Minnesota to Niagara Falls by way of Canada - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-22-2016, 09:07 PM   #1
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Minnesota to Niagara Falls by way of Canada

We are heading from St. Paul to Niagara Falls late July with the camper and would really like to take a Canada route. We like to drive a leisurely 3 hours a day and then stop for the night. Has anyone taken this route before? Comments if you have? Suggestions for places to camp?
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:00 AM   #2
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We went from Forest Lake Mn to Niagara Canada a couple years ago . We went across the UP of Michigan . We then crossed over into Canada at Sault St Marie . Lots of places (public & private) in the UP to camp . There is not much between Sault St Marie Canada and
Parry Sound Canada . We stayed on the Canadian side of the falls
Taking a ride on the Maid of the Mist was worth the money plus seeing the falls at night when it is lit up is spectacular . We found the Canadian side of the falls much nicer ( both the city and the view of the falls ) than the US side . If you decide to cross over from Canada to the US (New York) be aware that the US border guards can be real jerks .
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:17 AM   #3
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I drove from Duluth to The Sault via Canada quite a few years ago. As Steve said above, it can be difficult to find places to stay, but we were moteling it at that time.

Funny story from that trip (I'll try to keep it brief):

Entered Canada, looking for a Motel. Had been warned at the boarder that there were VERY few. After driving several miles, saw a very large Motel sign, complete with "Vacancy" sign. Pulled in, went to the office door. Computer printed sign next to the doorbell announced "Bell Broken, Walk In". Upon entering, we approached the obvious front desk - no one to be seen. Soon a small child appears, stares at us, then disappears. Shortly, a woman appears, looking very confused. We ask if we could get a room, she responds sarcastically (sounding as if this should be obvious) "This isn't a Motel, it's a private residence".

She seemed incredulous that we had just entered her house. :-)

Guess we just should of KNOWN.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:36 AM   #4
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We took a trip around Lake Superior on the Canadian side (Part of the Great Circle Tour) 2 years ago. Be aware that Provincial Parks are not necessarily less expensive than full hook up private parks.
The Provincial Parks may be right on the Lake with a great view but that view is costly and if the winds are from the right direction it can be down right chilly even in the Summer. We stayed in a private park just across the road from the Lake that had electricity ,water , sewer ,WiFi and satellite TV at each site for $10 / night less than a Provincial Park.

Be aware that Ontario has very restrictive rules about Americans camping on Crown Land. We fished /camped in Ontario for over 20 years until the Ontario government declared us Persona Non Grata
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:39 AM   #5
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Niagara was the climax of the monthlong trip north with the spring I took my 8 year old and 13 year old grandchildren on back in 2007. We were tenting in the Tent Mahal and stayed in a KOA on the American side.

I can't recommend strongly enough taking a guided tour. The guides take you to several parks along the river that explain the history and geology and then the standard offerings like Cave of the Winds etc. The guided tours also get to jump the wait lines! That in itself is worth the price.

If you go at night to see the falls lit- there are NO restrooms open, at least on the American side. Don't take any diuretics that day, you'll regret it.

The grands enjoyed the rather honkey tonk atmosphere of the Canadian side much more than the American side. I really recommend Brick City on the Canadian side. It's a Legos museum, and they have 3 different sizes of Legos for you to exercise creativity with after touring their Wonders of the World. I talked with one of the docents while my grands were assembling stuff. he said it was not really mostly children visiting, adults outnumbered children by quite a bit. He told me after the bars and restaurants close down the young adults come by and decompress there for a couple hours, so they stay open late.

I wish we had more time there for touring the Canadian side, but were running on a tight schedule so 4 days for Niagara /only 1 of those days for the Canadian side were all we could take.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnesotaJill View Post
We are heading from St. Paul to Niagara Falls late July with the camper and would really like to take a Canada route. We like to drive a leisurely 3 hours a day and then stop for the night. Has anyone taken this route before? Comments if you have? Suggestions for places to camp?
Hi> MinnesotaJill... Here's a couple of links for ya!!! http://www.campingontario.ca
Tourism Niagara Official Website - Niagara Region and Niagara Falls Ontario Canada Information Have a great trip and while at Niagara Falls Ontario... The Riverside Park is where we hold the Niagara Wine Escape in Sept. each year. Riverside Park Campground and Motel Niagara Falls Ontario Canada
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:25 AM   #7
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We've taken both the northern route that Steve mentioned and the southern route between Port Huron and Niagara falls. The northern route, route 17 is the more leisurely with lots of beautiful scenery. We have only stayed at Provential parks of which there are several close to the highway. I've read you can drive the southern route in about 6 hours but we did an over night stop at a provincial park on lake Erie.. Because of the exchange rate, Canada is a bargain. Southern Ontario is the banana belt of Canada. Lots of agriculture. We found many produce stands. Unfortunately we didn't buy much to avoid any border crossing hassles. We've stayed at several provincial parks and always found a spot. But I'm told they do get quite busy in the summer. Safe travels, Raz
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:13 AM   #8
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I have done the North of Superior route several times but always post Labour Day. Drive on the top half of your tank as gas stations are quite aways apart.

Most of the provincial parks and Pukaskwa N.P. along Lake Superior are very nice. Along the North of Lake Huron Les Chutes in Massey Ontario is a nice park with white water, swimming, water falls etc.

There are 3 routes from Northern Ontario for you. Highway 6 through Espanola across the Manitoulin Isand and a Ferry to Tobermory. Highway 400 (69) from Sudbury or Highway 11 from North Bay. Personally I'd go with one of the first 2.

Killarney is a jewel(white quartzite 'mountains' and pink granite shores) on Georgian Bay but off the main route and I wouldn't go in without a reservation at that time of year. There is a PP and a couple of private campgrounds.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by MinnesotaJill View Post
We are heading from St. Paul to Niagara Falls late July with the camper and would really like to take a Canada route. We like to drive a leisurely 3 hours a day and then stop for the night. Has anyone taken this route before? Comments if you have? Suggestions for places to camp?
If you are short on time, take the UP to US rte 2 to Mackinac, over the bridge, and down to Port Huron. If not, the Sault Ste. Marie crossing puts you on the Trans Canada Highway. Last I checked the Canadian Dollar was about 65 cents US. Put everything on a credit card - but let your card company know you will be in Canada so they don't block it - and the exchange rate is figured for you. Or, use the ATM's for cash. You'll get nice bills of different colours, easier to tell apart.
--- They did not take Discover the last time we were there.... And note that Canada has eliminated pennies, and dollar bills. The USA should follow suit.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:03 PM   #10
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We live in Thunder Bay, On with a , daughter in Sarnia , On (across from Port Huron, Mi).. There aren't many ways we haven't gone..what route are you planning - entering Canada in NW On or somewhere else?


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Old 05-23-2016, 06:46 PM   #11
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Wow, thanks everyone for such great info. I never even looked at the Port Huron option. I think we may try that. The goal in all of this was to avoid the big cities, like Chicago, Detroit, etc. I had looked at the Canadian (Manitoulin Island) ferry but with a camper we were looking at about $150. And I was concerned about the lack of facilities taking the northern route on some of those long stretches. Wish we could make the wine fest in September, but we will be out in Oregon then. Again, thanks to everyone for the great depth of info.
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Old 05-23-2016, 06:56 PM   #12
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Try to avoid the Port Huron border crossing at the start or end of the work day. We got there at the wrong time of day and it took an hour and a half to get through customs.
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:32 PM   #13
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Jill my trip tip would have you travel either through the 94 corridor through Michigan or hug the Mich Indiana border with a possible visit to shipshuwana right into the Detroit Windsor border ,it will be a breeze through Detroit and across the ambassador bridge. I would then hug the Canadian side of the Detroit river through southern Ontario and Essex county with a possible visit to point Peele and maybe Peele island ,from there it is a 5-6 hour leasurly drive along the north shore of Lake Erie along hwy 3 right into niagara falls . it's to bad you could not make the trip in mid July as you would drive right past bolerama in wainfleet .
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Old 05-24-2016, 02:22 AM   #14
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I live in Ontario. If you are using the Provincial Parks you can reserve ahead on line. If you are a senior don't forget to ask for a senior's discount.

Have a wonderful trip,

Linda
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