Done that trip a couple times. I'm just a few miles south of you.
Forget I-81. Go over toward Utica, north on 8, then 28 to Old Forge. Be sure to stop at the pancake house on the left, in Old Forge. That's worth the trip all by itself.
Continue on 28, then north on 28N, becomes 30. Continue north. Cross into Canada just above Malone, NY.
This route might take an extra hour, but then that's not the point, is it?
BTW, we love the Marriott downtown. Ask for one of the rooms facing the park, enjoy the view, especially at night.
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