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  1. Default Great Lakes Trip-Need Advice

    We are planning a 10 day trip around the Great Lakes for the last week of July. We are riding our motorcycle so we want to limit our driving to an average of 300 miles per day. We plan on avoiding interstate travel as much as possible. We are thinking that we will leave from Iowa, cross Illinois and catch Lake Michigan at the Indiana Dunes National Seashore. Then cut across Michigan and Ohio camping at Port Clinton on Lake Erie. We are planning on cutting through to Canada at Niagra Falls stopping at Lake Ontario along the way. We'll cross through Canada north of Gorgion Bay and come through the UP of Michigan at Saute St. Marie catching both Lake Huron and Superior. We'll follow Lake Michigan to the Green Bay area and then head back to Iowa. If time allows we may go around Lake Ontario instead of cutting through at Niagra Falls.

    Our goal is to enjoy the ride, soak up some great scenery and see the lakes for the first time. Can anyone offer advice of great scenic roads to travel, must have stops along the way and places that we just shouldn't miss? Thanks! ~Safe traveling!

  2. #2

    Default Welcome!

    I have to confess that I don't know that part of the country very well at all. However I just wanted to welcome you to the site.

    I did do a long weekend in Toronto a couple of years ago and I would strongly recommend you doing the Maid Of The Mist boat trip, it's great fun, but don't wave your camera around as I did. My camera was completely shot afterwards. grrr!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Chicago Suburbs, IL


    I would recommend going to Door County which is right near Green Bay. They have beautiful scenery and would be a great place to enjoy a fish boil for dinner.

    If you were going to stop in Chicago the Hancock Tower offers a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan. My out of towners were wowed and thought it offered a much more gorgeous view than from the famed Sears Tower.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default One by Sea and Two by Land

    If you do find the time to go around the east side of Lake Ontario, you'll have to spend at lest a little of that time exploring the Thousand Islands, but if not consider a sea-going alternative to your plan to drive around Georgian Bay. You can head up ON-6 from Hamilton or ON-10 from Toronto to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula and take the ferry over to Manitoulin Island from which ON-6 continues north back onto the mainland. This way you could actually be on at least one of the Great Lakes instead of just around it.

    I'd also recommend a couple of historic venues for you, both near the end of your trip. The first is Mackinac in Michigan where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet, and the second is Peshtigo in Wisconsin where there was an even bigger fire on the same day as the more well known Great Chicago Fire.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-03-2007 at 08:33 PM. Reason: Correct route number

  5. Default

    You made a right decision by avoiding interstate as it is very dangerous for motorcycle. My only concern is that 300 miles a day is still quite long for a bike.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Can't agree

    Interstate Highways are the safest roads in America, for cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

    There is absolutely no safety reason that a motorcyclist should avoid an Interstate.

    Of course, that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of great reasons to get off the super-slab and explore other roads and highways....

  7. Default Thanks

    Thanks for the responses and advice. I especially appreciate the website links to "must see" locations. There are just so many wonderful places around the lakes that I think you could spend a month exploring. It's nice to be able to take advantage of others' experience to locate some great spots. More suggestions are welcome.

    We love to drive "off the beaten path" on county roads and lesser known highways when we are on the motorcycle because we can slow down, enjoy the ride, and often can get closer to the scenery. You see some of the coolest things alongside these roads. We tend to get on the Interstate when the destination is the goal and when it's getting dark and we want to try and avoid deer. I appreciate the concern about the 300 miles per day, we'll be careful and judge our distance on based on fatigue and weather conditions. Thanks again ~ Safe traveling!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Roads

    Quote Originally Posted by WinginIt
    We love to drive "off the beaten path" on county roads and lesser known highways

    Then you've got to get the pamphlet for Wisconsin's Rustic Roads, either before you go or at the Welcome Center when you enter the state at Marinette. They're short, but definitely qualify as off the beaten path.


  9. Default Sault Sainte Marie

    I am a frequent visitor to SSM, MI. My daughter lives there as her husband is stationed in the Coast Guard. A trip to the Soo is never complete without going to the locks. There is a visitor's center there and you can watch the boats go through the locks. Mail gets thrown onboard and workers get on and off, many starting or ending their journeys. It is quite interesting. While there, a great place for dinner with some local flavor is Antlers or Abners. I don't know how far off track it would take you, but I think it's worth the drive west into the Hiawatha National Forest (a very scenic one - check out the dots on the map) over to Whitefish Point to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, then onto Taquamenon Falls. Have lunch at the brewery there. My suggestion is the whitefish and have fried pickles. It gets busy in the summer, but worth the wait. You'll want to stretch your legs so hike back to the falls - they are beautiful. Have a great trip. I bet it would be wonderful on a motorcycle.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-09-2007 at 10:16 PM. Reason: added link to the RTA article

  10. Default Thanks

    Wow great ideas while at SSM. We are planning on spending more time in that area than anywhere else so we will surely take your suggestions!

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