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Old 01-26-2016, 05:43 PM   #1
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Indiana to New England, where to stay, what to see?

The wife is pushing for a fall color trip this next year so I'm starting the R&P (research and planning).

We'll be attending the IRV2 rally in Elkhart next September and I thought we could head east from there, following the southern shores of the great lakes, through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and into Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. As we turn south we'll make a stop at Normandy Farms (based on recommendations I've seen here on IRV2) to visit family in the area, then make our way south to our central Florida winter base.

I'm looking at BIG rig recommendations for scenic (we don't always need full hookups, but we do need safe access) stops along the route as well as those things we just have to see. No doubt that list will be longer than we have time to do in one four to six week tour, but those of you that have been there can probably list places we've never heard of or might not otherwise think worth a stop.
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:31 PM   #2
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We went to the Maritimes in 2014. I live in S. Indiana. We took I 70 E. to I 71 N. to I 80 E, to I 81 N., but we were not sightseeing along the way to Maine. I located an RV park when we stopped for lunch.
You don't see much from interstates_.
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:55 AM   #3
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Be aware of fall closing dates for MANY of the New England campgrounds. Columbus Day weekend is frequently the last weekend open.

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Old 01-30-2016, 06:42 AM   #4
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Campgrounds in New England are filled up in "leaf season", and many cannot accomodate big rigs. Even if their sites are big enough some have narrow interior roads and trees that will attack your rig from the roof or sides. Do your research and book early.

I lived in Maine and have done this trip several times and like Ray says, there is not much to see on the highway between destinations. Some interesting places to stop are Chataqua NY, the Eastman museum in Rochester (think Kodak), Saratoga Springs, NY., Woodstock, VT. In Maine, Kennebunkport, Boothbay Harbor, Camden and Bar Harbor are all great. If you decide to go more southerly, Newport RI is fantastic. Portsmouth NH and Marblehead MA are really nice to visit.

Some years are better than others for fall color. Your timing has to be right and that is impossible to predict with certainty. The leaves turn at different times from year to year and catching them in full color is hit and miss. Color runs 3-4 weeks but peak color only lasts from 7-10 days. They turn earlier at high elevations and later along the coast. Peak time in mid-Maine averages about October 7 or so but can vary about 10 days either way early or late. Other places have varying schedules. Each state posts leaf color info online by region as the season progresses, so you may be able to make last minute adjustments to your route to catch the color if you can find a place to stay. Otherwise you need to be lucky with your timing to see the best colors.
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Old 01-30-2016, 08:36 AM   #5
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Try Danforth Bay CG in Freedom NH. It's situated in the north - south center of the state, near the Maine border. It's a great base area to explore the White Mountains or the lakes region. Danforth is open year round.
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Old 01-30-2016, 08:55 AM   #6
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Opened up my old "Trailer Life" mapping/planning program and started throwing up some tentative stops, based on little except their spacing from the last stop. If any of you have any experience with any of these, by all means, please chime in. The software was last available/updated 2012.

1) Sandusky/Bayshore Estates KOA, Sandusky OH.
2) Southwoods RV Resort, Byron NY
3) Arrowhead Marina & RV Park, Glenville, NY
4) Lone Pine Campsites, Colchester VT
5) Danforth Bay Camping Resort, Freedom NH
6) Normandy Farms Family Campground, Foxboro MA. (I have family just over the RI border from here)
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Old 01-30-2016, 09:11 AM   #7
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Jay, I grew up in southwestern NY, and return there frequently. I would suggest that from Erie, Pa you take I-86,the southern tier expressway, to Albany, NY. It is a very scenic drive through a beautiful area. If the timing works out right, Salamanca NY has a large Casino where you might be able to stop. The New York State thruway from Buffalo to Albany, besides being a toll road, is an old highway, straight as an arrow, and featureless. When I am going to Maine from the Albany area, i take the Mass. Pike. It is a pretty ride, and the alternatives from there are rugged.
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Old 01-30-2016, 09:41 AM   #8
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Southern tier works to skip the tolls. Misses a lot of the scenic stuff.

Southwoods RV Resort, Byron NY is relatively new. I used to live over that way and did not know about it so looked it up. It should be an easy in and out and easy to get to the super slabs if that is what you want.

Looking at your route the run from Colchester to Freedom will be interesting. Almost as in "you can't get theah from heah" interesting. I might go across Rt 2. Hilly two lane but no big problems when we went that way in 2014.

I'm not sure what your time line is but you will be going past a lot of interesting places. OTOH as someone pointed out the Columbus day weekend is end of season a lot of places.
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Old 01-30-2016, 09:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
...I'm not sure what your time line is but you will be going past a lot of interesting places. OTOH as someone pointed out the Columbus day weekend is end of season a lot of places.
I was just making an "outline" of the trip. I'm trusting my fellow IRV2 members to help me flesh this out. The outline helps give me an estimated timeline, if nothing else.

So, let's hear about all those "interesting places" and where to stay nearby.
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Old 01-30-2016, 09:59 AM   #10
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As a former "Mainiac", I can offer some considerations for making a trip to Maine, and the New England states in the fall: Many campgrounds in Maine close the 15th of October; a few in NH, Mass. etc. may stay open until the end of October. If you locate one that is operating in Oct., book early - leaf peepers are in abundance during peak leaf season. As someone mentioned, many of the campgrounds are ancient and were designed for 25' travel trailers. I can recommend one in the Bangor, Maine area that will accommodate about any size rig and is reasonable and within commute to great leaf peeping. Day trips are easily accessible from the campground and it makes a great "home base" for taking in the sights. It can be quite cold in Maine this time of year, so have plenty of propane on board. I can offer some additional info. ; shoot me a PM if so inclined. Planning is half the fun!!


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Old 01-30-2016, 01:14 PM   #11
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Jay, I remembered, after I posted earlier, if you are into baseball? the route which I outlined takes you past Cooperstown, NY the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:10 PM   #12
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Up state NY, Letchworth State Park. One of our favorites. Lots of big waterfalls and 300-500 foot gorges. Park roads are narrow and windy. I did it in a 42 foot Tag. Just take your time. Power, water fill stations, dump station.
Minuteman National Battlefield between Concord and Boston. It is a Living museum about the Revelotionary war. We stayed at Minuteman RV Park. RV Park is OK but but the NP is terrific.
Don't miss some of the Cival War memorials scattered about the New England and Penn states.
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:28 AM   #13
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FWIW where depends on what you like. Coming up the Great Lakes puts you through Cleveland with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame among other places. Niagrara Falls is an easy offshoot (~20 miles).

Coming east from NF to Rochester Rt 104 or Rt 31 will get you there as fast as going back down to the Thruway. Avoid the Parkway along Lake Ontario. It's a mess. That is if you see interesting things in Rochester.

East of Rochester you can run Rt 104 and follow Lake Ontario up to the 1000 Islands then go out through the St Lawrence Valley or cut through the Adirondacks via Watertown. Alternately you can run across the Thruway down to Cooperstown or up to Saratoga. The Finger Lakes wine country is a short drop south around Geneva.

There are crossing points for L Champlain at the north end then come down over the Islands with a nice spot at Apple Valley on S Hero Island. Alternatively a Ferry at Plattsburg or a good bridge at Crown Point. Water hazards thin out at Glens Falls.

Since you want to be leaf peeping you can get color in the Adirondacks a bit earlier than the southern route. I think I would do that and cross over so I stayed in the northern half of VT and hit Rt 2 and the White Mountains in NH then on up into northern coastal Maine.

On the way south it would be easy to hit Cooperstown and then head more or less for Harrisburg, PA and continue with the color line south but west of the coastal population masses. Rt 15 or Rt 81 depending on what you are comfortable with. 15 is good above Harrisburg, gets into the greater DC area then opens up again south of there. 81 is super slab but the Shenandoah valley has a lot of history.

I'd mostly stay loose and book ahead on the fly except for Columbus day weekend. YMMV. ;-)
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Old 01-31-2016, 06:02 AM   #14
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Not certain what kind of travel you are looking to find in terms of roads, speed or timeline. If your destination is to get there fast - that is one thing- if you want scenic that is another.
I have traveled these roads to Rowley MA. In NY I like the rte 20. full of nice road way through very old towns. Of long stretches of rolling hills and NO TOLLS. At the eastern end of NY get on the interstate to avoid Albany and head for rt 7 and then rte 2 to Florida MA. Take Rte 2 through some of the most beautiful areas you have ever seen. Huge mountains and view galore. follow the rte2 all the way to the interstate 495 outside of Boston.

The total time allowance over taking toll roads will be about 3-4 hours longer but will give a life time of memories. Some of these hill and switch backs are very steep. Having a diesel with engine or pac brake make it easy. No need to lay on the brakes.

this route keep you close to parks, campgrounds and places to stop.
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