The St. John Valley in Northern Aroostook County, Maine has long been known for its outdoor recreation for all seasons – we are a natural outdoor playground for young and old – great fun for individuals, groups, and families alike.
Activities include, but not limited to:
- Snowmobiling and ATVing
- Fishing and hunting
- Hiking/Nature walks
- Cross-country skiing/skating
- Listening to Music in the Parks
- Beach Volleyball/Tetherball
- Skylite Drive In Theatre
- … and more
We are very fortunate to have support from our local municipalities and the State of Maine for developing and maintaining public recreation areas within our region, as well as local volunteers/clubs who maintain trails of all kinds and the private landowners who generously give permission to use their land for a number of those trails.
Some of the public recreation areas in our chamber’s jurisdiction include public boat landings and parks and beaches.
Public Boat Landings
- Frenchville Boat Launch – 96 US Route 1, Frenchville
- Long Lake Public Boat Landing- 641 Main Street, St. Agatha
- Long Lake Cyr Cove (no parking available)– 204 Cleveland Road, St. Agatha
- St. John River Boat Landing – Public Works Avenue, Madawaska
- Grand Isle Boat Landing – Traverse Street, Grand Isle
- Long Lake Marina- 419 Main Street, St. Agatha
Parks and Beaches
- Frenchville Community Park & Frenchville Heritage Park: 343-A US Route 1
- St. Agatha Community Park: 334 Cleveland Road
- Long Lake (St. Agatha) Picnic Area/Public Swimming: 641 Main Street
- Downtown Madawaska Parks:
- Bicentennial Park: Corner of 11th Avenue & St. Thomas Street
- Dionne Park: Fox Street
- Fraser Park: 11th Avenue
- Pocket Parks: 346 Main Street & at the Corner of 11th Avenue & Main Street
- Birch Point Public Beach & Recreational Area: Chapel Road, St. David (Madawaska)
- Four Corners Park: 213 West Main Street, Madawaska
Four Seasons Trail
We are a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of healthier lifestyles for the people of this community. We own and manage over 250 acres of ski/snowshoe trails in the winter and walking/hiking/mountain biking in the summer season. Our forest is a mixed hardwood/softwood stand with an old dairy farm scattering the perimeter. Participation in this association is open to anyone interested. We hope to make the Four Seasons Trail project a community-wide effort and all are welcome. The Board of Directors meets as needed to carry on the affairs of the Club, but usually meets on the first Wednesday of the month. Meetings are chaired by the Club president, and occur at the Lodge at 6:30pm. All meetings are governed by Robert’s Rules of Order. Visit our website for more information.
St. John Valley Heritage Sites
“The Maine Acadian Heritage Council is a regional organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Acadian culture, language, and history throughout Northern Maine’s St. John Valley. Its members include representatives of: all the municipalities, chambers of commerce, historical and cultural societies, and sponsors of the Upper St. John Valley.”
Each community in our region maintains some kind of historical group and facility which focuses on that community’s unique historical significance to the St. John Valley. The following is a list of their locations:
- Frenchville Water Tower & Caboose: 304-306 US Route 1, Frenchville
- Wylie-Bouchard House/Frenchville Historical Society: 309 US Route 1, Frenchville
- Ste. Agathe Historical Society: 477 Main Street, St. Agatha
- Martin Acadian Homestead & Learning Center: 137 St. Catherine Street, Madawaska
- Tante Blanche Museum/Madawaska Historical Society: 774B US-1, St. David
- Acadian Cross: Fournier Siding Road, Madawaska
- Grand Isle Historical Society Museum: 327 Main Street, Grand Isle
- Musée Culturel Du Mont Carmel: 993 Main Street, Grand Isle
- Acadian Village: 879 Main Street, Van Buren
- Governor Brann Schoolhouse: 218 Caribou Road, Cyr Plantation
- Roosevelt School: 1151 Hamlin Road, Hamlin
For more information on these local historical sites including hours and days of operation and contact information, visit the Maine Acadian Heritage Council’s website at www.maineacadian.org. You can also download a .pdf brochure of the local heritage sites here.
SJV Cultural Scenic Byway
Take a self-guided tour into an informative immersion into the Acadian Culture and life in the St. John Valley. The journey, with its vast scenic vistas of hills, forests and fields on a warm summer day and bright stars in the night sky, is priceless.
The Maine Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byway Program have dedicated an area in northern Aroostook County as the St. John Valley Cultural Scenic Byway. They funded the creation and installation of a series of bilingual roadside exhibits (interpretive panels) exploring aspects of life and culture of the area with significant input and assistance of local consultants and residents. Each panel (31 in total) was erected in time for the World Acadian Congress celebrations in 2014. In 2020, this byway, combined with the Fish River Scenic Byway along Route 11 from Fort Kent through Portage Lake received a federal designation in the National Scenic Byway Program and is now known as the St. John Valley/Fish River National Scenic Byway. For more information on this National Scenic Byway, visit https://visitaroostook.com/story/valley-and-fish-river-national-scenic-byway
Learn more about the exhibits.
Acadian Roadside Wood Panels (Tom Cote)
Scattered along the roadside throughout the St. John Valley, you may notice a series of 4ft. x 8ft. carved wood panels depicting a scene of Acadian history. Tom Côté, an internationally renowned wood carver from Limestone, ME was commissioned to sculpt this series of eight panels to be placed throughout the St. John Valley for the 2014 World Acadian Congress.
Le Grand Portage
When the Acadians fled the St John River, a major stopping point was Grand Falls in Canada.
588 Hamlin Road (US Route 1A), Hamlin
Harvest on the Family Farm
Family farm in the fall. Everyone took part in the harvest either in the home or out in the field.
Governor Brann School Building
218 Caribou Road (US Route 1)
While the men were away working in the woods, Tante Blanche helped care for the women and children of the area. She saved many lives during those first winters by distributing food and supplies to the women and children left behind.
Tante Blanche Museum
774B US Route 1, St. David (Madawaska)
The Four Seasons
Depiction of life over the course of the year in the St. John Valley.
Ste. Agathe Historical Society Museum
477 Main Street, St. Agatha
Maple Sugar Camp
Scene of tapping the maple trees in late winter or early spring for its sap which was collected and carried to the sugar house by horse-drawn sled where it was boiled down to make syrup and sugar.
Frenchville Heritage Park & Historical Society
306 US Route 1, Frenchville
Logging was the most important industry in the Valley. Many communities were settled around this work and it was hard work from sun-up to sundown.
Veteran’s Memorial Park
Town Square, Portage Lake
Photos by Charlie Cormier.
Four Corners Park
213 West Main Street, Madawaska
Four Corners Park is one of Southern California Motorcycling Association’s Official USA Four Corners Tour & USA True X Tour Stop – and one of the Four Corners of the Continental United States. Although a tourist attraction for all people, it is the first park dedicated specifically to long-distance motorcycling. Since it’s inception, it has also become one of the stops in the Maine Four Corners Experience Tour. For contact information, visit the member page for the Four Corners Park.
129 Doucette Road, Grand Isle
Mizpah is a spiritual sanctuary site created to comfort cancer and other survivors, providing a place to meditate and connect to their higher power by simply being one with nature. There are a number of trails for nature walks, including a Stations of the Cross for Catholic/Christian devotion, a reflecting pond, and fifteen buildings, including a chapel, to aid in your reflections and meditation. This site is open from May to October (weather-dependent) to the general public and there are no admission fees.
For contact information, visit the member page for the Mizpah.