Van Buren is the gateway to the St. John River Valley in northern Maine—and one of the best places to visit if you'd like to learn about the Acadian culture that remains a large part of everyday life in Aroostook County.
The town was settled in 1785 by Acadian people who were exiled from Nova Scotia, Canada. At Acadian Village in Van Buren, you can see original and replica Acadian buildings and homes. The Village is one of the largest historical sites in Maine, complete with a log chapel, schoolhouse, general store, square-hewn log homes, blacksmith shop, a gristmill and a wool-carding mill. The oldest original properties date to the 1790s. The Village is on Route 1 and is open daily from mid-June to mid-September
You can explore the multi-use Bangor & Aroostook Trail, which snakes through forests and past ponds and streams from Van Buren to the village of Stockholm. The 58-mile crushed stone and dirt trail offers year-round opportunities for biking, hiking, horseback riding, ATV riding, snowmobiling or cross-country skiing. You can go swimming, fishing and boating at Long Lake and the town also has 75 miles of snowmobile trails.
Van Buren and St. Leonard, New Brunswick are connected by a bridge that spans the St. John River. In the summer, the two communities host the International Grande Riviere Festival, which includes live music, food, flea markets and a parade. In August, you can attend The Annual Community Bazaar in Van Buren, which features a chili cook-off, a tractor pull, a kite-flying contest and a hula hoop contest.