Fort Kent, Maine – Where The Highway Begins



I’m planning an extended stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand this fall / winter.  If any reader has suggestions about a nice apartment in Chiang Mai I would love to hear from you.  Many thanks in advance.





Many have wondered, perhaps you have as well, “Where does the Highway Begin?”  Today I have the answer for you – The highway begins In Fort Kent, Maine of course!  Curious?  Let me explain.

Ft. Kent, Maine is a delightful town of around 5,000, located in Aroostook County on the extreme norther boarder of the United States.  Serving as a port of entry from Canada into the U.S., it connects to it’s adjoining Canadian city of Clair in New Brunswick by the International  Bridge over the St. John River.


Map of Northern Maine

Vehicles arriving from Canada pass through U.S. Customs at the Port of Entry after crossing the St. John River.  The Ft. Kent port of entry doesn’t get lots of traffic. Perhaps around 1,900 vehicles cross the International Bridge daily.   Entry and customs clearance is generally simple and speedy.

Ft. Kent Port of Entry via Highway / International Bridge

But Fort Kent has a distinctive claim to fame – Fort Kent is truly Where The Highway Begins.  It holds the distinction of being the point of origin of U.S. Route 1.  Established in 1926,  Route 1 is the easternmost route of the U.S. Highway System.  It runs a total of 2446 miles southward and is the longest north – south route in the United States.

A small park immediately adjacent to the Port of Entry holds historical markers commemorating the Route 1 origin and history.

Historical Marker – American’s First Mile



U.S. Route 1starts in Ft. Kent, Main and then winds it’s way southward along the Atlantic Coast.


Route 1 (Red) / Maine to Key West

After traveling over 2,000 miles and passing through 15 states U.S. Route 1 finally reaches it’s end point in Key West, Florida. So, if you have ever asked yourself “Where does the highway end?” Well now you know that as well.  Yes, indeed – Key West – that’s Where the Highway Ends.

For information about Key West – including the end of Route 1 shown in the image below – check out

  Key West – What To See And Do and Key West – What To See And Do Part Duex.



If you visit Ft. Kent and feel a bit hungry – you might want to try Rock’s Family Diner.  It’s easy to find – right across the street from the Port of Entry.

Address: 378 W Main St, Fort Kent, ME 04743
Hours:  · 6:30AM–7PM
Phone: (207) 834-2888




Rock’s has great food, a comfortable, friendly atmosphere and it’s run by some very nice people. Check it out.


Visit Ft. Kent – Where The Highway Begins ……… And Enjoy The Adventure!

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© 2017, Bruce W Bean, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

Photographing and wandering the world - close to home and far away. Enjoying life's adventure.
Bruce W Bean, Ph.D

5 thoughts on “Fort Kent, Maine – Where The Highway Begins

  1. Love a good road trip. We drove from Miami to Key West a couple of years ago. We got back from a deep south road trip this month where we drove NOLA, Memphis, Nashville, Montgomery, PCB and then back to NOLA. Had an amazing trip 🙂

  2. That is quite a journey and great tips if you’re wishing to do this and cross the borders. I’m not often stateside but I’ll be looking back to this blog if I do. Enjoyed reading the article 🙂

  3. Great article Bruce! I rode part of Hwy 1, from Miami to Key West in June. I was thinking about riding the whole way in Florida, but, though I’m retired…..I don’t have THAT much time! 😉

    • Hey Joe! It’s only around 2,400 miles or so from one end to the other. You should give it a try! While I have now visited both the northern and southern extreme of Route 1 I must admit I have not seen much of the middle of the route. Maybe some day? (Maybe not…..) Glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for reading and for your comment.

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