BMW Luxury Touring Community banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A friend and I are going from Florida to Wisconsin, and then spending time going through WI, UP, Michigan (perhaps), Ontario, Quebec, Niagara Falls, and portions of New England (centered around Berwick, Maine). We're looking at about 2 weeks or so of available time. That's a lot of territory to cover, and to help out with route planning I'd like some feedback about areas of interest.

The big areas I would like help with are the following:

1. Around the Great Lakes between Minnesota/UP and Niagara Falls
2. Upstate NY between Niagara Falls and Berwick, Maine
3. New England centered around Berwick for a radius of one day's ride (can be more)
4. Northern Wisconsin/UP/northern Minnesota

Again, really looking for either nice places or rides. Pile it on and I'll be able to investigate the places online.

Hopefully this is the more appropriate area for this post.

Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
Along the the north shore of Minnesota is a nice trip. Lots of parks and stuff to stop at. Once you go into Canada from Minn it is nothing but trees. Not real interesting. I would stop at Mackinaw island at the end of the UP and lower Mich.

Norther Wisc and Northern Minn is a lot of trees and lakes. Rolling but not real twisty. Also a lot of deer at dusk and night so beware.

If you end up along southeast Minn, SW Wisc, buffalo county has great roads to get lost on. Most gravel roads in southern Wisc are paved.

Here is my 2 cents worth. Have fun. Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,393 Posts
If time, go around Lake Superior. Great ride, great scenery! In UP, see the south shore as well. sounds like a great trip!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
Berwick isn't the best place for ME, as you're still in the heavy traffic built-up area. You need to get north/northwest of Sebago Lake to find empty roads, or way east (Acadia is nice and we found a superb little eatery on the pier in Winter Harbor - but don't tell everyone!).

However, you're well placed for the White Mountains - but why go as far as Berwick? I'd be tempted to stay around Lake Winnepesaukie and go into ME on days out from there. Stopping places at the lake can be a bit pricey but Loon Mountain isn't too far away and there are lots of places there competing for your business. Also, the Loon Mt road is FANTASTIC.

A visit to Ben and Jerry's in Waterbury VT is fun - and free tasters!

You didn't mention time of year for your trip, but in S Maine stay well clear of Rt1 at least as far as Bath during the summer - the traffic is horrendous and few opportunities to pass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
So far the feedback has mirrored my own thoughts. For the comment "why Berwick?" Because we have friends there, and that's preferable to hotel/motel/camping.

And the time line is the first two weeks of August.

We're still debating different routes from Wisconsin to Niagara, basically how big the loop through Canada should be. The basic trip will look something like this (should have posted this originally):

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=17557528150706161898,46.211870,-82.084260;6924886842617887894,43.351690,-77.898510;1201156768136330146,43.306000,-76.579370;205568967332289912,44.050110,-75.556990;14514389596346898529,43.605950,-73.068300&saddr=Gainesville,+FL&daddr=Ripon,+WI+to:HWY-17/[email protected],+-82.084260+to:Niagara+Falls,+NY+to:[email protected],+-77.898510+to:[email protected],+-76.579370+to:[email protected],+-75.556990+to:[email protected],+-73.068300+to:Berwick,+ME+to:Gainesville,+FL&mra=cc&via=2,4,5,6,7&sll=43.850374,-81.166992&sspn=11.104879,20.566406&ie=UTF8&ll=43.516689,-75.344238&spn=11.166438,20.566406&z=6

We've talked a bit about doing more of Lake Superior like this:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=1608265074830091002,46.006730,-91.833650;10834501043886498320,47.599010,-90.789380;17557528150706161898,46.211870,-82.084260;8931941739775281141,43.037850,-76.634570;43302758199049583,43.808500,-74.655000;4126601758081348184,39.866580,-77.195860&saddr=Gainesville,+FL&daddr=Ripon,+WI+to:[email protected],+-91.833650+to:MN-61/[email protected],+-90.789380+to:HWY-17/[email protected],+-82.084260+to:Niagara+Falls,+NY+to:I-90+E/[email protected],+-76.634570+to:[email protected],+-74.655000+to:Berwick,+ME+to:[email protected],+-77.195860+to:fayetteville,+nc+to:Gainesville,+FL&mra=ps&mrcr=4,5&via=2,3,4,6,7&sll=39.33773,-81.454145&sspn=23.762579,41.132813&ie=UTF8&ll=40.212441,-83.320312&spn=23.469646,41.132813&z=5

Between Ripon and Berwick the non-Interstate riding will take over, so keep that in mind when looking at the maps. Once in Berwick we will be doing highlights of New England, and Acadia NP is up there. Also debating a big loop up through northern Maine into Nova Scotia and then taking the ferry back.

Cheers, and keep it coming!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
The road in Canada over Lake Superior is boring. I like the first route better. You may want to take the ferry across in Milwaukee. It gives you I think a 3 hour rest and is something different. Also you then miss Chicago traffic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
We're staying in Ripon, but that ferry ride from Milwaukee to Muskegon MI does look interesting. Is that route up to Sault Ste Marie better than the opposite number in Wisconsin/UP? Either way I will try and do the Mackinac Bridge and surrounding environs.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
565 Posts
When in the UP I would HIGHLY recommend the Keweenaw Peninsula. US 41 up to Copper Harbour and MI 26 back down are great roads to ride. You could spend a week just riding around to all the mining ghost towns. Brockway Mt. just outside of CH gives you a superb view of the peninsula, Isle Royal, and ore boats out on the big lake.

There are two ferries across Lake MI. The high speed (about 2.5hours) runs from Muskegon to Milwaukee. I believe the total fee for bike and one rider is $120.00. They use a modern high speed catamaran. The other is the SS Badger which runs between Ludington and Manitowoc. The fee for a bike and one rider one way is $91.00 but takes 4 hours to cross. The Badger is the largest car ferry to ever sail Lake MI, is the only operating coal fired steamship in North America, and entered service in 1953.

And of course, you HAVE to ride across the Mac over the steel grating so you can look straight done at the water! Don't look too long though and only do it if it's not raining and/or the winds are less than gale force :eek:

Then of course there's the Porkies, Pictured Rocks National Shoreline, Tahquamenom Falls, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point, the Sault Locks.......how much time did you say you had?!

HTH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Can I go? Attached are some routes along your way if you go through the UP. Routes I like are:

1. Lake Superior southern shore
2. Keweenaw Penninsula - Copper Harbor, Brockway Mt. Drive
3. Mackinac Island and the Big Mack Bridge (if you have time)
4. Chi-Cheemaun Ferry to Tobermory
5. Canada's Bruce Penninsula and Routes East of Georgian Bay

The eastern Lake Michigan shoreline would be a nice alternative to IL and WI. PM me if you would like any of the routes in GPS format.
 

Attachments

·
Human Behaviour Analyst
Joined
·
267 Posts
browad said:
and portions of New England (centered around Berwick, Maine). We're looking at about 2 weeks or so of available time. That's a lot of territory to cover, and to help out with route planning I'd like some feedback about areas of interest.

The big areas I would like help with are the following:

1. Around the Great Lakes between Minnesota/UP and Niagara Falls
2. Upstate NY between Niagara Falls and Berwick, Maine
3. New England centered around Berwick for a radius of one day's ride (can be more)
4. Northern Wisconsin/UP/northern Minnesota

.
You want road recommendations .... go here and you'll have it all for your whole route http://www.motorcycleroads.us/
If I were you, I'd be hurrying to the Adirondac (NY) Green (VT), and White (NH) mountains where you can ride unbelievable routes for 2 weeks alone ... on your way to Berwick of course.
In fact .... I'd even argue going as far west as you're planning is unnecessary .... unless you have a rich Aunt or hot mistress to visit there :D
Have a great trip ........ RIDE SAFELY !!
Keir
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Keep the ideas coming, it is helping route planning. When I start planning anyway.

The western route is to go to Ripon, WI where we have an event, and then also want to hit Niagara. Since we've never been to Canada, might as well loop through on the way.

I think we'll have no problem filling the amount of time we have in New England.

Anyone have any thoughts about going through north Maine and New Brunswick to Nova Scotia and then taking a ferry back to Portland? It's something a bit different with a nice relaxing boat ride at the end. Of course, the motorcycles are tied on the boat, so perhaps a bit of tension...
 

·
Human Behaviour Analyst
Joined
·
267 Posts
browad said:
Anyone have any thoughts about going through north Maine and New Brunswick to Nova Scotia and then taking a ferry back to Portland? It's something a bit different with a nice relaxing boat ride at the end. Of course, the motorcycles are tied on the boat, so perhaps a bit of tension...
That's my neck of the woods http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&tab=wl and we most often leave here and head south to the Mountains of NH, VT and NY. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (with a few exceptions) are very similar topographically to Maine. Route from Maine/New Brunswick border around to Yarmouth (where the ferry leaves for Portland, ME) is only worth doing if you can take several days and travel along the coastline (completely avoiding a boring Trans Canada Highway ride).
To be honest, you'll get the same views, vistas (and better pavement) if you spend a day and ride up US 1 along the Maine coast.
US Rte 1 from Bar Harbour (you've GOT to ride up Cadillac Mountain in Bar Harbour) to Calais, ME then Route 9 back to Bangor will be a full day's ride and give you everything you'd get going around NB and NS and taking the ferry ride back to Portland. Well -- everything except the ferry ride and the chance to meet some great Canadian people and spend some more colorful currency ;)
If you want to see something special -- that's not too far from Maine (1 day's ride each way) -- plan on spending a day or 2 on Prince Edward Island. Some beautiful rides there and very different from what you'll have seen in Northern US.
Best,
Keir
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Lots of trees to look at in northern Maine. The coast is more interesting to me. I also enjoyed touring lighthouses and the Nova Scotia coast. Cape Breton Island coast route is a great ride if you have the time to get up that
far. Watch out for Moose in all of those areas!

If the ferry provides tie downs they probably have hard hook ends. I would at least take soft ties along if not your own complete tie down rigging. BTW, the St. John NB - Digby NS ferry is much shorter than the Bar Harbor-Yarmouth.

Don't forget your passport or birth certificate for return from Canada.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
444 Posts
Okay, I'll chime in. In New Hampshire you have to do the Kancamangus, Highway 112. It can get a little congested on weekends however.

And take the Autoroad up Mt Washington.

There are alot of nice rides here. Alot of times I just head out and take different roads up throught the mountains.
 

·
Human Behaviour Analyst
Joined
·
267 Posts
living_free said:
Okay, I'll chime in. In New Hampshire you have to do the Kancamangus, Highway 112. It can get a little congested on weekends however.

And take the Autoroad up Mt Washington.

There are alot of nice rides here. Alot of times I just head out and take different roads up throught the mountains.
Tony, You are without any doubt in some of the most beautiful Country on the planet ... not to mention for M/C Riding !! Even the ride around the lake just north of you (Winnipesaukee) is gorgeous.
Don't think I have the gonads required to ride Pamela up Mt Washington ... but that's likely just me. I did that one on 4 wheels and didn't particularly enjoy some of the "near the edge of a kill-ya cliff without guard rails" :eek: driving along the way.
We're heading back down your way (several times I expect :) ) this coming summer -- starting with a run over to Americade in Lake George first of June.
May see you on one of those beautiful rides .... be sure to wave!
Keir
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
browad said:
We're still debating different routes from Wisconsin to Niagara, basically how big the loop through Canada should be. The basic trip will look something like this (should have posted this originally):

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=17557528150706161898,46.211870,-82.084260%3B6924886842617887894,43.351690,-77.898510%3B1201156768136330146,43.306000,-76.579370%3B205568967332289912,44.050110,-75.556990%3B14514389596346898529,43.605950,-73.068300&saddr=Gainesville,+FL&daddr=Ripon,+WI+to:HWY-17%2FTrans+Canada+Hwy+%4046.211870,+-82.084260+to:Niagara+Falls,+NY+to:Lake+Ontario+State+Pkwy+E+%4043.351690,+-77.898510+to:RT-104+%4043.306000,+-76.579370+to:RT-3+%4044.050110,+-75.556990+to:US-4+E+%4043.605950,+-73.068300+to:Berwick,+ME+to:Gainesville,+FL&mra=cc&via=2,4,5,6,7&sll=43.850374,-81.166992&sspn=11.104879,20.566406&ie=UTF8&ll=43.516689,-75.344238&spn=11.166438,20.566406&z=6

We've talked a bit about doing more of Lake Superior like this:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=1608265074830091002,46.006730,-91.833650%3B10834501043886498320,47.599010,-90.789380%3B17557528150706161898,46.211870,-82.084260%3B8931941739775281141,43.037850,-76.634570%3B43302758199049583,43.808500,-74.655000%3B4126601758081348184,39.866580,-77.195860&saddr=Gainesville,+FL&daddr=Ripon,+WI+to:US-53+N+%4046.006730,+-91.833650+to:MN-61%2FW+MN-61+%4047.599010,+-90.789380+to:HWY-17%2FTrans+Canada+Hwy+%4046.211870,+-82.084260+to:Niagara+Falls,+NY+to:I-90+E%2FNew+York+State+Thruway+E+%4043.037850,+-76.634570+to:RT-28+%4043.808500,+-74.655000+to:Berwick,+ME+to:US-15+S+%4039.866580,+-77.195860+to:fayetteville,+nc+to:Gainesville,+FL&mra=ps&mrcr=4,5&via=2,3,4,6,7&sll=39.33773,-81.454145&sspn=23.762579,41.132813&ie=UTF8&ll=40.212441,-83.320312&spn=23.469646,41.132813&z=5

Between Ripon and Berwick the non-Interstate riding will take over, so keep that in mind when looking at the maps. Once in Berwick we will be doing highlights of New England, and Acadia NP is up there. Also debating a big loop up through northern Maine into Nova Scotia and then taking the ferry back.

Cheers, and keep it coming!
Regarding either of your routes, specifically your leg between IN and WI through IL, unless you have a reason to come through downtown Chicago, I would avoid using I90/I94; i.e., the Dan Ryan Expessway. Aside from big truck congestion, there are some underdeveloped neighborhoods along the Dan Ryan that it would be prudent to avoid. Instead, I would use I294 to get through IL to WI.

Regarding your second scenario, I did a route around all of the Great Lakes a couple of years ago or so, and enjoyed the northern route around Lake Superior on CDN 17. Be prepared to dress warm, the temperature got into the mid 30's when we were at Marathon Bay, near the top of the Lake. I would also be tempted to plan a route around the southern coast of Lake Superior as someone else has suggested in this thread.

Last year, I did a trip similar to your first scenario, going up the WI side of Lake Michigan to Sault Ste. Marie. I needed to link up with my cousin who lives in St Paul, MN. If it wasn't for that, I would have gone up to SSM through MI. We were planning on going to Nova Scotia via a Canadian route, but developed little enthusiasm for traveling east through Canada. When we got to New Brunswick, we dropped down into Maine which was excellent. Also, when we traveled through upstate NY, we really enjoyed camping in the Adirondacks finding a great camping site right on a lake. For more civilization in the Adirondacks, consider downtown Lake Placid.

Have a great and safe ride!
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top