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A Mighty Little Town Named Van Buren

A Mighty Little Town Named Van Buren

There is a little town of roughly 2,100 people located on the Saint John River, across from Saint-Leonard, New Brunswick, Canada. Named after our country’s eighth President, the Van Buren area was a haven for Acadians escaping the British oppression of 1755. Today, the model “Acadian Village” still stands and serves as an historical site to commemorate a way of life found nowhere else in Maine.

Known as the Gateway to the Saint John Valley, Van Buren is at the junction of U.S. Routes 1 and 1A. There is plenty to have a fond spot for this quaint place tucked up in the northeastern corner of Maine. For us it’s pretty simple. This is the home of 1A and the start of this great American byway.

It’s also a very playful town, maximizing its quiet and serene location in Aroostook County. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you might be interested to know that the Bangor & Aroostook Trail starts in Van Buren. A former train corridor that once transported timber and potatoes to mills and markets in the south, the trail winds its way through farmlands, woods, wetlands and meadows for 61 plus miles. It’s incomparable for year-round play including biking, cross-country skiing, hiking, dog sledding, snow shoeing, horseback riding and snowmobiling.

If you’ve been mesmerized by the pickeball pandemonium, the town has a fresh new public pickleball center. A gleaming new court system is ready for you to test your skill against others, meet new friends, and simply have new surroundings for your court passion.

For the boaters out there on 1A, don’t fear, water is here. The town has public docks on the Saint John River that are perfect for kayakers, SUP enthusiasts, boaters, and the sightseers who just love a morning coffee on a warm bench overlooking water. The Saint John River is 418 miles long and empties into the famous Bay of Fundy, home of the highest tidal range in the world.

For those feeling a little snakebit by global warming, put Van Buren on your map. The region’s climate experiences large seasonal fluctuations, with warm to hot summers and cold to very cold winters. Think snow!! We recommend planning a winter weekend or two in Van Buren for snowmobilers and cross-country skiers who are looking for a little more snow coverage than what we’ve had lately.

If you’re a history buff and you enjoy visiting living history museums such as Williamsburg, VA, Strawbery Banke, NH, or Plimouth Patuxet, MA, you will enjoy eighteenth and nineteenth century Acadian culture preserved at Acadian Village. Here you’ll see original Acadian buildings and homes, a log chapel, schoolhouse, square-hewn log homes, gristmill, wool-carding mill and more.

Still want more? Head over to the brand new town hall and you’ll find 1A lifestyle clothing on display.

Vanburentokeywest. Ever wonder, or notice, that many 1A posts include the hashtag #vanburentokeywest? This is an homage to the start and end of Route 1A. 

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