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  1. Default Westerm MA to Minneapolis, Canadian Route

    Hey there!

    New to this forum. My daughter is moving from Western MA to Los Angeles for grad school. I'm accompanying her on the first leg of her 2 week journey out, changing co-pilot seat with her younger sister in Minneapolis. So wondering if anyone has any suggestions for things to see or feedback about the (ever-so-tentative) plan of: Northampton to Montreal, to North Bay, to Sault Ste. Marie, to Minneapolis as a 4 day trip, with two nights in Minneapolis before sending them off for second leg.

    Thanks ever so much for any insights you can share!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Time for a Great Trip

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I've done every segment the entire route you're asking about on at least one occasion. (Full Disclosure: Northampton itself has been my destination before as there is a monument there to my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents.) I think you are in for a wonderful time. It would help if I knew exactly what your interests are so that I could make some specific suggestions, but here are some generalizations. You could make the drive 'over the top' in a hard two days of driving, so having four will allow you to travel at a fairly relaxed pace and spend some time out of the car and enjoying the venues along the way. You will need passports to enter Canada, but I suspect you already know that. Montréal is, of course, worth a visit if you've never been. The Old Quarter (Vieux-Montréal) is just a lovely place to take a stroll with City Hall, the Place-Royale, and the Notre-Dame Basilica, and since Montréal is truly bilingual you will not feel the disdain sometimes shown tourists in Québec. Another great walking city is Ottawa with the grounds and buildings of Parliament being the focal point. The drive up the Ottawa River valley is pastoral, but it is unfortunate that there is not a good alternative that allows east-west traffic to go through Algonquin Provincial Park. You will instead have to go up through North Bay and Sudbury. While I personally enjoyed the utter solitude of sections of this drive, be aware that there are not a lot of services between Ottawa and Sault Ste Marie, so keep an eye on your gas gauge and plan your meals for the larger towns. And note that Sudbury is a mining town (nickel) and not a tourist destination. But the drive along the northern shore of Lake Huron is scenic although there are limited access points for the general public, the best being the Mississagi Delta Nature Reserve and the North Channel Islands Provincial Park. If you are of an historical bent, you might want to take a slight detour after crossing back into the States at Soo and either crossing the Mackinac Bridge for a visit to Colonial Michilimackinac State Historical Park or just leaving the car on the mainland north of the bridge and taking the ferry over to Mackinac Island. The direct route to Minneapolis would then cut across northern Wisconsin through Wausau to join I-94, but it wouldn't take too much longer to go across the north coast of the UP (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) and take in Pictured Rocks and even Apostle Islands National Lakeshores before dropping down into the Twin Cities from the North.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    A number of years ago, I did basically the same trip you are talking about, except I was going the other way to visit friends in Rhode Island. My stopping points were even pretty similar to what you are planning.

    In addition to some of the stops Buck mentioned, a couple of my favorite stops along the way included Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park near North Bay as well as Fairbank Provincial Park near Sudbury.

    I actually would disagree slightly with Buck about Sudbury. While it is still very much a mining town, it seems like the town has really been trying to also build itself up for tourists. Its got a Science Center that is supposed to be quite nice, as well as a mining museum, although its focus is mostly as a hub for exploring the many parks and other interesting natural spots in the area.

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