Solo trip to Maine via the UP of Michigan. I heard that there are beaches to collect agates. I want to spend some time at Picture Rock and do some mountian biking I also like good food not fast food and would like to stay on the byways. I am visiting a friend in Maine then will return thru the states. Any and all info I would be grateful for.
Canadian part of trip
Not sure what all info you are looking for. Here's a bit of info for the Canadian portion of your trip.
If crossing the border at Grand Portage, look up info regarding such as:
- Fort William Historical Park, Thunder Bay, Ontario - the -world's largest reconstructed fur trade post
- Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, Thunder Bay - a geological fault about 500 feet deep & wide
- Kakabeka Falls, near Thunder Bay - "the Niagara of the North" falls 128 feet
- Thunder Bay's Amethyst Mine Panorama - North America's largest gemstone mine
- Terrace Bay - the town is built on a series of giant steps formed by receding glaciers
If crossing at Sault Ste. Marie (& / or enroute after the above sites):
- Agawa Canyon - train ride, near Sault Ste. Marie
- Bushplane Heritage Centre - Sault Ste. Marie - about Ontario's world-renowned contribution to fighting forest fires
- Travel the coastal route around Lake Superior's north shore - rated one of the most spectacular drives on the continent.
After the above, you'll come into "Rainbow Country" part of Ontario:
- Sudbury's "Science North" centre
- Parry Sound town dock - narrated cruises on Georgian Bay
- Take the Chi-Cheemaun Ferry to Manitoulin Island
- See the "Big Nickel" at Sudbury (world's largest coin - ribute to the silver industry)
Central Ontario is next:
- Muskoka area is beautiful - lots of lakes, rock cuts, forest; this is "cottage country" where all the tourists head, and people go for the weekend to get away from Toronto or other big cities. It includes the area from Orillia to Midland, Penetanguishene, Bracebridge, Huntsville, Gravenhurst, and other small towns.
The Canadian dollar will give you a good deal on your travels. Are you renting a car or taking your own vehicle.? If renting a car, be sure you can take it across the border.
Are you driving across to Ottawa and into Quebec to go to Maine, or
Are you driving down to Toronto and Niagara Falls / Buffalo to cross into the states and drive across to Maine?
If you have any more specific questions, distances, time, where to go, post again, & I'll try to check & reply.
Thanks so much for the Canada info I'll be getting out the atlas tonight to check out your info. I think Ill be driving into ME via Canada and return to WI thru the US since I've seen Niagra falls a couple of times.
if going sault ste marie
If you ever heard of the song "the Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot,a few hours west along the coast of lake mich is whitefish point.the (ship wreck)graveyard of the great lakes. at the end of the road,there is the great lakes museum. all kinds of lake info and a disturbing,ghostly scene at the museum. they play the song softly. it was like a church in there,no one even talked.
very nice ride along the coast,we got caught in some hard rain.we went last year durring the power outage in aug.crossed over into can. then went east to vt. south to "who knows" then east to maine,then looped up the baxter,didnt go in,we had 2 dogs and they dont allow pets. so we spent the day driving the worst roads in the great north woods. awsome.we have all wheel drive,so it wasnt bad,and therey wasent any hurry.
next time i go to the great north maine woods,im bringing a canoe and a fishing pole. oh,we also saw 2moose in the road,got em on vid too.that was so cool..then the dogs noticed them,and they kinda stalked away,not to impressed.hahaha warning:you do not want to get lost in them woods,roads.not to many signs,and cell phone is useless.bring water,we had 5gal jug.and food,we had plenty. we lived out of our new suv for 2 weeks,so getting lost might have been a pain,but nothing to bad.5K miles on the new honda element.one of the best trips i ever been on.maine is such a beautyfull place.
but with NY plates on the car,we got alot of dirty looks.
Quebec part of the trip
If you're going to go through Ontario-Quebec to get to Maine, here are a few ideas. You could go to Sandbanks Park (near Picton), they have beautiful beaches on Lake Ontario with great sand dunes. Also, Ottawa is a pretty nice town, stop and walk around the Parliament.
If you like eating healthy, Quebec's the place. Of course, you'll find many fast food joints like in the US, but you'll see that we have a lot of European products, veggie restaurants, etc. If you like to gamble, you have the Hull and the Montreal casinos.
Montreal is a very multicultural city, you can find all kinds of foods, music, entertainment and most people are bilingual (french/english) and sometimes even trilingual (chinese, spanish, portuguese, italian). You shouldn't have any problem with language at all. The Canadian dollar isn't very expensive so you'll have a lot for your money! The cheapest lodging that you can find in the hearth of Montreal is at the Universite de Montreal residences or at the Oratoire Mont-Royal. They have small but clean rooms with shared bathroom for as low as 30$ CAN. If you like mountain biking, you can leave your room and go directly to Mont Royal via Camilien Houde St. and go up the hill. At the top you have a nice view of the city. You can visit typical quarters of Montreal like the Plateau Mont Royal (very hip with healthy cuisine restaurants), the little Italy (great italian food), the Gay Village, the Latin Quarter (St-Denis St. with its pubs and terraces), Old Montreal (Old port, Place Jacques-Cartier, take the bike path to Notre-Dame Island).
If you want to get to Maine by the Interstates, you can take I-10 east in Montreal, I-55 near Magog, I-91 (VT), I-93 (NH) and Highway 302. But if you have some time to spend, you chould definitly go to Bromont (exit 78 I-10) which is the quebec's capital for mountain bikers. You'll many find path on the mountain, people who enjoy the sport as you do, and you could go see competitions on the velodrome they bought from the Atlanta Games.
From Bromont, you can also take l'Estriade, a bicycle path that runs between Waterloo (east) and Granby (west). I suggest you go to Granby via the bicycle path and go to the Boivin Lake Interpretative Center, the sceneries are very nice and the bike path is almost new there). In the Eastern Townships, you'll find many bicycle paths, mountain biking facilities and hiking possibilities (Sutton (sentiers de l'Estrie), Orford, Megantic).
The east of Sherbrooke is mostly unpopulated, with a lot of hills, if you like areas that aren't too crowded. You'll find a magnetic hill in Chartierville (route 257) just beside the border. The Maine border begins to run a little before Mont Megantic. There are many places to cross there and since northern Maine is magnificient (Mt Kathadin), I'm sure you won't be bored by the view!:-) Or you can also go further and visit the Beauce region, but be aware that people are not as fluent in english as in Montreal or in the Townships, try to speak slowly and they will understand. People are very friendly and comprehensive don't be afraid to ask for directions and information.
For eating healthy in Quebec, stick to Commensal restaurants in big cities, to Jardins Dumont and Vegetarien grocery stores in the Eastern Townships. As soon as you leave the interstates (in the summer and early fall)in the Townships you will find many roadside stands that sell fruits, vegetables, fresh farm products adn even wine. You better do your grocery at grocery stores when you find them because convenient stores are definitly not as yours : we usually don't have any hot-dogs and full dinners with microwaves, but we do have sandwiches and not so good submarines...Well, don't rely on these ok?:-) And the last Wal-Mart to be found is in Sherbrooke by the way.
Also, don't forget that our speed limits are in kilometers per hour...On the interstates the posted speed limit is 100 km/h, but when you have to go a long way, don't be afraid to push it to 115-118 km/h, usually cops won't bother with you...They're waiting for the little Honda Civic that runs 140!:-) Always have your driver's licence with you.
So as you see, I could go on and on...If you need specific information on a particular area in Quebec, don't be afraid to ask!
Have a great day!
Ps-Check out the post "Eating Healthy" published a few weeks ago for some tips
Whitefish Point isn't found by going "west along the coast of Lake Michigan." It is on Lake Superior!
If you want to find the museum at Whitefish Point, take SR28 west from Sault Ste Marie (or you could take West Lakeshore Drive north and west from Brimley) to SR123, that north to Paradise, MI, and Tom Brown Rd (continue straight ahead when SR123 turns left in Paradise). Tom Brown Road becomes North Whitefish Point Rd and it is about 11 miles from Paradise to Whitefish Point.
The Fitzgerald's bell is on display at the museum -- when they brought it up from the wreck, they replaced it with a memorial brass bell with all crewmen's names inscribed. Although there are plenty of theories about why the ship went down, it is still a mystery to this day. The Fitz was the largest ore carrier on the Great Lakes in its day, and sank in a vicious storm in October 1975. Bob