Here in Maine, we know it simply as “The County.” At about 6,453 square miles, Aroostook County is about the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. This vast wilderness area is dotted with small towns and traversed by thousands of miles of waterways. It’s Maine at its most natural, and beautiful at any time of year. Culturally, Aroostook County is an intriguing mix of descendants of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia families whose traditions often reflect their French heritage, descendents of early British settlers, and Americans who have come from elsewhere in the country, lured by the opportunities for a truly back-to-the-land lifestyle. The Acadian influence is very strong here and you’ll find lots of historical sites and monuments throughout the area.
A highlight for many travelers here is beautiful Mt. Katahdin. At 5,268 feet, it is Maine’s highest peak and marks the end of the Appalachian Trail. Baxter State Park, a true wilderness park, surrounds the mountain. Be sure to visit Eagle Lake and continue on to Fort Kent where biathletes from the US and Canada train, and where the annual CAN-AM Crown Sled Dog Race is held each winter, attracting mushers from Maine and Canada, some of whom will go on to race in the Iditarod. If you love winter, Aroostook County will warm your heart. To find out what’s going on this winter, go to visitaroostook.com. You’ll find an entire chapter dedicated to “The County” in Backroads & Byways of New England: Drives, Day Trips & Weekend Excursions.