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Above:  This is the northeasternmost point of the U.S. -- or as close as you can get to it.  This is about a quarter-mile north of U.S. Highway 1, halfway between the towns of Van Buren and Grand Isle, Maine (1:03)
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The northeasternmost point of the United States is located between the towns of Van Buren and Grand Isle, Maine in the extreme northern part of the state.  Three of the 16 extreme compass points are located in this area: 

  • The north-northeasternmost point of the U.S. is near Madawaska, Maine.
  • The northeasternmost point of the U.S. is about 20 miles to the east, between the towns of Grand Isle and Van Buren, Maine.
  • The east-northeasternmost point of the U.S. is another 25 miles to the east, along the U.S./Canada border near the town of Hamlin, Maine.

An ambitious person can visit all three points in one day and that’s exactly what I hoped to do.  I had camped the previous evening in a state park in New Hampshire and got up at 5 a.m. for the long journey to northern Maine.  In my previous cross-country journeys, I’d traveled across central and coastal Maine, but I’d never been to this part of the state.  Northern Maine is a lot different than the rest of the state, as I discovered.  It’s very remote and rural, and it feels almost like part of Canada rather than the U.S.  

Around 4 p.m. and after a long day of driving across the rolling hills of Maine, I reached the town of Madawaska, which according to a sign on the outskirts of town, claims it’s the “Northeastern town of the United States.”  Well to be technical, Madawaska (population 4,035) is the north-northeasternmost town of the United States while its neighbor, Grand Isle, Maine (population 435), about 25 miles down U.S. Highway 1, is the northeasternmost town.  Nevertheless, I liked their spirit.

It was getting late in the day and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to visit all three geographic extreme sites before sunset.  And on top of that, I was planning to camp that evening at Aroostook State Park, which according to my map was at least an hour past the third site.  So needless to say, I had to hustle.

After visiting the north-northeasternmost point near Madawaska, Maine (see story), I got back on Highway 1 around 5 p.m. and continued heading east.  I knew the northeasternmost point was on the south shore of the St. John River but I wasn’t sure how close I’d be able to get to it, considering that most or all of this land was privately-owned and considering the dense vegetation, making any kind of navigation difficult.

About 40 minutes later, with a constant eye on my hand-held Garmin GPS, I knew was getting close to the site.  I figured I passed it, so I made a U-turn on Highway 1 and headed back the other way, looking closely at my Garmin.  I found a turnout on the north side of the Highway, so I pulled over and parked, then studied my GPS again.  This looked promising and according to my Garmin, the northeasternmost point was about 600 yards north of here, so I got out of the truck, got all my gear, and started walking down a muddy two-track.

Ten minutes later, I stopped and took my GPS out again.  The dirt road was starting to wind back to the highway, so I figured this was as close to the northeasternmost point as I would get.  The actual site was about 150 yards to the north, I figured, so I left the two-track and tried walking through the dense underbrush, but it was impossible (or I should say, impassable), so I called it good.  This was as close as a person could feasibly get to the northeasternmost point of the contiguous United States.  There was no one around and I could barely hear the traffic on Highway 1, which was a quarter-mile away.  I got out my camcorder and shot a brief video. 

Yep, this was it:  the northeasternmost point of the U.S.  I did a little happy dance (well, not really), then hustled back to the truck.  It was almost 6 p.m., the light was fading fast, and I still had one more site to visit before I called it a day.

Summary:

  • I visited this site on September 28, 2016.  
  • The coordinates of this point are: 47° 14.140' N, 68° 01.233' W. 
  • To see a Google Map of the northeasternmost point, click here.
  • To see the panorama photo I created at this site, click here.

How to Get There:  

To get to this point, travel on Highway 1 in northern Maine between the towns of Van Buren and Grand Isle.  About halfway between these towns, you'll see a turnout on the north side of the highway with a road sign that says "Shore Road."  It's not much of a road; it's actually a dirt two-track.  But park your car here and walk about 300 yards north, towards the St. John River.  The road bends around to the west and the river, and the northeasternmost point, lies about 150 yards north through the dense underbrush.  There's no trail so, unless you have a large machete (just kidding), I suggest you stop here and call it good.  This is as close as you can feasibly get to the northeasternmost point of the U.S.

The Northeasternmost Point

 

 

Above:  The northeasternmost point of the U.S. is on the St. John River between the towns of Van Buren and Grand Isle, Maine.  I got as close as I could, considering the dense vegetation, about 150 yards to the southwest of the red dot.  I created the blue line, with a bearing of 135 degrees, to help me determine the northeasternmost point.