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Old 02-23-2024, 09:07 PM   #1
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Ontario travel question

We’re driving between Thunder Bay and Kingston in late June. We are looking for a scenic drive with camp spots along the way. Should we go on 11 to North Bay and on to 41?
Or take 17 to Sault Ste. Marie and around Georgian Bay, going through Toronto and across Lake Ontario?
We have done the drive from Toronto to Kingston many times so it would not be new for us.
Any ideas are welcome!
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Old 02-23-2024, 09:48 PM   #2
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Hwy 17

It's my favorite, and a most scenic drive, if you take your time. There's lot's of nice places to stop and take a gander, and many of them most Superior spectacular.
I'm referring to the roadway only along Gitche Gumee.
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Old 02-24-2024, 06:32 AM   #3
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If it will be a round trip, go one route there and one route back. In my experience it's all beautiful.

I don't have campground suggestions. We were there in June one year when we were tenting and stayed at one Lake Superior campground literally right on the shore of the lake. We had the whole campground to ourselves.
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Old 02-24-2024, 07:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrewer View Post
We’re driving between Thunder Bay and Kingston in late June. We are looking for a scenic drive with camp spots along the way. Should we go on 11 to North Bay and on to 41?
Or take 17 to Sault Ste. Marie and around Georgian Bay, going through Toronto and across Lake Ontario?
We have done the drive from Toronto to Kingston many times so it would not be new for us.
Any ideas are welcome!
I live near Kingston and have driven quite a bit in the area and there are some very scenic roads. And also endless vistas of granite outcrops and cedar/pine trees. Not sure how leisurely a drive you want to do.

I haven't done 11 across northern Ontario but drove across the top on 17 from Sault Ste Marie in '22, and the scenery is spectacular so I would recommend that be the superior Superior route.

From there, there are lots of very scenic routes depending how long you want to spend. If you're in a semi rush, take the Trans Canada to Ottawa and explore there, then down the 417 to the 401. I like Fitzroy Provincial Park. It's a pretty route on a good two-lane highway until you get to Arnprior. I would not suggest highway 11 from North Bay (I think you had a 41 typo there). Lots of trucks and traffic on this 4-lane expressway. However, if you're nt interested in Ottawa, you might consider the real 41 south from Pembroke.

I also really like the drive through Manitoulin, down the Bruce peninsula. You can then camp at Craigleith Provincial Park and explore the fossils on the beach. From there, you might drive east to Peterborough, and down highway 30 to Brighton. Or head south on 6 and follow the Niagara escarpment (ancient geologic fault) to Buffalo and take US20 across to Syracuse and then up the I81 to Kingston. Lots of very interesting stops on that route - wine country in Niagara, Niagara Falls of course, Finger Lakes, Erie Canal. You might also consider following the eastern shore of Lake Huron, then the endless sand beaches of the north shore of Lake Erie. All very pretty with lots of campgrounds (McGregor, Pinery, Rondeau, Port Burwell, Long Point are a few examples)

Or from North Bay, head south on 11 to Huntsville, and across 60 through our beautiful Algonquin Provincial Park, then south from Whitney to Bancroft and then a boring-ish 62 to the #2. Highway 2 parallels the 401 and is much more scenic than the 401, although mostly 2-lane if that's a factor for you.

As you suggested, highway 41 is nice and has the very popular Bon Echo provincial park. I would cut the corner and head south from Barry's Bay to Denbeigh.

One final suggestion is a bit more windy, but still pretty well maintained - Huntville to Baysville on country road 2, 117 to Dorset, 35 to Carnarvon, 118 to Haliburton, and stay on it to Paudash, 28 to Bancroft, then 62 south or across to 41. We have family in Huntsville and this is our preferred sightseeing route.

I know there's lots of blather here, but something to think about as you do your research. Please PM me if you would like more TMI. :-)
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Old 02-24-2024, 09:18 AM   #5
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It would be hard to beat the scenery of the North shore of Superior. Hwy 17 all the way to North Bay. Stops along the way would include Neys PP, Pukaskwa NP, Lake Superior PP (Agawa Bay CG), Chutes PP. At North Bay consider to drop down on 11 to 60 and cut across Algonquin PP. Multiple campgrounds within the park, just be weary of weekends, can be busy. Once your over at Whitney any of the north south roads (62/41) will get you close to Kingston. Should be a great time of year to travel this route. Enjoy
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Old 02-24-2024, 09:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrewer View Post
We’re driving between Thunder Bay and Kingston in late June. We are looking for a scenic drive with camp spots along the way. Should we go on 11 to North Bay and on to 41?
Or take 17 to Sault Ste. Marie and around Georgian Bay, going through Toronto and across Lake Ontario?
We have done the drive from Toronto to Kingston many times so it would not be new for us.
Any ideas are welcome!
Hi: hrewer... Don't forget to take in the vista of trees n rocks. When you've seen them look for the rocks n trees. Lake Superior Provincial Pk. is great w/ 3 campgrounds. Oh... there are some water views too!!! You can even take your combo for a boat ride across the Georgian Bay. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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P1050336.jpg   P1050356.jpg   20210726_124318.jpg  
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Old 02-24-2024, 10:49 AM   #7
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There's trees n rocks, but then there's rocks n trees. Accurate assessment, Alf! I couldn't have said it better.

Having been up that way, I'd say Hwy 17 is definitely the best choice. The "trees n rocks n more trees" gives way to some nice lake vistas south of Wawa. Stop and take a selfie with the big Goose at Wawa, and there's a nice waterfall near Michipicoten. A bit farther south there are some native petroglyphs along the Superior lakeshore (a nice walk to the location even if they're almost too faded to see). Plenty of smaller lakes dotting the drive down that way, too.

I hope you are planning to reach Thunder Bay via the Minnesota "north shore" drive, Hwy 61. That short stretch north of Duluth is even better than Ontario 17 IMO. Waterfall after waterfall at the state parks dotting this route. And Palisade Head affords a fabulous vista high above the lake with a sheer drop to the shore (often taken advantage of by rappellers). Artist's Point at Grand Marais MN is also a must-see.

This photo was taken at another high point in Tettegouche State Park; you can see one climber looking off toward Palisade Head which is visible in the background.

Click image for larger version

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If you haven't ever driven the Lake Michigan (western) shore of lower Michigan, or in Michigan's upper peninsula, keep them in mind for your return trip (or some future trip). More great scenery just a bit south of where you'll be.
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Old 02-25-2024, 07:33 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the ideas! I guess we need to do this trip more than one time. Just too many good ideas. We now have reservations at Lake Superior PP and Arrow PP and ideas for the next time we travel this way.
See you on the road!
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Old 02-26-2024, 05:47 PM   #9
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I can recommend a campground on the TransCanada highway at Bruce Mines. Very nice municipal campground, nice small town vibe, right on the edge of the village.

Bob

https://brucemines.ca/tourism-recrea...round-rv-park/
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Old 02-27-2024, 08:35 AM   #10
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See for your self!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike G View Post
There's trees n rocks, but then there's rocks n trees. Accurate assessment, Alf! I couldn't have said it better.

Having been up that way, I'd say Hwy 17 is definitely the best choice. The "trees n rocks n more trees" gives way to some nice lake vistas south of Wawa. Stop and take a selfie with the big Goose at Wawa, and there's a nice waterfall near Michipicoten. A bit farther south there are some native petroglyphs along the Superior lakeshore (a nice walk to the location even if they're almost too faded to see). Plenty of smaller lakes dotting the drive down that way, too.

I hope you are planning to reach Thunder Bay via the Minnesota "north shore" drive, Hwy 61. That short stretch north of Duluth is even better than Ontario 17 IMO. Waterfall after waterfall at the state parks dotting this route. And Palisade Head affords a fabulous vista high above the lake with a sheer drop to the shore (often taken advantage of by rappellers). Artist's Point at Grand Marais MN is also a must-see.

This photo was taken at another high point in Tettegouche State Park; you can see one climber looking off toward Palisade Head which is visible in the background.

Attachment 72807

If you haven't ever driven the Lake Michigan (western) shore of lower Michigan, or in Michigan's upper peninsula, keep them in mind for your return trip (or some future trip). More great scenery just a bit south of where you'll be.
Hi: Mike G... Yes the indigenous people had "Indelible ink" 20,000 yrs. ago!!! Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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P1050357.jpg   P1050358.jpg  
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