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  1. #1
    Ray T Guest

    Default NY to Wisconsin via Niagara Falls

    I am in the early stages of planning a July roadtrip out to Wisconsin. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with crossing into Canada and traveling up over the Great Lakes via the Canadian highways. If you do, was it worth the trouble?

    We will probably be towing a small travel trailer (25 ft), so we will be making a lot of stops. Since we have ten days, we thought we would steer clear of the interstate highways and actually explore a bit.

    Some of my biggest questions involve crossing the Canadian border with our two dogs on board. I've also never towed outside the country, so we will calling our insurance company for the appropriate coverages required in Canada. We also realize that the border crossing security is a lot tighter now, so we plan to carry passports and all other necessary documents. We will be getting all the official info from the appropriate sources, but if anyone has actually done this, I would appreciate your insight into these routes.

    Another possibility is the taking the Lake Michigan ferry.

    I would appreciate any information you can share with us.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Always worth it!

    Ray,

    If you do, was it worth the trouble?


    Personally, I think every road trip is worth it at the end of the day. Even if you didn't have time to realize all your original plans and even the bad experiences are worth it...Besides the more trouble you run into, the more stories you'll have for people at home when you get back! That's my philosophy!:o)

    Since we have ten days, we thought we would steer clear of the interstate highways and actually explore a bit.


    If you plan to go around Lake Ontario in Canada, then you should get off I-401 and get onto SR2. Stop at Ivy Lea Provincial Park at sunset, have a pic-nic and watch the tiny lights pop up on the 1 000 islands as the sun goes down. Don't forget about Kingston and Brockville. In the Niagara region, don't miss the wineries and the falls (duh!) but visit the park from the Canadian side (much better view).

    In upstate NY, don't miss Ausable Chasm, the Adirondacks region (Mts White Face and Catamount) and Pointe Au Roche State Park (bicycle path, fishing, beach). The drive on SR2 across Lake Champlain from Vermont is also very nice.

    In Quebec, visit Montreal : for the best view go to Mt Royal and then visit the Oratoire St. Joseph. For a nice walk along the St. Lawrence river, go to the Old Port and walk to the Casino on Notre Dame Island or walk the Lachine canal. While you're there have a drink on the Plateau Mt Royal or in the Latin quarter.

    Some of my biggest questions involve crossing the Canadian border with our two dogs on board. [...] We also realize that the border crossing security is a lot tighter now, so we plan to carry passports and all other necessary documents.


    To cross the border, your dogs need to be in good health and they have to be vaccinated against rage and, of course, you'll have to bring vaccination booklets or certificates to prove it. According to my previous experiences though, neither of the Canadian or American Custom agents asked for proof. But bring them anyway, just in case.

    Yes, getting across the border is now more difficult than it was but you're more likely to get questionned at the American Customs than at the Canadian ones so I wouldn't worry too much about that. You don't even need a passport, just a driver's licence will do. If you are not a US citizen , as you must know, the Bush Government's intent is to oblige every foreign citizen to get a valid passport as a sine qua non condition to get in the US:oP so I'd get one anyway if I were you.

    Have a great trip!

    Gen:-)
    Last edited by Quebec Gen; 04-25-2005 at 02:17 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Ferries etc...

    One question, by going over the lakes, do you mean cutting through Ontario from Niagra to the Detroit area or do you mean going all the way up to Sault St. Marie and down to Wisconsin through the UP?

    I can say that the Drive north is a very senic one, and one I'd recommend it if you have the time.

    The drive though Ontario is shorter typically faster than going south through Cleveland. I've also enjoyed the drive because while driving in Canada isn't much different than driving in the US, there are enough subtle differences to make it interesting. However, because of the trailer and the dogs, the border crossings might actually add some time to your trip.

    As far as the Lake Michigan Ferries go, there are two of them. The high speed lake express, that takes two hours and lands in milwaukee, and the SS Badger which takes about 4 hours and stops south of Green Bay. I'm not sure what they're policies are for trailers or animals, but I have never taken them because I found them to be more expensive than my budget allows.

    www.ssbadger.com
    www.lake-express.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Border Crossing

    While there are border crossings where a simple driver's license might still do, it is better to be safe than sorry. Last year, my wife (who had laughed at the fact that I had renewed my passport for the trip) was refused boarding for our flight from Phoenix to Calgary, AB. This was not because of any restrictions put on by Canada, but because the airline would be fined thousands of dollars if she were not let back in to the US. She had two government issued photo IDs, her driver's license and her Arizona State Government Employee ID. These were deemed insufficient to prove that she was a US citizen and we were delayed for several hours while we made arrangements for her sister to drive up from Tucson and meet us halfway with her birth certificate. My point is, as has been mentioned in a separate thread, that you may need to prove that you are a citizen of the US and a driver's license is not considered such proof any longer. If I were going outside the US, I would carry my passport, or in lieu of that my birth certificate. It's a shame. I used to walk my dog across the border between Calais, ME and St. Stephen, NB with nothing more than a wave to the customs officers. Those days are gone.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-26-2005 at 08:02 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    169

    Default 2 pieces ID

    Pretty sure you'll need your driver's licence AND birth certificate.

    I agree go up through Ontario to Wisconsin. Very scenic. Kakabakee Falls, Agawa Canyon, Manitoulin Island, etc., etc.

    It always gives me a chuckle (being Canadian) to note how Americans mention their trips in "Canada". We would say I want to go to Wisconsin through ONTARIO, not Canada. Or I want to go from Manitoba to Ontario through MICHIGAN not the UNITED STATES. We would "name the state or province" not say the country. Yet Americans always seem to mention the country Canada rather than the province. Maybe not funny/unusual/interesting to anybody else...perhaps I have an odd sense of humour...

  6. #6
    Ray T Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Syv
    Pretty sure you'll need your driver's licence AND birth certificate.

    I agree go up through Ontario to Wisconsin. Very scenic. Kakabakee Falls, Agawa Canyon, Manitoulin Island, etc., etc.

    It always gives me a chuckle (being Canadian) to note how Americans mention their trips in "Canada". We would say I want to go to Wisconsin through ONTARIO, not Canada. Or I want to go from Manitoba to Ontario through MICHIGAN not the UNITED STATES. We would "name the state or province" not say the country. Yet Americans always seem to mention the country Canada rather than the province. Maybe not funny/unusual/interesting to anybody else...perhaps I have an odd sense of humour...
    A very interesting point. I gave it some thought and I came up with this:

    I think, that many Canadians identify with their province of residence or birth a lot more than U.S. Americans identify with their home state when they are talking about their homeland. That is not to say that a Texan is not proad of the state they live in or a New Yorker doesn't feel some disappointment when the Red Sox catch a break and win a game or two. But (I think) the attachment is more defined when we talk about being "Americans". (Even though I was recently corrected while visiting the Panama Canal that they are Americans also... Central Americans).

    We will even say such thngs as: "I'm driving cross-country" instead of listing which U.S. states we plan to traverse. So when we say that we plan to travel to Canada, it means that we plan to penetrate that barrier that keeps the sometimes frenzied pace of life in the lower 48 from contaminating the qualities that make Canada so interesting to us. Sadly, there are also to many U.S. North Americans that just don't know where Ontario is.

    But Canada, that's that beautiful country to the north of us!

  7. #7
    Ray T Guest

    Default

    I wish I had enough time to go all the way north. It looks like the S.S. Badger is going to be on the route of choice. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Canada vs US

    I think, that many Canadians identify with their province of residence or birth a lot more than U.S.
    I believe that is true. Perhaps it's because some of our provinces are very different from one another (their people and territories) that we have a hard time defining "Canada". In Quebec for instance, we had several referendums over the past decades to dertermine wether or not Quebecers want to separate from the rest of Canada!! The majority said no, but not a big majority. It's probably the same thing for people in Hawaii, it must be hard for them to identify with the main land in some ways I guess. Maybe it is a question of mentality or territory or both, but I guess it depends on each individual. Like Syv, I also tend to identify each State separately, that's funny, I never noticed before:o)

    Sadly, there are also to many U.S. North Americans that just don't know where Ontario is.
    That's nothing, I met Americans who didn't even know where Vermont and NH are!:o) In SC (which is about only 18 hours from here), a guy asked me if we had electricity and hot water in Quebec and if we lived in igloos. At the multimedia era, it's a shame! But Canadians are not better you know, some people think all southwestern Americans wear the traditionnal cowboy attire, have gun racks on their pick-up trucks (or worse on their horses' back) and carry a weapon on them all the time:-)lol

    Gen

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default You Bet!

    I am in the early stages of planning a July roadtrip out to Wisconsin. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with crossing into Canada and traveling up over the Great Lakes via the Canadian highways. If you do, was it worth the trouble?
    I have crossed over at just about every border crossing that exists between the USA and Canada. Some are more challenging than others. All of the advice previously posted here is excellent and should be considered. I think it helps if you consider the process just part of the adventure. Because of the nature of the type of vehicles we often used in these crossings, we were searched just about every time. Just remember to be polite and keep your sense of humor. Mark

  10. Default

    I tried to mount a gun rack on Old Spark, but he wouldn't hold still for the mounting bolts... He's always been kinda skittish about stuff like that.

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