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post #1 of 23 Old Jul 23rd, 2006, 8:04 am Thread Starter
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Post Northeast Tour advice - please!

I am planning to ride from SW Michigan north into Ontario, CA, stay way north of the border over to Ottawa (meet friends), north of Montreal to Quebec City, cross the St. Lawrence and then follow it up to Rivere du-Loup, down to Saint Leonard, up to SugarLoaf park and the follow the coast down with an interstate blast at the end into Dartmouth/Halifax, then hug to southern coast of Nova Scotia over to Yarmouth, ferry ride to Bar Harbor (explore Acadia Park), northeast on the coast to the Canadian border, NW to Weston, East to Millinocket, loop to Milo, NW to Rockwood, cross over into Quebec, snake around Sugarloaf/Saddleback/Beaver mountains, play around the White Mountain Forest in New Hampshire, follow some of the Conneticut River Byway almost to Massachusetts, snake up to White Rocks Rec Area, cruise the Green Mtn Forest, sneak around the southern tip of Lake Champlain, back north to the Lake Placid area, followed by a couple big loops through the Adirondacks, out to Watertown to follow some scenic routes SW into Pennsylvania, then enjoy the scenic roads of norther Penn over to Ohio.

From there, it will probably be a high speed blast back home in SW Michigan.

So, any of you that are knowlegable about these areas have any "must ride" or "must see" things?

Eric
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post #2 of 23 Old Jul 23rd, 2006, 7:56 pm
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Sounds like a great trip. I was in Halifax over the July 4th Holiday. We took the Ferry from Bar Harbour to Yarmouth and then headed north to Halifax. We took the light house route about half way and then jumped on the "main route" to halifax. We stayed overnight in Halifax at a nice B and B. We left Haifax and headed south towards Yarmouth. We stopped at Peggy Cove which is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Highly reccomended. Be aware however that Yarmouth is about 3 hours from Peggy Cove so plan according because the Ferry only ones once a day.

Have fun and ride safe.

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post #3 of 23 Old Jul 23rd, 2006, 9:00 pm
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Sounds like a lot of ground to cover! I love Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island and the Cabot Trail, beautiful!!! However, being a native Mainer (currently living in exile in south east PA ) I am more familiar with the Sugarloaf area, lived that area for 10 years. The mountain has the best lodging in the area being it has a golf course and year round facilities. Great place for a rinse and some sleep before heading into the rest of the white mountains. the ride through Oquossoc in NH is very nice, after you make it around the lake I would suggest hanging a south onto route 26 for a trip through Grafton notch then head west on route 2 back into NH. Have a great safe trip, wish I were doing the same

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post #4 of 23 Old Jul 24th, 2006, 8:11 am
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You will have trouble finding a road in Vermont or New Hampshire that is not good riding! When you get to Pennsylvania, take Rt. 6 across the northern part of the state. It goes all the way across (actually keeps going into Ohio and further) and goes through many old towns with shops and good lunch stops. Also goes through the Allegheny National Forest. Very pretty ride.

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post #5 of 23 Old Jul 24th, 2006, 9:05 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecirwin
I am planning to ride from SW Michigan north into Ontario, CA, stay way north of the border over to Ottawa (meet friends), north of Montreal to Quebec City, cross the St. Lawrence and then follow it up to Rivere du-Loup, down to Saint Leonard, up to SugarLoaf park and the follow the coast down with an interstate blast at the end into Dartmouth/Halifax, then hug to southern coast of Nova Scotia over to Yarmouth, ferry ride to Bar Harbor (explore Acadia Park), northeast on the coast to the Canadian border, NW to Weston, East to Millinocket, loop to Milo, NW to Rockwood, cross over into Quebec, snake around Sugarloaf/Saddleback/Beaver mountains, play around the White Mountain Forest in New Hampshire, follow some of the Conneticut River Byway almost to Massachusetts, snake up to White Rocks Rec Area, cruise the Green Mtn Forest, sneak around the southern tip of Lake Champlain, back north to the Lake Placid area, followed by a couple big loops through the Adirondacks, out to Watertown to follow some scenic routes SW into Pennsylvania, then enjoy the scenic roads of norther Penn over to Ohio.

From there, it will probably be a high speed blast back home in SW Michigan.

So, any of you that are knowlegable about these areas have any "must ride" or "must see" things?

Eric
How much time you have?? .. looks like you have a very aggressive schedule.

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post #6 of 23 Old Jul 25th, 2006, 5:09 am Thread Starter
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14 Days on the schedule

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackd
How much time you have?? .. looks like you have a very aggressive schedule.
I am planning on 14-14.5 days. I would like to get home in time to unpack and get two nights sleep in my own bed. It is a fairly aggressive schedule with 350-400 miles per day average. There will probably be 500+ mile days along with 300- days.

The route that I finished yesterday has 5400 miles on it.

Eric
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post #7 of 23 Old Jul 26th, 2006, 2:45 pm Thread Starter
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Here is a quick look at the route

I thought I would post the big picture of my route. Maybe that will help with road suggestions. Almost everything I am riding is labeled as scenic in the Atlas. They may not be the best roads, but they can't be all bad.

Eric
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post #8 of 23 Old Jul 26th, 2006, 4:28 pm
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Question Maine questions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecirwin
I thought I would post the big picture of my route. Maybe that will help with road suggestions. Almost everything I am riding is labeled as scenic in the Atlas. They may not be the best roads, but they can't be all bad.

Eric

When you make the big swing North in Maine, (below Millinocket) into Quebec, what routes are you taking. (back south too, looks like some secondary roads) Some of western Maine is offlimits to motorcyclists (like Mt Katahdin).

on second thought, what road are you taking off of RTE 1 north above Calais? Not many good roads to the left.

I have lived in Maine all my life (so far) born in Calais, and lived in Houlton for 22 years...

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post #9 of 23 Old Jul 26th, 2006, 7:07 pm Thread Starter
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I hope I'm not too far off!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mconlogue
When you make the big swing North in Maine, (below Millinocket) into Quebec, what routes are you taking. (back south too, looks like some secondary roads) Some of western Maine is offlimits to motorcyclists (like Mt Katahdin).
I am going through Millinocket on Route 11, down to Milo. Then west to Guilford and 6/15 up to Rockwood and west to Jackman. That area up around Katahdin looked great, but all the roads are labeled as private in my atlas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mconlogue
on second thought, what road are you taking off of RTE 1 north above Calais? Not many good roads to the left.
I am turning west just north of Weston off of Route 1. It looks like #9 Road, which turns into Selden Road, and then I turn northwest onto Danforth road to connect with Alt Route 2. There is not a lot of choice to connect between Route 1 and Alt Route 2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mconlogue
I have lived in Maine all my life (so far) born in Calais, and lived in Houlton for 22 years...
It sounds like you are the guy to ask about this Maine thing. I was amazed at how much of north central Maine is closed off to general traffic. I have never really looked at Maine for a roadtrip before and I have never been there.

If you are interested in going for a ride and/or having some dinner, send me a PM. I'll give you a call when I make it there. Looks like I will only be about 40 miles from your place. Not exactly sure when I will be there. Right now it looks like I'll be on the afternoon CAT ferry to Bar Harbor on either Weds or Thurs (30 or 31 Aug). If I don't make that Thurs ferry, I'll have to take a different one across from Nova Scotia. It doesn't run Fri-Sun.

Thanks,
Eric
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post #10 of 23 Old Jul 26th, 2006, 8:07 pm
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maine!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecirwin
I am going through Millinocket on Route 11, down to Milo. Then west to Guilford and 6/15 up to Rockwood and west to Jackman. That area up around Katahdin looked great, but all the roads are labeled as private in my atlas.

Correct, they belong to the paper companies. Usually graded gravel, 30 feet wide. Since they are private coming out down off the golden road, they can double up the timber trucks and haul 150,000+ of tree length to the mills. Not a good spot to be in a car, or a bike! See pic 1


I am turning west just north of Weston off of Route 1. It looks like #9 Road, which turns into Selden Road, and then I turn northwest onto Danforth road to connect with Alt Route 2. There is not a lot of choice to connect between Route 1 and Alt Route 2.


Hmmmm, unless they have "recently" tarred that road, it is a woods road. suitable for four wheel drives, logging trucks and skidders. No way in hell would I put my LT on that road. especially with the rain and flooding this year in Maine. see pic 2


If I may make a suggestion. Go up 1 to topsfield, and take RTE 6 towards Lincoln. Take a right onto 168 in Lee. (see pic 3)



It sounds like you are the guy to ask about this Maine thing. I was amazed at how much of north central Maine is closed off to general traffic. I have never really looked at Maine for a roadtrip before and I have never been there.

You just have to know where to go

If you get in a bind, or have any questions call my cell 207-653-3349


If you are interested in going for a ride and/or having some dinner, send me a PM. I'll give you a call when I make it there. Looks like I will only be about 40 miles from your place. Not exactly sure when I will be there. Right now it looks like I'll be on the afternoon CAT ferry to Bar Harbor on either Weds or Thurs (30 or 31 Aug). If I don't make that Thurs ferry, I'll have to take a different one across from Nova Scotia. It doesn't run Fri-Sun.

Thanks,
Eric
-Mark
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post #11 of 23 Old Jul 26th, 2006, 8:56 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecirwin
I thought I would post the big picture of my route. Maybe that will help with road suggestions. Almost everything I am riding is labeled as scenic in the Atlas. They may not be the best roads, but they can't be all bad.

Eric
Maybe break down your route with a Map Source file and we can take a closer look around where you are really going .. I have done some roads in Upstate NY and Vermont NH and ME.. but can't be sure they are don't miss.. but you may be on the ones I did.

BTW, I think some of your days are going to be significantly less than 300 miles.. Yarmouth to Bar Harbor is one..

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post #12 of 23 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 9:35 am Thread Starter
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Here's MapSource file from Maine to Pennsylvania

Not sure what you mean by the Yarmouth to Bar Harbor day being significantly less than 300 mile day. I don't get on the ferry until 1 in the afternoon. I can easily ride over 200 miles in the morning and if needed ride over 100 after getting off the ferry. That is provided I can still ride around Acadia park at the time I arrive in Bar Harbor.

I can always shave parts of the ride off, if needed. I am not real big on stopping for touristy type things. If I see something that interests me, I stop take a look, snap some photos, and take off again.

Two reasons I didn't post the mapsource file. First, not everyone can access that file. Second, I posted from home, where I have a Mac. I have been building the route at work on Windows.

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post #13 of 23 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 9:28 pm
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Well, The last time I took that ferry it was considerably more than a three hour ride.. Seems like it was all day... Of course there is a new ferry.. quite impressive.. I would plan on being in the NP longer than the hour it takes to ride through it. Bar Harbor is really nice place.. IMHO. In fact I thinking of going up next week for a few days..

Your route out is on US 1 north and this is summer and you should expect slow traffic.

I downloaded your maps and I will take a look. A quick look at the route and I have taken the run from Bar Harbor north to Canada.. Not on the bike but in a motorhome. If I remember it was not a close as it seemed.. I mean it took a lot of time. I was returning ... I came around from taking the the ferry from Bar Harbor to Yarmouth. I returned to the US in Calais. But maybe it was the total distance from ST John to Bar Harbor that was what I remember. I never was north of Calais.

I see you are going Kagamangus pass from Conway to Lincoln.. that is good. I quickly went over to New York and NY 22 above Fort Anne to Ticonderoga is good.. Also the other side of lake Geo through Bolton Landing is good although lots of traffic in Lake George this time of the year. If you decided to go around Lake Geo you can cut directly to Lake Geo in Fort Anne on NY 149. That is not bad a ride. I have taken the road from Lake Geo to Potsdam NY through Tupper Lake on the LT and it was nice road. Nothing that I would say was on my 10 best... but good riding. That took be about 4 hours... I say that because I am about 4 hours from Lake Geo and I think it took me 8 or so hours to make Potsdam.. Had to go there for work.. and I arrived at supper time.. Up that area north of lake Geo I-87 is pretty nice and scenic.. for an interstate...

Actually If you have to make time and decide to cut out some trip I-89 in Vermont to Burlington is a really nice interstate. You can cross back to NY over Lake Champlain on a ferry.

That's all I see now but I will try to look at the route some more.

BTW I wish I was going... Nice ride but I still think it's aggressive.

Are you riding alone or with other bikes maybe a pillion?

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post #14 of 23 Old Jul 28th, 2006, 5:33 am Thread Starter
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Jack,

Thanks so much for the input. Sounds like I made some pretty good choices. I am hoping that the traffic won't be too bad over Labor day. I should be into the VT, NH, & NY portion of the ride for that weekend. I have heard that Lake Placid is an interesting place to hang out, so I may spend some time there.

This ride has turned into a solo adventure. No pillion and no possie. That is OK with me. The best ride I had was a trip up the west cost of Michigan last year. All by myself. I get to decide where to ride, how to ride, and when to stop. No compromise, other than with myself.

Eric
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post #15 of 23 Old Jul 28th, 2006, 9:32 am
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If you do any sightseeing.. If you have never been up there before I would suggest that you do Mt. Washington. Either by road or Cog Railway. The railway is definitely an experience.

I also suggest Fort Ticonderoga as you will be going right through there. Lots of history there and all through that region. I think that you will get more traffic than you want especially on the last official weekend of summer. It should already be cool in most of the areas that you are going already.

I didn't see if you were going into the Bay of Fundy but If I might I would suggest that if you hadn't seen a tidal bore that is very interesting. Coming down along the eastern side of Nova Scotia should be great riding.. Stop in Peggy's Cove for some lobster and pictures and be sure to have some chowder in Bar Harbor. I understand that going on to the eastern most part of Prince Edward Island is quite unique. I didn't get to go there myself but that is definitely in my plans for when I retire ... getting close.. In fact I plan on doing exactly what you are doing. I don't mind riding alone, in fact I enjoy it. My wife let's me spend lots of time with my Mistress... as she refers to the LT...

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post #16 of 23 Old Jul 28th, 2006, 8:46 pm Thread Starter
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Hey Jack, I hate to sound this geographically challenged, but this is a big trip. Where is Mt. Washington? Where is Fort Ticonderoga?

I will be riding along the coast of the Bay of Fundy, at least on the Maine side. If my schedule for arrival in Yarmouth is too far off, I could end up riding the northern coast of Nova Scotia and southern coast of New Brunswick. The ferry from Yarmouth to Bar Harbor doesn't run over the weekends.

Peggy's Cove has been recommended by a few people already, so it is a definite must see on my list. I don't think that I am going to have time for PEI or Cape Breton, but PEI is a minor detour off the current route. It does mean another ferry ride, but this is a limited opportunity, so I should take advantage while I can.

I can't say I am anywhere near retiring. I've got another 30 years for that! That is scary when you put a number to it. I guess I am one of the younger guys in the LT community. Too bad your wife cannot enjoy your mistress too. I am looking for someone to fill the pillion, at least part time. I do enjoy riding alone though, it gives me time to be me, without outside influence. You get to know yourself, your limits, and your strength.

OK, getting too philosophical. Signing off for now!
Eric
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post #17 of 23 Old Jul 28th, 2006, 9:00 pm Thread Starter
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Scenic Byway Resource

For anyone interested. A friend of mine sent me this link. It looks like a really great resource. At least it gives you some ideas of where to start.

http://www.byways.org/

Enjoy,
Eric
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post #18 of 23 Old Jul 30th, 2006, 8:31 pm
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Well, Your route goes with 1/2 mile of Fort Ticonderoga off NY 22 near the bottom of Lake Champlain. If you like history it would be a must ride through.. Mount Washington is a pretty unique site. I believe it is the highest point in the eastern US. If you have ever wondered how it is like to be in a huricane you can stand in the open. Today the average wind was 45 MPH and the highest gust was 68 MPH. I think the highest recorded wind gust was taken at the top during a storm.. some 225 MPH.. the buildings are chained down. it will be really cold up there even on the warmest summer day. You will be riding with 2 miles of there and the Cog Railway to the top on a 3 mile ride and of course you can ride to the top on the Auto Road. It is about 8 miles.. Or walk.. I mean hike..

If you get to Peggy's Cove and you don't use the ferry it's a long run back to Bar Harbor. The tides are something to see in the Bay of Fundy near Truro. The tides turn in a wave about a foot in height.. If I remember correctly. If I remember correctly my kids were disapointed..They said we came all this way to watch this.. but you can't watch that everywhere..

Any case the roads were great and the people were even better. Unfortunately I didn't have the M/C I had the motorhome.. I always said I would like to take that run again with a bike. Maybe next year.

If you don't take the ferry and ride around and go down to enter the US at Calais another interesting place to visit is The Reversing Falls on the St Johns River in New Brunswick.

Like you typed you may only pass this way once and while these events happen only twice a day they are always on schedule so you can time them pretty good.

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post #19 of 23 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 5:28 am Thread Starter
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Jack,

Thanks a lot for the suggestions. This is exactly the kinds of things that are going to make this trip great. I did manage to find Ft. Ticonderoga after I had typed that message. I was still missing Mt. Washington though.

My route has me going so close to these places, I will have to see at least some of them.

I am not sure how quickly it will happen, but I will post a website with a bunch of pictures and such from the trip. I am going to have to keep a log, if possible.

Eric
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post #20 of 23 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 5:00 pm
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Great, I'll be looking to join in on your adventure.

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post #21 of 23 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 6:27 pm Thread Starter
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PEI added

I couldn't resist, so today I added Prince Edward Island to the mix. I will be taking the Confederation Bridge over and the Caribou-Woods Ferry back. That added a little more to the already long trip. I hope it is worth it.

Eric
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post #22 of 23 Old Aug 1st, 2006, 6:13 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecirwin
I couldn't resist, so today I added Prince Edward Island to the mix. I will be taking the Confederation Bridge over and the Caribou-Woods Ferry back. That added a little more to the already long trip. I hope it is worth it.

Eric


Prepare to be price gouged on PEI. You're on an island (check the bridge toll) and the local merchants have a really strong "only game in town" mentality. Other than that, it's a pretty place. But, if I were going to spend an extra day in the area, I'd do Cape Breton instead.

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post #23 of 23 Old Aug 1st, 2006, 11:48 am Thread Starter
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It looks like the Confederation Bridge toll is $16 and the Woods - Caribou Ferry is $13 for me and $36 for the motorcylce. It is not clear whether that is Canadian dollars or U.S., but it isn't the worst.

I would like to do Cape Breton, but it just seems to add a little too much to the trip. That was the good thing about PEI, it only added 150 miles. Cape Breton would be adding 350 or more. It doesn't sound like much, but 14 days and 5550 miles is cutting it close.

Thanks for the caution and the advice. I will try to remember to fill up with gas before crossing the bridge. I probably won't be buying a T-shirt, or any other tourist type of thing.

Eric
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