural -
WE HAVE IT ALL!!!! PEACE AND QUIET! of our lakes, streams and of the close-knit communities, nestled within the picturesque St. John Valley. The Valley offers families a peaceful and tranquil lifestyle. EXCITEMENT AND ADVENTURE! Of our unique Acadian culture. There are beautiful museums and historical sites located throughout the valley. For the outdoor enthusiast, canoe down our expeditious St. John River. CHALLENGE AND RESULTS: Hunt for game - big and small. Tucked off by ourselves, we have managed to retain hunting and fishing territories of the highest quality.
Facts About The State -
Facts, Figures and more concerning the State of Maine.
Historical Sites Throughout The County -
A compilation of places, dates, times and other items of interest to see in The County when you come to visit.
Jo-Mary Lake Campground -
Welcome to a unique area of North America - the KI-Jo Mary Multiple Use Management Forest. The private landowners cooperating in this program request that you read the following information. These guidelines are for your safety and will also provide for continued high quality forest resource management and recreational use planning. All rules and regulations are in effect from early May to November.
Katahdin Iron Works - A Maine Historical Site -
Today, the skeletons of a blast furnace and charcoal kiln stand silent, lone remnants of the Katahdin Iron Works. In the past, these structures pulsed with activity as part of Maine's only nineteenth century iron works operation. Here the fires of the blast furnace flames non-stop for as long as a year at a time, glowing against the night sky. Smoke poured from this charcoal kiln and many other s like it. Mule, oxen or horse-drawn wagons rattled by constantly carrying ore, pig iron or wood.
The Maine Potato - An Agricultural Treat -
In the two cultures where there is so much interesting potato history, the methods of planting potatoes are remarkably similar. In both Ireland, and the Andes, planting is done with what in Ireland is called the "lazy-bed" method. A four foot wide strip of earth is fertilized (manured) and a trench is dug into the sod on either side. After the seed is put on the manured strip, pieces of the sod are laid on top of the seed. With some variations, this method had prevailed in Ireland for hundreds of years, and in the Andes, for thousands of years.
Vacation Package Ideas for Northern Maine -
A compilation of rates, special package deals and more for the snowmobiling enthusiast in Northern Maine