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Old 02-20-2013, 09:19 AM
 
12 posts, read 37,271 times
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Our family is most likely moving to the Fort Kent area this summer. My wife is interviewing for a position in Eagle Lake and we are thinking of living in or near Fort Kent.
We have not been to this part of Maine before but we are from rural Kansas so rural communities don't bother us and we don't need a large metropolis close by.
We are just looking for any information about the town, the high school, the University, go over to Canada to shop and what-not.
Really any information will be helpful.
I've been to the websites for the different areas but I'd d rather hear from people that know what they are talking about!
The only thing I haven't been able to find much information about is the high school.
We are going up to eagle Lake and Fort Kent in a couple weeks so we'll have a chance to spend a few days there.

Thanks in advance.
Matt P in Ks (soon to be Maine I hope!)
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
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Oh it's a great area up there (about forty five minutes north of me). Fort Kent High School is pretty good, it seems. I work in that school now and then in an outside capacity.
Eagle Lake to Fort Kent is about fifteen minutes. The plus of living in Fort Kent is having many more services, stores, etc. The plus of living in Eagle Lake is that you can live right on the lake (it's a nice one). So it's really up to you as to what you want/need.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:49 PM
 
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Thanks for the info. We have been looking for houses on the lake. My daughter would be perfectly happy living in the middle of the woods on the shore of a lake....but really who wouldn't??
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
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Fort Kent is a wonderful small college town. The people are very friendly (most are of Arcadian French ancestry), and although many speak English as their first language now, most are bilingual. It isn't uncommon at all to go into a store and hear French spoken, but the days of people not speaking English are long gone. Keep in mind that Fort Kent sits on the border with Canada, and that part of Canada still speaks French as their first language. Most are bilingual, but not all.

The winters are very long and the temperatures are very cold. You are a LONG way from a city of size. Bangor is 3 1/2 to 4 hours from Fort Kent (in good weather). Across the river, in Canada, there is a larger city, but not the size of Bangor. Driving after dark is risky (although everyone does it). The moose are very large, numerous, and hard to see after dark. People die every year in vehicle collisions with them. One day on a drive from Caribou to Van Buren I saw 14 moose.

I've only driven through Kansas, but I'm not sure it is all that similar to northern Maine. I'd advise you trying it before buying property up there. I lived in Aroostook County for many years and it isn't crowded for a reason. It isn't for most people.

You'll need a passport to travel in Canada.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:27 AM
 
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bangorme, thanks for the information. It's interesting the prospect of moving to an area where a majority of the folks speak French. Typically it's always been Spanish.
When we go up in a couple weeks, it sounds like we'll have a lot to look over.
Thanks again
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:10 PM
 
Location: The Woods
17,368 posts, read 23,401,346 times
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I've hunted that area before and now and then I'd bump into someone who'd mix French and English into the same sentence. It made for some confusing conversations. It's a nice area if you can handle the odd language mixes you can come across sometimes. It's certainly isolated, going up to the camp my family had up that way was a loooong drive from VT and even from most of Maine. You don't have to get too far from town to feel like you're in a wilderness. A great area to find some quiet. The moose hunting is great, they're everywhere, if you get drawn for a permit, the deer not so much in recent years (hard winters do that, keep in mind the Northern tip of Maine is as far North as you can get in the lower 48). As others said, be careful driving around at night...
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:37 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
I've hunted that area before and now and then I'd bump into someone who'd mix French and English into the same sentence. It made for some confusing conversations. It's a nice area if you can handle the odd language mixes you can come across sometimes. It's certainly isolated, going up to the camp my family had up that way was a loooong drive from VT and even from most of Maine. You don't have to get too far from town to feel like you're in a wilderness. A great area to find some quiet. The moose hunting is great, they're everywhere, if you get drawn for a permit, the deer not so much in recent years (hard winters do that, keep in mind the Northern tip of Maine is as far North as you can get in the lower 48). As others said, be careful driving around at night...
Not to hijack the OP's post but do you find a lot of camp properties up that way or is it mostly timber company land? Would lakefront (or at least lake accessible) land be cheaper than further south? Jackman and Millinocket are a hair more than nine hours from where I live which is long but doable for a four day weekend stay or a couple of weeks at a time, but 12 hours seems less so, but if it meant more/better land for the money I'd be willing to look up that way.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:22 PM
 
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Artic, thanks for the information. Mixed languages don't bother us. We've lived with mixed Spanish and English for a couple years. I guess now I have a good excuse to learn French!
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
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If you go west from Fort Kent, you go through a couple of small towns and then the road ends at Allagash. It's semi-wilderness from there. Going in any other direction it's just rural.
Real estate is definitely cheaper up here than in central Maine, but I'm not sure how it compares to Millinocket or Jackman prices. Probably about the same.
Edmundston, New Brunswick is 20 minutes away; about 25,000 combined in Edmundston and Madawaska (across the river).
Quebec City (metro area population 750,000) is about four hours away. It's a gem of a city.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:09 AM
 
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Fort Kent has some of the strongest community spirit I've ever seen in Maine, and I've been everywhere in Maine. Lots of organizations and events to get involved in. The outdoors lifestyle is unparalleled IMHO, but the winters can be pretty long sometimes.

One word of warning: If your wife is working in Eagle Lake, she will undoubtedly come into contact with John Martin. Treat him with care. He was once the most powerful politician in Maine, and he still swings a lot of weight in northern Maine.
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