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  1. Default Great Lakes trip

    My girlfriend of three years and I (ages 20 and 21, respectively) have decided to set out on a road trip over spring break (leaving on the second Friday in March and continuing the following week). We're leaving from Columbus, Ohio, and plan on heading initially to Chicago. After spending the weekend there, we plan to head north through Wisconsin and the UP, cross into Canada at Sault Ste. Marie, and loop around Lake Huron to Toronto, and then back to the States via Windsor/Detroit (Here is a visual of what we had in mind).

    I've only ever gone on one other road trip, and it was to familiar destinations. My first question is, can this trip be completed comfortably in ten days? Secondly, what sort of attractions are there in the Wisconsin/UP/Lake Huron areas? We both like eccentric roadside stops, winter sports (I'm a big hockey buff, and she is on her university's curling team), anything to do with folk art/music, and the outdoors (hiking, canoeing, fossil collecting (she's a geology major), etc.). Third, I've only traveled to Canada once as a driver, and it was a day trip; are there any special precautions I should take or necessary procedures I should be aware of, regarding border crossings or otherwise?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Considerations

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    A few off-the-wall stops to consider would include the U.S. Curling Hall of Fame, which is split between Chicago and Stevens Point, WI; the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, WI; Colonial Michilimackinac just across the bridge from St. Ignace, MI; and a tour of the locks in Sault Ste. Marie. The drive along the northern shore of the North Channel and the eastern shore of Georgian Bay is one of my favorite drives for its quiet beauty.

    As for geology, I recommend that you get the Roadside Geology of Wisconsin book. Unfortunately, they haven't gotten around to Michigan or Ontario yet. Also, unfortunately, Wisconsin is covered in fairly recent glacial till, and once you get up into Ontario, you're getting on to the pre-Cambrian Canada Shield. Your best bet at fossil hunting would be on your last leg through souther Michigan and Ohio, but by then you're in areas you can reach on day trips from home.

    Ten days is certainly enough for this trip, you'd only have to average about 180 miles a day. But these days, in order to cross the border you will need more than the old verbal declaration. You will need, at a minimum, 1) proof that you are who you say you are such as a government issued photo ID (driver's license) AND 2) proof that you are a U.S. citizen such as the original or a certified copy of your birth certificate or naturalization papers. Your best bet is to have a passport which serves both purposes.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Here's some more info

    To be honest, I'd suggest a passport but you won't have time for that. Here's a good article on the current rules. Make sure that your birth certificate is a certified copy. If it's not, you will probably have a delay.

  4. #4

    Default Ontario Leg of Trip

    The unfortunate part of visiting the parts of Ontario where you'll be driving, is that winter will most definitely still be on - you won't be doing much hiking or any canoeing. The Georgian Bay & Muskoka areas pretty much shut down for tourists in the winter, unless you're into snowmobiling or skiing. Collingwood would be your best bet for skiing, or on Hwy. 400 you would pass Horseshoe Valley and Mount St. Louis/Moonstone, but these are small hills.

    If you're a hockey fan, I assume you'll be checking out the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto (30 Yonge St. at Brookfield Place).

    The Sportsmen's Show will also be in Toronto later in March, which may interest you (

    And for a night of entertainment, dining, sight seeing & romance, I recommend that you visit the Distillery District in Toronto - very cool.

    You'll find that Ontario's Hwys 400 and 401 are major highways, which could be rather boring on a road trip. Although it would take more time, I would suggest veering off on some smaller highways that would take you through some more picturesque Ontario towns - although the spring, summer or fall would be a better time for visiting them.

    Have fun!

  5. #5

    Default in wisconsin...

    i've compiled some links here for you. sounds like a fun trip!

    for hiking and such...
    Ice Age Trail
    Horicon Marsh Wildlife area

    for things happening in Milwaukee

    this town is one of my very favorite places. visit the Cedar Creek Settlement.

    Wisconsin Dells. the tourist town that makes you feel like a kid.

    and of course, the Packers Hall of Fame in Green Bay.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-10-2008 at 09:52 AM. Reason: Preferred URL format herein

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Northern Minnesota

    Default the U.P. Eh?

    The Yoopers Tourist Trap is a fun place to visit if you get to Ishpeming...
    A place NOT to miss is the Whitefish Point Lighthouse and the Edmund Fitzgerald memorial north of Paradise, which is not too far from the Soo Locks (which you should stop and see) in Sault Ste. Marie

    have fun!

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-10-2008 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Preferred URL format herein

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default The Yoopers!!!!

    Oh, my...thanks for that, ness5353! It's worth a trip just to see that, I think. LOL....I'm adding it to my long list, and growing longer, of things to see and do in my lifetime.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Its a good one

    I stumbled upon da Yoopers stop on my last trip to the UP, and I certainly had to stop. It was one of the more enjoyable unplanned tourist stops I've come across recently, and very much worth an hour or two if you are touring the area.

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