The border between Canada and the US is the longest international border. Spanning a length of 8,891 km or 5,525 miles, it splits the North American continent into two. And while it may be the longest in the world, crossing it can still be a pain in the neck. Here, we will try to bring this border closer to you by looking at the border which the US states border and by discussing some of the more than 100 crossings between the two countries. 

Although many crossings between the two states exist, some of them do not work 24/7. Another useful piece of information is to know that some of these can get busy – resulting in a standstill at the crossing that can lead to 3-4 hours of lost time – all while waiting for your turn to cross the border and enter Canada. To avoid these issues, let’s read on and learn about the border. 

What Is a State Border?

A border is a natural or artificial line that separates two countries. If they are natural, borders usually follow the natural contours of rivers, lakes, and mountain ranges. If they are artificial, they are usually the result of a treaty or a war and are demarcated by fencing. Although this is not always the case, many countries are lifting their borders, making them truly abstract lines on a map. Many towns in the European Union have small demarcation lines, but the movement of people over the borders is unobstructed. 

So, borders are political boundaries. If you wish to cross one, you may need a passport or another ID. What type of ID you will need depends on how close the countries are: the closer they are, the less complex the crossing is. Some countries enable visa-free travel across their borders (for citizens of some countries). In contrast, others may need a visa, a special document issued to your passport that enables you to cross the border. 

Of course, there are other forms of borders and border crossings. They can be found in ports and airports. Since it would be impossible to guard an entire sealine and stop cruisers on the sea to control all the passengers and their documents, special border crossings, called point-of-entry, are established. The same goes for airplanes and crossings at airports – these allow you to cross a border while already in the country itself. 

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Sometimes, if we speak of natural borders, they can shift and change. The best examples are meandering rivers which naturally change shape. In this case, the border is a question of political treaties (such as after a war) or an international agreement. Most borders have some form of protection to prevent illegal crossings. The border between Mexico and the US is one such border. 

And while some borders are open, meaning that the citizens can cross with no ID at all (the borders within the EU), some are closed. This means that you may need special permission in addition to your passport even to leave the country. Most countries are not very democratic and are known for human rights violations. They include North Korea, Cuba and Myanmar. The Chinese border is in between requiring its citizens to obtain both an exit and entrance visa and the visa of the country they plan to visit. 

Border crossings around the world are different, usually guarded and armed. However, the longest land border in the world is a peaceful one – although you will need an ID to cross. A passport is required for most countries whose citizens are trying to enter Canada. Here is a list of countries with visa-less entrance regimes for Canada: 

  • The United States of America
  • Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

No Visa is required, but eTA (electronic Travel Authorisation) is needed for entry via an airport: 

  • EU & EEA
  • United Kingdom
  • Andorra
  • Antique and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Brunei
  • Chile
  • Hong Kong
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Solomon Islands
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • The Vatican City

A visa (even a transit visa when transferring on Canadian passports) is required of all nationals of countries not on this list. 

Longest International Border in the World

The United States of America is the only country in the world where Canada shares a border. This is the longest international border in the world, with almost 9,000 km of border zone dividing the two countries. For the most part, the border is artificial, with long, straight lines dividing the two countries. However, there is one quirky border section between the two countries. 

Quirky Border Section in Canadian Border

The border section is the northernmost part of the contiguous US. It covers an area of 596 square miles or 1,543 square kilometers. The strange shape results from specific geography in the region and poor surveying. The Treaty of Paris (from 1783) drew the line between the two countries – often following the natural contours in the landscape. However, the poor surveying methods of the time resulted in the strange shape that persists today. 

Check Out Canada & The United States’s Bizarre Border:

13 States That Border Canada

Today, 13 US states share a border with Canada. The border was established after the American War of Independence. Although the 49th parallel was supposed to be a demarcation line between the two countries, the Great Lakes had to be shared, and the surveying tech back then made the line zigzag in some spots. Still, the border persists today as the longest land border in the world. 

The United States border with Canada is established along 13 states, including: 

  • Alaska
  • Washington
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire and 
  • Maine
US State Bordering CanadaCanadian Province Sharing the Border with the US StateLength of Border in KMLength of Border in MINumber of Land Border Crossings
AlaskaYukon and British Columbia1,538 mi2,475 km5
WashingtonBritish Columbia427 mi687 km13
IdahoBritish Columbia45 mi72 km2
MontanaBritish Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan545 mi877 km14
North DakotaSaskatchewan and Manitoba310 mi499 km18
MinnesotaManitoba and Ontario547 mi880 km8
MichiganNo Land Border, Lake Superior and Lake Huron are natural borders721 mi1,160 kmNo Land Border
OhioOntario, within Lake Erie146 mi235 kmNo Land Border, 1 Ferry Crossing
PennsylvaniaOntario42 mi68 kmNo Land Border
New YorkOntario and Quebec445 mi716 km16
VermontQuebec90 mi145 km15
New HampshireQuebec58 mi93 km1
MaineQuebec and New Brunswick311 mi983 km24


Alaska has a total of 4 (used to be five, one is closed) border crossings with Canada. The United States border here connects with Yukon via two border crossings and British Columbia via three. The borderline itself is the longest individual international border between these two countries. Here is a list of all land border crossings between Canada and Alaska: 

US StateCanada – ProvinceCanada Port of EntryUS Port of EntryOpen
AlaskaYukonLittle Gold CreekPoker Creekseasonal
AlaskaYukonBeaver CreekAlcan24/7
AlaskaBritish ColumbiaPleasant CampDalton Cache8:00–0:00
AlaskaBritish ColumbiaFraserSkagwayseasonal


The entire Washington State border connects to British Columbia only. The border is 427 miles or 687 kilometres long and is a straight line along the 49th parallel. The borderline has 13 border crossings. Here is a list of all land border crossings between Canada and Washington:

US StateCanada – ProvinceCanada Port of EntryUS Port of EntryOpen
WashingtonBritish ColumbiaBoundary BayPoint Roberts24/7
WashingtonBritish ColumbiaDouglasBlaine–Peace Arch24/7
WashingtonBritish ColumbiaBlaine–Pacific HighwayBlaine–Pacific Highway24/7
WashingtonBritish ColumbiaAldergroveLynden8:00-0:00
WashingtonBritish ColumbiaAbbotsford–HuntingdonSumas24/7
WashingtonBritish ColumbiaChopakaNighthawk9:00-17:00
WashingtonBritish ColumbiaOsoyoosOroville24/7
WashingtonBritish ColumbiaMidwayFerry9:00-17:00
WashingtonBritish ColumbiaCarsonDanville8:00-0:00
WashingtonBritish ColumbiaCascadeLaurier8:00-0:00
WashingtonBritish ColumbiaPatersonFrontier24/7
WashingtonBritish ColumbiaWanetaBoundary9:00-17:00
WashingtonBritish ColumbiaNelwayMetaline Falls8:00-0:00


The Idaho-Canada border connects the US to British Columbia. The border has only two border crossings for both passengers and the transportation of goods. The border is only 45 miles or 72 kilometres long. Here is a list of all land border crossings between Canada and Idaho: 

US StateCanada – ProvinceCanada Port of EntryUS Port of EntryOpen
IdahoBritish ColumbiaRykertsPorthill8:00-0:00
IdahoBritish ColumbiaKingsgateEastport24/7


The Montana border to Canada connects the US to Alberta and Saskatchewan. This portion of the border is 545 miles or 877 kilometres long. The border is intersected by four international airports. Here is a list of all land border crossings between Canada and Montana: 

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US StateCanada – ProvinceCanada Port of EntryUS Port of EntryOpen
MontanaBritish ColumbiaRoosvilleRoosville24/7
MontanaAlbertaChief MountainChief Mountainseasonal
MontanaAlbertaDel BonitaDel Bonitaseasonal
MontanaAlbertaAdenWild Horse9:00-17:00
MontanaAlbertaWild HorseWild Horseseasonal
MontanaSaskatchewanWillow CreekWillow Creek9:00-17:00
MontanaSaskatchewanWest Poplar RiverOpheimseasonal

North Dakota

The North Dakota to Canada border is 310 miles or 499 kilometres long. It connects to Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The borderline contains 18 border crossings. The Peace Garden Airport intersects the border and is international. Here is a list of all land border crossings between Canada and North Dakota: 

US StateCanada – ProvinceCanada Port of EntryUS Port of EntryOpen
North DakotaSaskatchewanOungreFortunaseasonal
North DakotaSaskatchewanTorquayAmbroseseasonal
North DakotaSaskatchewanEstevan HighwayNoonan9:00-21:00
North DakotaSaskatchewanNorth PortalPortal24/7
North DakotaSaskatchewanNorthgateNorthgate9:00-21:00
North DakotaSaskatchewanCarievaleSherwood9:00-21:00
North DakotaManitobaLyletonAntler9:00-22:00
North DakotaManitobaCoulterWesthope8:00-21:00
North DakotaManitobaGoodlandsCarbury9:00-22:00
North DakotaManitobaBoissevainDunseith24/7
North DakotaManitobaLenaSaint John8:00-21:00
North DakotaManitobaCartwrightHansboro8:00-21:00
North DakotaManitobaCrystal CitySarles9:00-22:00
North DakotaManitobaSnowflakeHannah9:00-22:00
North DakotaManitobaWindygatesMaida9:00-22:00
North DakotaManitobaWinklerWalhalla9:00-22:00
North DakotaManitobaGretnaNeche9:00-22:00
North DakotaManitobaEmersonPembina24/7


The Minnesota-Canada border connects to Manitoba and Ontario in Canada. A part of the border runs along Lake Superior. It is 547 miles or 880 km long. Here is a list of all land border crossings between Canada and Minnesota: 

US StateCanada – ProvinceCanada Port of EntryUS Port of EntryOpen
MinnesotaManitobaSouth JunctionRoseau8:00-20:00
MinnesotaOntarioRainy RiverBaudette24/7
MinnesotaOntarioFort FrancesInternational Falls24/7
MinnesotaOntarioPigeon RiverGrand Portage24/7


The Michigan-Canada border runs along Lake Superior and Lake Huron. The Blue Water Bridge, St. Clair Tunnel, The Ambassador Bridge and Windson-Detroit Tunnel are all on this border. It is 721 miles or 1,160 kilometres long. Here is a list of all land border crossings between Canada and Michigan: 

US StateCanada – ProvinceCanada Port of EntryUS Port of EntryOpen
MichiganOntarioSault Ste. MarieSault Ste. Marie24/7
MichiganOntarioSarniaPort Huron24/7
MichiganOntarioWindsor–Detroit TunnelDetroit–Windsor Tunnel24/7
MichiganOntarioWindsor–Ambassador BridgeDetroit–Ambassador Bridge24/7


Ohio does not have a land border with Canada. Instead, the entire length of the international border is within Lake Erie. There is a ferry across the lake. This stretch of the US-Canada international border is 146 miles or 235 kilometres long. 


The Pennsylvania-Canada border is the shortest one among the 13 stretches. It is only 42 miles or 68 kilometres long. It is completely within Lake Erie. The border is completely water-locked. 

New York

This border portion is 445 miles or 716 kilometres long. It connects the US state of New York with Ontario and Quebec. Similarly to the Alaska border, this borderline was revised throughout history. This time, the 1783-established border was revised in 1842. Here is a list of all land border crossings between Canada and New York: 

US StateCanada – ProvinceCanada Port of EntryUS Port of EntryOpen
New YorkOntarioFort ErieBuffalo24/7
New YorkOntarioNiagara Falls–Rainbow BridgeNiagara Falls–Rainbow Bridge24/7
New YorkOntarioNiagara Falls–Whirlpool Rapids BridgeNiagara Falls–Whirlpool Rapids Bridge7:00-21:00
New YorkOntarioLewistonLewiston24/7
New YorkOntarioAlexandria BayAlexandria Bay24/7
New YorkOntarioPrescottOgdensburg24/7
New YorkOntarioCornwallMassena24/7
New YorkQuebecDundeeFort Covington24/7
New YorkQuebecTrout RiverTrout River24/7
New YorkQuebecHerdmanChateaugay24/7
New YorkQuebecCovey HillCannon Cornersseasonal
New YorkQuebecHemmingfordMooers24/7
New YorkQuebecSt-Bernard-de-LacolleChamplain24/7
New YorkQuebecLacolle: Route 221Overton Corners24/7
New YorkQuebecLacolle: Route 223Rouses Point24/7


The border between Vermont and Canada connects the US to Quebec. The entire border is 90 miles or 145 kilometres long. It was established in 1783 but revised later on with the Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1842. It is 90 miles or 145 kilometres long. Here is a list of all land border crossings between Canada and Vermont: 

US StateCanada – ProvinceCanada Port of EntryUS Port of EntryOpen
VermontQuebecClarencevilleAlburg Springs8:00-0:00
VermontQuebecSt–Armand/ PhilipsburgHighgate Springs24/7
VermontQuebecMorses LineMorses Lineseasonal
VermontQuebecWest BerkshireWest Berkshire24/7
VermontQuebecEast PinnaclePinnacle Road8:00-0:00
VermontQuebecHighwaterNorth Troy24/7
VermontQuebecStanstead–BeebeBeebe Plain24/7
VermontQuebecStanstead–143Derby Line–Rte 524/7
VermontQuebecStanstead–55Derby Line24/7
VermontQuebecHereford RoadCanaan24/7
VermontQuebecEast HerefordBeecher Falls24/7

New Hampshire

New Hampshire – Canada border is only 58 miles or 93 kilometres long. It is equipped with only one border crossing. This crossing is located in Pittsburgh, a small town of some 1,000 people. Here is a list of all land border crossings between Canada and New Hampshire: 

US StateCanada – ProvinceCanada Port of EntryUS Port of EntryOpen
New HampshireQuebecChartiervillePittsburg8:00-0:00


The Maine-Canada border connects the US to Quebec and New Brunswick. This is the third longest US boundary with Canada. Between 1838 and 1839, there were some territorial disputes between the two countries. In 1842, the UK and the US came together, and the Webster-Ashburton Treaty was signed. This ended all territorial disputes between the two countries. Here is a list of all land border crossings between Canada and Maine: 

US StateCanada – ProvinceCanada Port of EntryUS Port of EntryOpen
MaineQuebecWoburnCoburn Gore24/7
MaineQuebecSt-Just-de-BretenièresSt. Justeseasonal
MaineNew BrunswickClairFort Kent24/7
MaineNew BrunswickEdmundstonMadawaska24/7
MaineNew BrunswickSt. LeonardVan Buren24/7
MaineNew BrunswickGrand FallsHamlin7:00-23:00
MaineNew BrunswickGillespie PortageLimestone6:00-22:00
MaineNew BrunswickAndoverFort Fairfield24/7
MaineNew BrunswickRiver de ChuteEaston8:00-16:00
MaineNew BrunswickCentrevilleBridgewater5:00-21:00
MaineNew BrunswickBloomfieldMonticelloseasonal
MaineNew BrunswickWoodstock RoadHoulton24/7
MaineNew BrunswickFostervilleOrientseasonal
MaineNew BrunswickForest CityForest Cityseasonal
MaineNew BrunswickSt. CroixVanceboro24/7
MaineNew BrunswickCalais–International AveCalais–International Ave24/7
MaineNew BrunswickMilltownCalais–Milltown Bridgeseasonal
MaineNew BrunswickSt. Stephen (Ferry Point Bridge)Calais–Ferry Point24/7
MaineNew BrunswickCampobelloLubec24/7

Land Crossings vs Ferry Crossings

Most people decide to cross to Canada via land, but there are some that decide to cross via a ferry service. Although romantic and somewhat reserved for tourists, considering that Canada has public transportation that is a bit better than in the US, this is a viable option for many seeking to enter Canada. Here are some Canadian ferry crossings along the longest border in the world, with the places they connect to and the ferry line company operating the ferry: 

  • Ketchikan/Juneau AK – Prince Rupert BC, Alaska Marine Highway
  • Whittier AK – Prince Rupert BC, AquaTrain
  • Seattle, Port Angeles – Victoria BC, Clipper Navigation or Blackball Transport 
  • Bellingham, WA – Victoria BC, Clipper Navigation or Blackball Transport
  • Anacortes, WA – Sidney BC, Washington State Ferries
  • Marine City, MI – Sombra ON, Bluewater Ferry
  • Algonac, MI – Walole Island, ON, Walpole-Algonac Ferry
  • Detroit, MI – Windsor, ON, Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry
  • Sandusky, OH – Pelee, ON, Ontario Ferries
  • Cape Vincent, NY – Wolfe Island, ON, Cape Vincent-Wolfe Island ferry
  • Eastport, ME – Deer Island, NB, Deer Island – Eastport Ferry
  • Portland, ME – Yarmouth, NS, the CAT high-speed car ferry
canada border countries

8 Canadian Provinces and Territories That Shares Border with the United States 

So, there are a lot of crossings to use if you want to go from the continental United States to Canada. There are 8 Canadian provinces and territories spread along this border, and there are plenty of options for those entering Canada. If you travel from within the US border, you should pay attention that some crossings may not always be open and that a border crossing here and there may only be seasonally available. In any case, here are Canadian provinces and territories that border the US: 

  • Ontario
  • British Columbia
  • Yukon
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • New Brunswick
  • Manitoba
  • Alberta

Legal Land Border Crossings: United States and Canada

In total, there are 119 legal land crossings between the United States and Canada. This number may change depending on the season and the time, as well as the road conditions: as Canada is so far north, some roads may be inaccessible during the winter time and heavy snowfall. In addition, the Churubusco, New York, and Fort Fairfield, Maine, crossings are one way, allowing entrance into the United States and Canada, respectively, but not the other way around. Before setting on a journey, always check for the availability of these border crossings and make sure that your crossing between the United States and Canada is a smooth one. 

International Boundary Commission: No Touch Zone

The International Boundary Commission is in charge of clearcutting a six-meter (20 feet) strip around the United States and Canada border. This strip serves to mark the border between these two countries, and the ‘Vista” (the strip) is cleared to improve security and prevent illegal crossings. There are over 1,000 survey control stations there. 


Does California Border Canada?

No, California does not border Canada. There are well over 1,000 miles between the two, with California being much further south than the Canadian border. There are 13 US states that border Canada, including Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. 

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What is the Border Between Canada and the U.S. Called?

The border between the United States and Canada is known as the international boundary. It is also known as the Canada-U.S. Border or the ‘frontiere Canada-Etats-Unis’ in French). The strip between the two countries is called the Vista. 

How Far is Canada from Texas by Train?

Canada is quite far from Texas if travelling by train. With 3,300 kilometres (2,050 miles) between the two. It would take more than two full days on a train to reach the state and many transfers along the way. 

How Far is New York and Canada?

The state of New York borders Canada. There is no distance between them, just a few very busy border crossings. In fact, four of the busiest border crossings between the United States and Canada are in the state of New York. 

Final Thoughts

Crossing between the United States and Canada is simple enough. With over 100 border crossings, the Canada-US border offers a lot to everybody living in the eight provinces and territories and the 13 states that come together to make the border. The trade volume and the number of tourists involved in border crossing testify to how busy the border is. If you decide to go on a trip to Canada or would like to enter Canada through the US, it may be best first to check what port of entry works best for you.