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Old 05-18-2016, 05:02 PM   #1
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RVing upper Lake Michigan

We are traveling from Rapid City South Dakota to Niagara Falls and am wondering if it's worth going up to st. Ignace and down along the east side of the mitten or to go straight through to Chicago
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:07 PM   #2
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If you've never crossed Mackinac bridge that's an experience! I think going through MI would be a much more enjoyable trip than through Chicago.
There are some interesting areas along the east side of the state and Lake Huron.
You can cross into Canada from there into Sarnia from Port Huron.
We've stayed at Tawas point S.P. and enjoyed it. There are several other state parks along the east coast. Most of our state parks have electric but not water, but always a place to fill your tank.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:12 PM   #3
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Depends on what you want to see. I live in MI and took a ferry across the lake to Wisconsin and it was amazing.

We leave mid MI where we live and go through Sarnia to Niagara Falls. Beautiful scenery but again depending on what is important to you. The upper peninsula is stunning especially when you drive all the way across it. That was the way we went and then down into Wisconsin and then the ferry across the lake.

The upper peninsula is full of trees, rock formations, and of course the lakes. Lot's and lot's of lakes.

Really depends on your timeframe and what you want to see. Niagara Falls is beautiful. If you get a chance go across to the American side and go to the fort there. It is a bit of a drive (just with your toad) but worth the drive.

Have a nice and safe trip.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:17 PM   #4
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Go on the North side of Lake Superior. Awesome scenery. Then when you get to Sou St Marie stay and watch the ships lock through to Lake Superior.
Never traveled East from there. So can't help you.

good luck

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Old 05-18-2016, 06:34 PM   #5
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Two years back we stayed at J W Wells State Park just south of Escanaba MI. Was a bit tight for our 32' coach but workable. Park was well maintained the chipmunks were friendly. Nice country the UP. We're planning to head that way again this summer.

If your willing to fore go Chicago a run up into Canada and down the east shore of Huron to Niagara is an excellent route. Ontario Provincial Parks were very nice, Roads were excellent and the views were memorable.

A run thru the Mitten along the Lake Michigan coast is also very nice drive. Ludington State Park is on my short list but just not this year.

One word of caution, besides the CG fees Michigan also have a "Recreation Passport" requirement for vehicles. Non-residents its $31 for the year or $9 for the day per vehicle. For more info - DNR - Recreation Passport
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:47 PM   #6
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We've driven across the UP probably 20 times. Each little town has something to see, some more then others. The drive along lake Superior, IMHO, is better then the southern along Lake Michigan.

Crossing the bridge to St Ignace is breath taking. If you stop in St Ignace take the time to take a ferry ride out to Mackinac Island.
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:19 PM   #7
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A few places I REALLY like along the Lake Superior ride. The first is Copper Harbor and the incredibly scenic/fun mountain road ride from Copper Harbor to Eagle Harbor called Brockway Mountain Drive (toad or tow vehicle only, not big rig friendly). Consider a tour of a closed copper mine while you're at it.

The next is a little known city park between Christmas and Munising. Easy/quick access right on your way, right on Lake Superior, big rig friendly with a few drive throughs. A great place to stay if you are interested in checking out Pictured Rocks. We travel spring and fall (when the kids are in school) and have never needed reservations.

Munising Tourist Park Camp Ground | Online campsite rentals in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Pictured Rocks-

Next would be a day or 2 in the area of White Fish Point with the Great Lakes ship museum, and Tahquamenon Falls. Both very unique/worthy places you won't soon forget.

Last, before dropping into the land of Trolls (people that live under the Bridge) is another city park. I was just turned on to this one a few years ago, and was hooked immediately. Can't pass anywhere nearby without spending a day or 2 now. This is right in the Soo. Some of the better campsites place you right on the St. Mary's river, within just a couple hundred yards of the lake freighters going by. These things are SO BIG they'll take your breath away the first time you see one. They aren't noisy at all, but at night there's a very subtle thrumming you can hear (or maybe feel?) - caused by the huge propellers.

Here, demand for the waterfront campsites is high. If you want one you'll need reservations well in advance for sure. Not something I would ordinarily do, but here, well worth the hassle.

Suggest you seriously consider a tour of the locks by boat too. That's something you won't forget either.

Parks and Recreation / Aune Osborn Campground

You'll want to spend at least some time in the area of the Mackinac Bridge. There's a city park on the south side that easy to get in and out of for pictures and a breath of fresh air. If you have the time, a day trip (or at least an afternoon) out to Mackinac Island would be in order! Pretty touristy, but on the way back I'm always glad I went.

From here, unless you want to bounce over to the West coast for your trip down (consider a trip over to the Sleeping Bear Dunes), you'll find the drive down the east side an easy one with some really nice state parks along the way.

That should give you an idea of what you'll miss with the short cut through Chicago....

Enjoy! -Al
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:31 PM   #8
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traveling across the UP using route 2 it borders the top of lake Michigan what a great view you can pull off and look at the lake and eat a quick lunch. Remember if you cross the boarder to Canada you will need your passports. Have a safe trip.
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:19 PM   #9
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My $.02 cents, my friends, going through Chicago is not a short cut, IMHO! Avoid it at all costs, the traffic is terrible, road construction is an on going disaster, then there are the toll roads. Been there done that, twice, no thank you.
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:42 PM   #10
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Thankso for the great info. Are you familiar with rt 35 from Green Bay to St. Ignace?
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:52 PM   #11
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What was the ferry's city of origin and destination city.....sounds nice!
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:55 PM   #12
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Thanks for your time in responding!
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:56 PM   #13
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Thank you!
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:57 PM   #14
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Awesome. Thank you!
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