Yes, you can get here from there! This area hosts a steady stream of international business people, athletes (huge winter sports area), and conferences and conventions of all kinds from downstate and elsewhere. The week or so before GNSI arrives there will be the annual Acadian Festival and a few hundred Acadians will gather here from all over the world — France, England, Chicago, Louisiana...
Travel by AIR
There are several options for flying to Maine. The two closest US airports are the Northern Maine Regional Airport in Presque Isle (Airport code: PQI), and Bangor International Airport (BGR). Presque Isle can be accessed via Boston Logan Airport (BOS), Bangor International Airport, or Portland International Jetport Airport (PWM). It is also possible to fly into Portland, ME, and take a commuter plane to Frenchville, ME, which is quite close to Fort Kent. For our Canadian members and those up for international travel, the Québec City airport is actually closer to Fort Kent than Bangor.
- Option 1: Fly into Boston, Bangor, or Portland; Fly to Presque Isle.
- The drive from Presque Isle to Fort Kent is about an hour and a half. It is possible to rent a car or a limo (for more people) in Presque Isle. Alternatively, if enough people arrive at the same time we can rent a bus or van.
- Option 2: Fly into Bangor, ME; Drive directly to Fort Kent.
- The drive from Bangor to Fort Kent is approximately 3 hours long. The Bangor-to-Fort-Kent option may make a bus or van rental feasible, depending on how many attendees arrive at the same time.
- Option 3: Fly into Portland, ME; Take commuter plane to Frenchville
- New England Air Transport offers a commuter service in a twin-propeller, 7-passenger Piper Chieftain. Fernald's son, David Fernald Jr., is the company's chief pilot and the pair have been operating a passenger charter service for two years. The operation is based at the Northern Aroostook airport in Frenchville, which sits on the Canadian border next to Fort Kent. Air fares start at $239 one-way or $478 round-trip when purchased 14 days in advance. Currently they have a half-price deal: 2 for 1 ($239 round trip/person) with a purchase of two tickets. A Portland-to-Frenchville trip takes about 2.5 hours by air, compared to more than 10 hours by car. The commuter service operates Monday through Thursday. Frenchville is approximately a 25-minute drive from Fort Kent. If you plan to arrive in Frenchville, contact Conference Coordinator Joan Lee so she can advise you on getting to Fort Kent.
- Option 4: Fly into Québec City; Drive across border.
- Québec City is approximately a three-hour drive from Fort Kent. You must have passports to cross the border.
NOTE! Northern Aroostook County has a public bus. I will talk with them about pick ups in Presque Isle and Frenchville.
Travel by BUS
Daily Service between Bangor and Northern Maine
Currently the bus leaves from Fort Kent every morning at 4:40am and Presque Isle at 7:25am. It then travels south making stops between Caribou and Bangor before returning later that same day. On the return route the bus arrives in Fort Kent at 12:30 am. The cost for the longest route between Fort Kent and Bangor is $70.25 for round-trip or $39 one-way. A complete list of rates and other information is available by calling Joe Cyr at Cyr Bus Lines at 1-800-244-2335. You can also visit their website.
There is some discussion about eliminating this route within the next 6 months, but for now it seems to be available at least through the conference timeframe.
Presque Isle to Fort Kent
Van service is available from Aroostook Regional Transportation Service (ARTS). A van costs a flat $75 per hour, from leaving the garage to returning to the garage. No extra fees for driver, mileage, gas. Travel time between Presque Isle and Fort Kent is 2 hours maximum. Most vans carry 8 people, but some can carry 16 passengers. Please note there is no special place for luggage. Contact Danny Donovan for a group rate: 1-800-442-3320 (local toll free only) or (207)764-1290.
Travel by AUTO
The Northern Door Inn's website has a great map and excellent written directions for getting to and from Fort Kent, ME. Highway 161 from Caribou was being resurfaced and widened this past summer. It should be in great shape in July.
If you go up Highway 1 from Houlton (where I95 ends) to Presque Isle watch for the scale model of our solar system. The planets, starting with Pluto (before it was demoted) are scale models placed appropriately along the highway all the way to Mercury and the Sun. This route takes you through some forest and farmland, mostly potatoes and buckwheat. It is very different from the Wilderness area.
Highway 11 takes you past Khatadin and Baxter State Park. Khatadin, at Knife's Edge, is the terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
Keep your cameras handy. There are lovely vistas in several spots. And remember, WATCH FOR MOOSE!
Getting to Fort Kent, Maine will certainly be an adventure, so why not share the experience!? Britt Griswold has set up a google document so we can coordinate travel plans. View those needing or offering a ride below and add your name to the list:
Parking on Campus
Parking on campus is free. There are a number of parking lots scattered around campus. For specific locations, view the Campus Map.