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  1. Default Los Angeles to Maine

    My husband and I are driving our rv from Los Angeles to Maine to join a leaf-peeping caravan, which meets on September 13. I'm trying to decide how to go, figuring we'll probably leave mid-August and want to see Niagara Falls and Cooperstown in NY, Gettysburg in PA. I'm thinking northern route, given the weather in August, but once we hit the Great Lakes, it seems like a long loop out of the way to then start climbing north again towards Niagara. Any suggestions???

    Also, for those of you who have gone to Macinac Island, would you recommend it and is there any quicker route to then get to Maine? I'm happy to drive through Canada for part of the trip.

    Thanks to all of you in advance!

    p.s. I should mention that my husband and I will both be retired by August and prefer not to drive over about 5 hours per day.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Time and Loops

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First, I'm going to make an assumption: that you are going to do a complete loop trip to Maine and back again to L.A. If you have sufficient time you can make this a great trip. You note that you plan to take roughly four weeks to make the eastward trek, and that will work well, even with only driving five hours a day. You can easily get to Maine in two weeks of such driving even while going through the UP (Mackinac Island), Niagara Falls and Cooperstown. That would still leave you two weeks of time to stop at a few other places along the route. If you were to take a different route back, you could do that in roughly two weeks as well, plus whatever time you want to spend sight-seeing en route.

    So...what I'd probably be looking at, very roughly, is first heading up through Las Vegas and some of the great national parks in Utah (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Dinosaur NM and Flaming Gorge NRA). Then head for Rapid City SD and see some of the sights there (Devils Tower, Wind and Jewel Caves, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore, Badlands NP). Next, cross southern Minnesota and central Wisconsin into the UP of Michigan and check out Mackinac Island and Colonial Michilimackinac. The 'short' route from there to Niagara is to come down through Michigan, cross into Canada at Sarnia ON, and then re-enter the U.S. at Niagara Falls. It is then a relatively simple matter to include Cooperstown and southern Vermont and New Hampshire on your way to Maine.

    Unfortunately, mid-September is a little early for leaf-peeping. Traditionally, peak color occurs around Columbus Day (Oct. 12), but if you stay far enough north and in the mountains (Green, White, and Longfellow) you should be fine. you can also see more great mountains and perhaps a bit more color on your return route to close the loop. For this, you'd basically use I-81 to follow the Great Valley (just east of the Appalachians) to Gettysburg and then perhaps Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway along the mountains down to the Great Smoky Mountains where you'd turn west for the drive home through the Ozarks and Red River Valley to the Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon and home.

    All of the above is just the most basic of outlines for what could be a great two month trip. As you firm up your own plan, keep us informed and we can offer more suggestions on specific sites worth visiting (Let us know your interests as well!)


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