Maine has certainly been called a backwards state, but...

I feel like generally speaking, I have a pretty good sense of direction. My wife, on the other hand, could seemingly get lost on her way to the living room. She's no dummy, by any means, but not everyone has a great sense of direction. I'm sure it can be developed, but it doesn't seem to be something everyone's born with.

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On the other hand, you'd think some things would remain constant. For instance, even though we all know that north isn't literally up, it's a sense of direction we've allowed ourselves to adopt. To that point, I always assumed that in Maine, you had *generally* head north to Canada. But not so fast...

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There's one Maine town where this just isn't the case.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Statewide, there are two dozen places where you can enter Canada. That's really not a lot considering we share some 600+ miles of border with Canada, specifically along the New Brunswick and Quebec provinces. But only the town of Hamlin requires you to do something none of the others do. You actually have to drive south, to the Canadian border, according to Google Maps.

Hands making thumbs up and down

To get to Canada via Hamlin, you need to either take Route 1A up and then back down, or you take it down from the north, also known as the Van Buren road. Maybe there are some back roads that will wind you into where you need to be, but by main roads, you'll have to go south at some point.

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Maybe this is one of those Magnetic Hill type deals? That's just over the border in Canada. You can ride a bike uphill, watch water flow uphill, and it's all somehow an optical illusion. But regardless, it does seem a bit nutty that you have to go up to go down. But then, welcome to Maine, where backwards is what makes us cool.

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