The border between the United States and Canada is quite long. It winds and crisscrosses for thousands of miles, passing through forests, lakes, cities, rivers, wide open fields, mountains, and other landscapes. If you’ve traveled across it by plane, car, or other means, you might believe you know everything there is to know about it. However, you could be mistaken!
Here are five facts about the US-Canada border that you may not have known but may be glad you did.
Some Airports At The Border Straddle Both Countries
You might think that an airport built close to the border would be built in either country. However, some construction plans may surprise you.
There are six airports that straddle the Canada/US border, with portions of each facility located in both countries.
Two points of entry are only one way.
The majority of border crossings see people entering and exiting both countries. This may seem obvious, as most buildings have both an entrance and an exit, or at the very least a door that can be accessed and opened from both inside and outside the building.
However, not all border crossings are like this. If you are crossing the US/Canadian border at Four Fall, New Brunswick, you should have a good destination in mind because you are only traveling one way into Canada from Maine, with no crossing available to return the other way at this time.
At the Churubusco-Franklin Center border crossing, the opposite is true. This location provides visitors with a one-way ticket into New York State from Quebec.
It is the world’s longest unprotected border.
Canada and the United States share the world’s longest undefended border. This means that neither the US nor Canada has tanks or military officers guarding each side. True, if you want to cross from one country to another legally, you must go through a customs checkpoint and have your documents and possibly your belongings assessed, so there is some official business involved when crossing from one country to the next. However, in general, the border is undefended and both countries respect it.
What other countries have such extensive borders? In terms of length, the border between Russia and Kazakhstan is the world’s second longest, with the Argentina-Chile border a close third.
At Least One Illegal Tunnel Exists
Someone actually went so far as to dig their way underground across the US/Canada border. Three Canadians smuggled illegal drugs into the United States once dug an illegal tunnel. The tunnel was 360 feet long and ran from a quonset hut, which is similar to one of those long domed garages commonly used for storage, in Surrey, British Columbia, to someone’s living room in Lynden, Washington. Wild.
Other tunnels and bridges cross the US/Canada border, but they are all legal and people pass through and over them on a daily basis. These include the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, which connects Michigan and Ontario, as well as the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit and the famous Peace Bridge in Niagara Falls, which connects New York State and Ontario.
A six-meter no-touch zone exists.
Many things are shared by Canada and the United States, but not their forests, it appears. The border between the two currently peaceful countries has a twenty-foot space between Canadian and US forest. Yes, there is a huge empty space that runs the length of the border between forested areas, as if some supreme being has run their enormous finger through the foliage to clear it.
When you first see it, the US/Canada border may appear mundane, but it is actually quite interesting. However, it is not as interesting as the US/Mexico border, which has more than its fair share of bizarre, hopeful, and simply sad stories to tell.