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PostPosted: December 4th, 2021, 12:32 pm 
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Joined: April 18th, 2012, 5:23 pm
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Location: Burlington,ON
Join us on our journey from Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay.

On this Northern Ontario road trip, we drove from Sault Ste Marie in the morning to reach the destination by night time. We stopped every time we got a chance, checking out a lot of new places: Batchawana Provincial Park, Pancake Bay Provincial Park, Lake Superior Provincial Park (Agawa Bay), Agawa Rock Pictographs, Neys Provincial Park, Terry Fox National Historic Person Plaque to name the most remarkable.
We were pleasantly surprised by all the new landscapes we encountered. This was a bonus considering that our main destination was Quetico Provincial Park.

Movie here:
https://youtu.be/OohXotNFLl0

Cheers,
Adrian


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PostPosted: December 4th, 2021, 11:58 pm 
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Joined: January 12th, 2021, 4:57 pm
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Back in 2007 I bicycled around Lake Superior from London, Ontario and back. That section from Saulte Ste Marie to Thunderbay was without a doubt my favourite stretch!


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PostPosted: December 6th, 2021, 11:40 am 
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Joined: March 18th, 2019, 7:54 pm
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Location: Brampton
I made the drive from Toronto a couple of times last year. The first, moving my brother to TBay and hauling a 2000lb trailer, my clutch finally gave out, still 2 hours from Thunder Bay. That's some nasty terrain up in those parts to navigate hauling a load with a failing clutch...

I would agree, it's one of Ontario's most beautiful drives, if not the most beautiful.

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PostPosted: December 6th, 2021, 3:24 pm 
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It used to be an even more beautiful drive when the original highway opened in 1960.

If you think the current road is "nasty" you should have driven the original. While the pavement was good the ups and downs were killers balanced by many more spectacular views of the lake, lots of questionable bridges and the sight of log runs on every river you crossed. No passing lanes either so what can now be driven easily in a day would take at least two back then.

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PostPosted: December 6th, 2021, 10:00 pm 
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Joined: September 3rd, 2014, 4:35 pm
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We covered some of the same group this summer. Didn't go as far as Neys. Next time....cheers


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PostPosted: December 8th, 2021, 6:53 pm 
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Joined: April 18th, 2012, 5:23 pm
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Location: Burlington,ON
It was the first time that I got so far north. I will need to spend more time in this area, most likely camping. I cannot decide which place I liked the most.

PacketFiend, which one would be the most beautiful drive in Ontario?


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PostPosted: December 8th, 2021, 7:36 pm 
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I have limited memory of my first trip up that road back in 1967. We drove from New York State to Vancuver. Nothing was high speed as I recall save the Thruway.


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PostPosted: December 9th, 2021, 1:50 am 
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Location: Brampton
AdrianR wrote:
PacketFiend, which one would be the most beautiful drive in Ontario?


Well, since you asked, allow me to pontificate...

I like to drive. Like,, I really like to drive. Really far. RIght now I have at least ten official Ontario road maps in my office, of various vintages, and I'm eagerly awaiting a delivery of new ones in the mail. There's two kinds of driving I like. There's the hours on end, nothing but an open sky and an open road kind of driving, and then there's what I call small town driving.

For hours-on-end driving, I actually usually take highway 11 to Thunder Bay. It's flatter, easier, and although you can't see as far on that route, the scenery is still quite something. You can really see the temperate turn into the boreal on that drive. It's remote enough in places that people tend to congregate, especially in inclement weather, and form what I would call "silent convoys". Highway 11 just North of Nipigon has the same feel as the approach to Wawa from Chapleau to me; you can visibly see the terrain and vegetation changing.

The approach to North Bay from the south is definitely something to write home about. That view is spectacular. Oftentimes, rather than 11, I'll detour through Sudbury and take 144, stopping in Timmins as a halfway point to Thunder Bay rather than the Sault. I really enjoy the northern part of 144, north of Gogama, where it's nothing but mines, reservations, and logging roads for a couple of hours. Once or twice I didn't see a single other car between Gogama and Timmins. There are some spectacular scenic and panoramic views along 144, the best of which are south of Gogama.

Other times I'll take the Sultan Shortcut (which is amazing in its own way, although anything but "beautiful"), which starts about two hours north of Sudbury and then heads west to Sultan and on to Chapleau. Chapleau is a nice place to stop - a very proud town with a great sense of civic pride. From there to Wawa it's a lot of mostly deserted roads that are (as of this summer) in quite good condition. As you approach Wawa the terrain seems to start closing in around you. You can smell the Superior Coast coming in the wind.

The drive to Ottawa on 416 is quite nice. It's wide open and cleared enough that it's easy to forget that this is not a place you want to be stranded in winter. A few years back I took a trip down memory lane and drove 15 to Ottawa, through Tweed. My god, I forgot how bad the bugs can get on that road. But it's really fantastic farming country to drive through - you see the farms fade away as you go north off the 401, and it all slowly starts to come back as you approach Ottawa.

Then there's my other favorite kind of driving, the small town driving. I'll be honest, Northern Ontario really sucks for that. I'll take any chance I can get to drive along the lower Great Lakes shores. I particularly love driving through Prince Edward County and just kind of going where the dart lands. That area is gentrifying quickly, so go see it in all its glory while it's still there. The Niagara Peninsula is also a great place to do this kind of driving - lots of wineries and roasters, and it never really gets cold (snow-squally at times, but that's easy enough to avoid with a half-baked plan).

Living in the GTA suburbs, when I can't venture far from home, I really enjoy the Escarpment. I took up gliding this year (I won't tell you I'm a pilot, though), and joined up with a soaring club near Arthur. During the summer I'll take the "very scenic" route there, leaving with no food, but arriving with a trunk full of fresh, local produce, and maybe a few trinkets. There's some really nice towns around. Elora and Elmira come to mind. It's mennonite country, and assuming it's not Sunday, everyone and his brother is selling farm fresh eggs or something of that nature. (Fun story, we had a pilot "land out" in a mennonite's field. The whole fam damily showed up as we packed the glider into a trailer for the journey back. They were great people, a testament to their creed. And no, "landing out" with a glider is not that big a deal.)

The Forks Of The Credit used to be a favorite of mine. Great scenery there, and with the terrain and limestone and difficult building, I doubt it will ever get overbuilt. But in my youth, I drove that road too fast and I had a good scare or two. It's a great place to just pull over and explore, and there's Belfountain on the western end of it.

Well anyway, there's my thoughts on my favorite drives in Ontario. I've never driven west of Thunder Bay so I can't tell you much about that area. Funny how the Sunday Algonquin Circle Tour didn't make the list, but I suppose that's only been ruined by the pandemic and it'll come back.

(Did I mention I love driving? Just consider yourself lucky I didn't talk about the survival kit in my car, either the winter or summer kit. Let's just say I've needed it once or twice.)

recped wrote:
It used to be an even more beautiful drive when the original highway opened in 1960.

If you think the current road is "nasty" you should have driven the original. While the pavement was good the ups and downs were killers balanced by many more spectacular views of the lake, lots of questionable bridges and the sight of log runs on every river you crossed. No passing lanes either so what can now be driven easily in a day would take at least two back then.

It's not "nasty" anymore really. But if you're pulling a two ton trailer behind a 4 cylinder Outback with a slipping clutch, in early spring with snow falling around you, it's definitely nasty. By the way, of anyone needs a mechanic in Thunder Bay, I can recommend one: H & H Auto Service & Towing

:thumbup:

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PostPosted: December 10th, 2021, 11:22 am 
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Joined: December 9th, 2012, 9:57 am
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I've driven the King's Highway 17, Arnprior to Manitoba and points between. It's all a lovely drive.
Hard to choose favourite stops along the way as too often we've been in "cruising mode"; rest stops and gas stops only. That's less fun, but the driving scenery is awesome. A Thermos or 2 of tea and sandwiches to dip into along the way. We used to stop and fire up the Coleman for a picnic break but haven't done that in years. I love small towns and parks for travelling interludes and over the years have tried to mix up the towns we stop in. In no particular order, Mattawa, Kenora, N Bay, Sturgeon Falls, T Bay, Wawa, the Soo...Same difficulty choosing favourite parks. There're still several we've yet to visit, but if I had to choose I'd say in no particular order, S de Champlain, Neys, L Superior...My fav day use stops are all on Superior, those being Katherine Cove, Old Woman Bay, and Batchewana Bay. Still much more to discover.


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