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Thread: Over the Soo and around Huron to Niagara

  1. #1
    Nickname: Droid
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    Over the Soo and around Huron to Niagara

    Who has done it? What's to see (other than the Soo and Niagara)? Routes to definitely make and avoid?

    I'm planning a multi day ride for three couples. Leaving out of Green Bay, WI and up over the Soo (done this part many times), then east by southeast around the northeast side of lake Huron and Goergian Bay down to Niagara Falls. After the Falls I'll likely head back into Ontario to the border crossing north of Detroit. Then across lower Michigan to Ludington to take in the sunset on the east shore. Next morning on the Badger ferry back to Manitowoc, WI.

    I'm pretty familiar with lower Michigan. REAL familiar with Wisconsin and upper Michigan. But no knowledge of Ontario from the Soo down to Niagara, CN. Any tips, places to stay, eats to enjoy, sites to see, is most appreciated. Last years trip around lake Superior was great with good tips from everyone on the forum.

  2. #2
    Registered User wvpc's Avatar
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    A long time ago...

    About ten summers ago we drove east out of Sault Ste. Marie, MI to Manitoulin Island in my Miata. It was rainy that trip but typical Canadian picturesque. The road was a good two lane but there was fast moving truck traffic both ways. There are not alot of amenities around, just the basics. We cruised the island of Manitoulin (OK) for a couple days and then took the ferry from the island to Tobermory (easy, fast). From there we drove south along Lake Huron. Not alot of traffic, pleasant scenery, decent road, etc. We crossed into the US at Sarnia (good, fast) over the Blue Water Bridge to head back home.

    I have not traveled along the east side of Georgian Bay but would expect it to be a similar. Pleasant, cool by the water, flat and straight. Great Canadians as always. Heavy traffic near Toronto and Niagra Falls.

    Good Luck!
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    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    discovering_the_joy_of_solo_travel

    Andy, I did this trip last August and wrote an article about in for ON. See the link above.

    I took the Chi Cheemaun Ferry which was really nice. Then up along the coast to the Soo. Details are in the article.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info and tips. Tracy, nice report. I have done those sections of Da U.P many times. Been to Kitchititikippi, along the north shore of lake Michigan, Munising and the lake drive to Grand Marais, over the mighty bridge, St. Ignace, Mackinaw, Copper Falls, the Lighthouse station on Superior (nice road up to that). SO much to see.

    So this summer it'll be to discover what's east of the Soo and down to Niagara. Thanks for the tip about crossing the border at Sandia. I definitely will avoid coming back through Detroit. Since I have already been through Petosky, I may opt to cruise up the east coast of Michigan and make it a full lap of lake Huron and back over the top.

  5. #5
    RK Ryder
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    I've ridden the UP and north of Superior a few times. I much prefer the northern route. Once you are east of Thunderbay, your view to the right is Superior and to the left (north), the Canadian Shield. The road is in good repair, with passing lanes on the hills, and I've been able to pace myself so that I see no vehicles either in front or behind. It is not a difficult road to ride, but the scenery is majestic. From there you ride through our Soo and then over to the Chic-Cheemaun ferry. However, I realize that coming from the Greenbay area, it would entail additional miles and time. Just a suggestion.
    Paul
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  6. #6
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    Yup, did that last summer. Though due to a member in the group getting sick we rode the Soo to Waa-Waa section, all 200+ miles, in the dark after clearing customs at 9pm. Then, in my haste to get going I forgot my 94 RS carries more gas than my brother's 04 Rockster. Which became VERY apparent about 18 miles south of Waa-Waa at 1AM in the morning. There aint NO gas fillup locales anywhere on 17 between the Soo and Waa-Waa, at least none we could see in the dark diligently watching for Moose!

    Me and my gal ended up leaving him and his gal in the black night on HWY 17, while we rode into Waa-Waa. Fueled up my RS, then filled two Mountain Dew bottles with gas, stuffed those in my tank bag and rode back to them. Dumped them in his bike. Told him to mount up with his gal on board, and as soon as it fired up, ride steady at about 45 mph into town. It started right up and easily made it into Waa-Waa on 40 onces of fuel.

    So, this year we're heading east from the Soo, and both of us will monitor his fuel!

  7. #7
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    Yup, did that last summer. Though due to a member in the group getting sick we rode the Soo to Waa-Waa section, all 200+ miles, in the dark after clearing customs at 9pm. Then, in my haste to get going I forgot my 94 RS carries more gas than my brother's 04 Rockster. Which became VERY apparent about 18 miles south of Waa-Waa at 1AM in the morning. There aint NO gas fillup locales anywhere on 17 between the Soo and Waa-Waa, at least none we could see in the dark diligently watching for Moose!

    Me and my gal ended up leaving him and his gal in the black night on HWY 17, while we rode into Waa-Waa. Fueled up my RS, then filled two Mountain Dew bottles with gas, stuffed those in my tank bag and rode back to them. Dumped them in his bike. Told him to mount up with his gal on board, and as soon as it fired up, ride steady at about 45 mph into town. It started right up and easily made it into Waa-Waa on 40 onces of fuel.

    So, this year we're heading east from the Soo, and both of us will monitor his fuel!
    That's a ride that you'll remember forever, Andy, even if you did miss the scenery. Memorable now but certainly not then, especially with all of the moose warning signs, that you rode by, three times.
    Paul
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  8. #8
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    Soo to Niagara

    Ann Landers said that Niagara Falls is the second biggest disappointment a bride could have on her honeymoon. However, the Niagara wine country is worthwhile if you into that sort of thing. The Port Huron - Sarnia crossover is a little less congested and a more direct shot to the Badger Ferry. The ferry from Manitoulin Island to Tobermory is a nice ride and cuts off some around the lake distance but the ride around the lake is nice enough through North Bay and then Muskoka. If you are into cities, Toronto is pretty easy to get into and out of but it's still a city and does have some nice attractions.

  9. #9
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    Thanks. I agree Niagara Falls is something to see, but not as a honeymoon destination. I recall Niagara CN is a real pretty area, lots of restaurants. Just need to know which roads to enjoy, which to avoid. Might overnight at Elora Gorge at the Old Mill.

  10. #10
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    One road you have to do is the Niagara Parkway from Fort Erie to Niagara on the Lake, 40 mph, curvy, muli-million $$$ homes!
    Takes you past the Falls if you need to stop.
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  11. #11
    Luddite Looney wecm31's Avatar
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    Update Bump....


    Just heard on CBC yesterday that with water levels in the Great Lakes extremely low, the
    ChiCheemaun ferry can't make it into the harbour at Manitoulin Island. Here is the link
    to get updates as things change. I guess there is still a lot of snow to melt in the north, so
    the lake may rise enough...

    http://www.ontarioferries.com/ontarioferries/english/
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  12. #12
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    In Sudbury you can take a mine tour. Don't know how much time you have, but around Parry Sound riding between highway 69/400 and highway 11 (Bracebridge and Gravenhurst) will get you some nice motorcycle roads and scenery. There's a place called The Big Chutes off Hwy 400 which is an interesting railway lock on the canal where they lift the boats out of the water and up and over to the next lake.
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  13. #13
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    The ride from the Soo to about Big Chute (where that marine railway is) will be pleasant. The traffic for many miles around metro Toronto is acknowledged as the first or second worst in all of North America and will be a chore.

    South of Barrie head west and take secondary highways southeast. Highway 6 through Fergus and Guelph is slow, but interesting with lots of 19th century stone buildings. Hamilton airport has one of the best military aviation museums anywhere. You will literally be going right past the gate. Most of the planes fly (including one of only two Lancaster bombers in the world) and you can walk right up to everything on display with no barriers. http://www.warplane.com/

    Cross from Ontario to Michigan on the Sombra ferry. It is on the St. Clair river south of Sarnia/Port Huron. No tie downs necessary and only takes a few minutes. There is a nice ice cream parlour in Sombra before you cross.
    Dave

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