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Chicago to Buffalo Summer Trip

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Chicago to Buffalo Summer Trip

Old 03-03-19, 05:04 PM
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Chicago to Buffalo Summer Trip

This summer, I am planning to ride from Chicago to Buffalo. I plan to tent camp whenever possible and take Amtrak to Chicago (also Buffalo back to Chicago). In the Summer of '16, I rode from Kansas City to Chicago, which rates similarly in both mileage and elevation changes.
Planning on 80 - 100 miles per day and I want to take the Northern route into Canada.

Any most visit places assuming a general route of Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, then Buffalo? Any routes that are great?
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Old 03-03-19, 05:21 PM
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Just trying to visualize your route, north on the west side of Lake Michigan, then up towards Duluth, on into Canada, across the north shore of Lake Superior, back into the U.S. at Sault Ste. Marie, down to Detroit, crossing back into Canada at Windsor, onto Toronto and Buffalo?

Sounds like a great trip!

​​​​​​Some info on crossing the Straits of Mackinac.
https://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,4616...107--F,00.html

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Old 03-03-19, 07:08 PM
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Take the lakeshore trail along lake Erie in Ontario, very nice cycling. The Welland Canal is nice if you are into large ships, bridges and docks (has bike path along). Niagara region has lots of wineries. The Falls are a perfect tourist trap, but if you haven't seen the falls yet, I guess there's a checkbox waiting. The Canadian side is nicer. Point Pelee is also a Wine region, by the way. There's a few beaches along the lake shore.
Toronto is very busy and very urban. If you are into that, then a detour to Toronto might be nice, but if you are into the loneliness aspect of cycle touring - see if you can find more interesting things on your route without that detour.
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Old 03-03-19, 07:31 PM
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I've ridden from South Bend Indiana to Port Huron, MI then up the Lake Huron east shore (awesome), then straight east (Amish area). I then entered Toronto from the north and rode some bike path almost the entire length north to south through Toronto. After that I headed east. I thought the riding from SW Michigan to Port Huron to be great riding. The road system is excellent. I stayed out of major cities.
Can not help with going to Buffalo.

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Old 03-03-19, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by alias5000
Take the lakeshore trail along lake Erie in Ontario, very nice cycling. The Welland Canal is nice if you are into large ships, bridges and docks (has bike path along). Niagara region has lots of wineries. The Falls are a perfect tourist trap, but if you haven't seen the falls yet, I guess there's a checkbox waiting. The Canadian side is nicer. Point Pelee is also a Wine region, by the way. There's a few beaches along the lake shore.
Toronto is very busy and very urban. If you are into that, then a detour to Toronto might be nice, but if you are into the loneliness aspect of cycle touring - see if you can find more interesting things on your route without that detour.
Didn't get to see a ship on the Welland when I toured there. But I got to see them when passing through on a boat. U think molasses moves faster. So if you want to wait for one to pass, you are going to be there foe awhile. Pack a lunch. Somewhere near the Welland down near the Erie side of the shore is a buttery fly sanctuary. I have never visited but it is supposed to be nice.

Also somewhere north of Buffalo on lake Erie is an island filled with feral cats. Might also be an interesting visit.

The river upriver of the falls is wonderful. You don't need to be all that far upriver to see it. No people and you get right up next to the river. No rails so be really careful walking down there. If you fall in, the next place you will be getting out is at the bottom of the falls in a body bag.


You can take the Erie Canal Trail from there but be warned it is BORING. Except for the little towns which are wonderful. The bridge is kept open all summer at Irondequoit Bay to let boats pass but if you call ahead at the marina, they may be able to arrange to have someone take you across the inlet which is kind of cool.
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Old 03-03-19, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
Didn't get to see a ship on the Welland when I toured there. But I got to see them when passing through on a boat. U think molasses moves faster. So if you want to wait for one to pass, you are going to be there foe awhile. Pack a lunch. Somewhere near the Welland down near the Erie side of the shore is a buttery fly sanctuary. I have never visited but it is supposed to be nice.
I can see that. We got to ride along one, but yeah it wasn't too difficult to keep up However, I think we did see 3 or 4 ships in the end. Those large bridges that pull up for ships to pass are very impressive. The locks likewise.

The town of Welland has an Italian restaurant that served us maple syrup covered, fried gnocchis as desert
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Old 03-04-19, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg
Just trying to visualize your route, north on the west side of Lake Michigan, then up towards Duluth, on into Canada, across the north shore of Lake Superior, back into the U.S. at Sault Ste. Marie, down to Detroit, crossing back into Canada at Windsor, onto Toronto and Buffalo?
This route sounds much better, but I don't think I have enough days for that.
South from Chicago around Lake Michigan, at St. Joseph MI head east towards Detroit, to Toronto, by the falls, and finally by Buffalo.

alias5000 and boomhauer point out the part I haven't quite planned. Should I head North from Detroit and cross into Canada at Port Huron or head East from Detroit and cross into Canada at Windsor?
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Old 03-04-19, 06:29 AM
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ACA recently published maps for a CHI to NYC route. Maybe look into using some of that.

Edit: Just took a look at it. Heads too far south. However, it intersects with their Northern Tier route in IN. The Northern Tier route will take you straight into Buffalo.

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Old 03-04-19, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by kansascity
Should I head North from Detroit and cross into Canada at Port Huron or head East from Detroit and cross into Canada at Windsor?
If it was me, I would try to cross in the south, so that I can readily follow the waterfront trail along lake Erie (https://waterfronttrail.org/the-trail/). But I have no knowledge or experience regarding crossing the border on a bike.
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Old 03-04-19, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by kansascity
This route sounds much better, but I don't think I have enough days for that.
South from Chicago around Lake Michigan, at St. Joseph MI head east towards Detroit, to Toronto, by the falls, and finally by Buffalo.

alias5000 and boomhauer point out the part I haven't quite planned. Should I head North from Detroit and cross into Canada at Port Huron or head East from Detroit and cross into Canada at Windsor?
My bad, misinterpreted your reference to northern route.
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Old 03-04-19, 01:46 PM
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You can not ride a bicycle across the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit to Windsor. I believe there may be a shuttle available. You can ride across the border over the St. Clair River north of Port Huron. Don't forget your passport!

My wife and I rode from Chicago to Buffalo when following Hwy 20 across the U.S. We hooked into Hwy 5 on the south side of Lake Erie. It is only 20 miles from Buffalo to Niagara Falls. We didn't go to the the Falls, because we were on a pretty tight timeline. We ended the last leg of our across Canada ride near Windsor, and plan on seeing Niagara Falls on our final leg from Detroit to Halifax.

If you are interested in doing the "southern route" PM me and I'll send you specific information.
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Old 03-04-19, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by kansascity
T
alias5000 and boomhauer point out the part I haven't quite planned. Should I head North from Detroit and cross into Canada at Port Huron or head East from Detroit and cross into Canada at Windsor?
Why go to Detroit? I avoid most towns larger than 3000 people if I can help it.
I stayed on the back roads almost the entire time. Look at Google maps. You will figure it out. Check out "Hell, Michigan" . Nice camping.
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Old 03-24-19, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by boomhauer
Why go to Detroit? I avoid most towns larger than 3000 people if I can help it.
I stayed on the back roads almost the entire time. Look at Google maps. You will figure it out. Check out "Hell, Michigan" . Nice camping.
Boomhauer, I often like the small towns and rural America but large cities have some attractions including breweries, bicycle infrastructure, and additional cultural attractions. I have never been to Detroit, but apparently its having some rebirth and is now more bicycle friendly.

Currently, I am thinking of using the Walpole Algonoc Ferry to enter Canada. Has anyone else used this? walpoleislandferry.ca
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