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Old 02-12-2012, 11:42 PM   #1
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Michigan to Maine

Next October, Going from West Michigan to Bar Harbor, Maine. We'd like to stay in the US, not cut through Canada, and see the Catskills, then up through the color in Vermont & New Hampshire, and on to Bar Harbor Maine. We welcome all of your suggestions as to scenic roads, "Must Sees", great campgrounds (we're not boondockers). We plan on seeing the colors, coast of Maine, then heading South for the rest of October before storing the coach somewhere in the south for Thanksgiving through Christmas then somewhere warm for the winter. All suggestions appreciated! Is the North Carolina, Georgia northern Florida Coast warm enough for wintering?
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:34 AM   #2
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Hope all the colors are out for you. The leaves didn't change much the year we did our leaf peeking.
Be aware campgrounds may be shutting down for the winter in that time frame. A couple we stayed at were on their final week.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:35 AM   #3
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Many New England campgrounds do close after Columbus Day, but not all, so you just need to check a campground guide book for that information. We visited your beautiful state last September and I guess we took the "un-scenic" route to and from, but we only had a month to go from central MA to Mi and back. We went from the Detroit area south through Ohio, then north through PA and NY. All of that was on highways. From the Niagara Falls area I would head north along what is called the "Seaway Trail."Great Lakes Seaway Trail. From there you can cross into northern VT - Apple Island Resort in South Hero, VT is niceApple Island Resort | South Hero, Vermont | Life Made Sweet. You could then go south to Rutland, VT, take Route 4 east. Nice KOA in QueecheQuechee / Pine Valley KOA | Camping in Vermont | KOA Campgrounds You are now at the NH border and can think about how much of the White Mountains you want to see - that would determine your route across NH and ME. Once in Bar Harbor, Bar Harbor Campground is nice - pick your own site, but they used to only take cash. The Bar Harbor Campground
OK, way too much information I suspect. But hey, been there, done that, and would do it again. If you want suggestions on how to go south from ME post again. Have a great trip - we will try to have the foliage ready for you.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:16 PM   #4
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Give some thought to staying inland in Maine. Bar Harbor is nice but western Maine usually will give you a better foliage show. Stay on top of the colors by using the State of Maine webpage. Yes, they monitor the colors and post the percentages daily.

Two ways to get from Bar Habor to Kittery.
1) US Rt #1, slow and at the mercy of the silver haired leaf peepers. A slow moving vehicle that stops frequently at unsuspecting times for no apparent reason.
2) Rt 95 from Bangor south via Ellsworth. You'll save about two hours+.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for your input. If you only saw Detroit and south to Ohio, then I'm afraid you didn't see Michigan at all. The East side ain't much. You need to come back, start at South Haven, on the west, a little north of Indiana, then continue along the West Coast of Michigan along the Lake Michigan shoreline. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was voted "The Most Beautiful Place in America" in a Good Morning America poll last summer. it's gorgeous all the way up to and across the Mackinack Bridge.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:47 PM   #6
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Thanks for your input. If you only saw Detroit and south to Ohio, then I'm afraid you didn't see Michigan at all. The East side ain't much. You need to come back, start at South Haven, on the west, a little north of Indiana, then continue along the West Coast of Michigan along the Lake Michigan shoreline. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was voted "The Most Beautiful Place in America" in a Good Morning America poll last summer. it's gorgeous all the way up to and across the Mackinack Bridge.
I was only explaining the way that we came home. We saw as much of the state as we could in the time we had - went up the east side, stop at Frankenmuth, on to Mackinaw City, stayed at Mill Creek while there, then down the west side, saw Sleeping Bear Dunes (beautiful and amazing), stayed in Traverse City, continued down the coast and across to Ypsilanti in order to go to Greenfield Village/Henry Ford. We plan to come back to catch what we missed.

Good luck on your trip and be safe.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:06 AM   #7
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You didn't say how you like to travel, but we avoid toll roads for two reasons and the most considered is the lack of scenery. Cost is often an issue as we get ripped by most toll schedules.

To that end, look at US-20, it hooks under Lake Erie and then through NY south of the NY thruway. It will actually take you all the way to Boston if you choose. I can't tell you about campgrounds along there. I am sure there are some, but we don't use them.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:39 PM   #8
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You didn't say how you like to travel, but we avoid toll roads for two reasons and the most considered is the lack of scenery. Cost is often an issue as we get ripped by most toll schedules.

To that end, look at US-20, it hooks under Lake Erie and then through NY south of the NY thruway. It will actually take you all the way to Boston if you choose. I can't tell you about campgrounds along there. I am sure there are some, but we don't use them.
There are lots of nice campgrounds along that route and I agree with the concept of taking as many scenic roads as possible.. That being said, there is very little to see along Route 20 from the Niagara area to Boston. Except for a few places it is commercial, filled with stop lights and bad roads. We travel from central MA to central NY frequently and even though we dislike toll roads, you honestly get a better scenic view from the MA Pike and NY Thruway. Not at all to say you might want to get off and explore the side roads at specific points - finger lakes region being a good example.
Also, it takes forever to make that trip staying all the way on twenty.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:10 PM   #9
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Demoon,
Thanks for your input. I'm glad you saw West Michigan, and come back anytime. We were out in New York a few years ago, and did a KOA at Whiteface Mountain, then on o another in the Finger Lakes. I'm thinking that on this trip, I'd like to go up through the Catskills, then on up through Bennington, and across. is that far enough North in Vermont and N Hampshire for the great color? Also, what are the chances of running into snow? That would be fairly early for Michigan, but not sure about New England.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:48 PM   #10
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it takes forever to make that trip staying all the way on twenty.
Thank you for confirming my suspicions about that even with a car. I've used the MA Toll road for decades whenever traveling back to RI.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:07 PM   #11
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Demoon,
Thanks for your input. I'm glad you saw West Michigan, and come back anytime. We were out in New York a few years ago, and did a KOA at Whiteface Mountain, then on o another in the Finger Lakes. I'm thinking that on this trip, I'd like to go up through the Catskills, then on up through Bennington, and across. is that far enough North in Vermont and N Hampshire for the great color? Also, what are the chances of running into snow? That would be fairly early for Michigan, but not sure about New England.
We loved Michigan, and we will be back.

Your trip sounds like a good one. Take Route 9 from Bennington to Brattleboro - great trip - a little steep, but worth it. Third link is a great KOA(3) just north of Brattleboro - open through Columbus Day weekend. As you know from your own state, the leaves can be unpredictable, I am posting a link (1) that shows when the state "thinks" the foliage will peak and a second one(2) that you can check when you leave to see what is going on at that time. Snow should not be a problem. Normally you should be good till the end of the month. With that said, most of New England got slammed with a snow storm in mid-October. Some places had no power for two weeks - leaves still on the trees. But, we have had no snow since. Go figure.

1.The Foliage Forecaster @Vermont's Fall Foliage Central - Vermont Vacation.com |


2.Vermont By Season | Fall | Current Foliage Report - The Official Vermont Tourism Website - VermontVacation.com

3.Brattleboro North KOA | Camping in Vermont | KOA Campgrounds

Have a great trip - hope you post how it goes.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:29 PM   #12
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The NY State Thruway is fast across NY, but it is a toll road, and it is b-o-r-i-n-g! I would suggest instead, at the Western edge of NY State, divert off from I-90, and pick up I-86, then proceed East through NY's "Southern Tier" and the "Finger Lakes Wine Growing Region. Decent 4-lane road all the way, and great scenery. You can stop in Jamestown and visit Lucy's birthplace, museum & grave, stay a night or two at the Campbell RV Park in Campbell, NY where you can take the "Wine Trail" around Keuka Lake (great food, great wine tastings, and great views), as well as visit the Corning Glass Museum nearby. In Binghamton, Pick up I-86, heading NE where you can pick up I-87, the Adirondack Northway, and head North to Plattsburg and take the Grand Isle ferry across Lake Champlain to South Hero, Vermont, and the beautiful Apple Island Resort Campground that has been mentioned. There are many good campgrounds along the route, and mentioned on snowbirdrvtrails.com. Being a native Adirondacker, I am a little prejudice, but it is a beautiful area in the Fall.
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