Presque Isle is the largest town in Maine’s northernmost county. Because Northern Maine is the closest U.S. landmass to Europe, Presque Isle was selected as the take-off for planes and equipment going overseas during World War II. It was also chosen as the departure point for the Double Eagle II in 1978. The hot air balloon landed roughly 137 hours later in Misery, France, making it the first hot air balloon to cross the Atlantic. A monument in honor of the flight has been erected at the launching site.
Presque Isle is the starting point for the world’s largest scale model of the solar system, which runs along U.S. Rt. 1 to the town of Houlton, 40 miles away. The center of the solar system is the University of Maine at Presque Isle. The town rests on the eastern edge of the great North Woods, so it is the ideal home base for those who come to Maine to snowmobile, hunt, fish, hike, or mountain bike.