Kelly's Korner hosts a weekly Show Us Your Life series. This week's topic is Show Us Your Hometown.
I grew up in a very small rural town called Mars Hill in northern Maine's Aroostook county; total population under 2,000 people. I live in southern Maine now and am referred to as "a county girl" when someone learns where I grew up. We're talking about a town that has one blinking yellow light and one automatic door that's located in the IGA grocery store that opened in the 90s. Yes, we did have electricity and running water!
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Mars Hill borders New Brunswick, Canada. The closest "mall" was 20-30 minutes away in Presque Isle, ME but I preferred the malls in Fredericton, New Brunswick (2 hours), Bangor, ME (2.5 hours) or South Portland, ME (5 hours). The closest McDonald's (and other franchises) were 20-30 minutes away in Presque Isle or 40 minutes away in Houlton.
Directions for arriving in Mars Hill from most points in the US are simple: drive to the end of Interstate 95 and take a left. Interstate 95 starts in Miami, Florida. I went on a road trip from Mars Hill to Orlando but didn't quite make it the entire length of the longest north/south highway. The journey took some time but we saw a lot of interesting places on the east coast along the way!
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There are many trails for snowmobiling and 4-wheeling but Mars Hill mountain is the primary destination for recreation. I didn't ski growing up so one of Mars Hill's best tourist attractions was wasted on me: Big Rock Ski Resort. It's enjoyed by locals and tourists. I haven't played the Mars Hill Country Club's course but I've heard one of the holes goes up the side of the mountain. You can take a photo tour of the course here. The Mars Hill Wind Farm is also located on the mountain. These photos are courtesy of my dad. Thanks, Daddy! :) You can see Big Rock's trails in the first one.
During high school I worked at Al's Diner as a waitress because I made better money in tips than I would've made as a cashier at the IGA. I was saving up to move to the big city for college. Ha! :) Al's is currently the #1 restaurant in Mars Hill on Trip Advisor! I'm borrowing a photo from a snowmobiler that traveled through town in 2002 (source).
If you're looking for a place to get away from it all or outdoor recreation, real estate in Mars Hill is very reasonable. A second home or camp is within your reach here. Right now, a 3 bedroom 2 bath with about 1,000 sq ft and mountain views is being offered for $33,900! It looks like it could use some TLC but it's $33,900! There is a small airport in Presque Isle but you can also fly into Bangor or Portland and drive up. Many repeat visitors I've met drive up from other points in New England annually and they say it's well worth it.
If you've ever been to Mars Hill or go in the future, I'd love to hear about your experience!