Our Fall trip, advise please

Old Jul 13th, 2008, 02:23 AM
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Our Fall trip, advise please

We arrive in Quebec on 30th Sept and have one full day in the city before picking up the car on 1st Oct am. We leave Canada on 5th Oct pm from Hamilton Munro Airport where we drop off the car.
Questions.
Is 1 day enough in Quebec cause we want to see as much as we can in 5 days?
The route we are planning is roughly; Quebec to Montreal, Upper canada village, up to Ottawa, across to Simcoe area, then down to Niagara/ Niagara On The Lake and back to Hamilton.
We don't really plan to stay too long if at all in Montreal or Toronto, we think 2 historic cities(Quebec and Ottawa) is enough and would rather spend the time seeing the country towns and fall colours on route.
Are we trying to do too much in 5 days? Does anyone have any advise on this or suggest different itinery.
Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old Jul 13th, 2008, 08:51 AM
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First of all, can we assume that by "Simcoe area" you mean Lake Simcoe, and not the village of Simcoe near Lake Erie? And that your desire to see fall colours means you are planning to take the route up the Ottawa valley and across Algonquin Park to get to this Simcoe area?

It looks to me that you have two full days of driving, which gives you two days (plus whatever portion of your departure day you have before catching your flight) to actually stop to visit things after leaving Quebec. With that little time, I think you can totally forget Montreal & Toronto. A half day for Upper Canada Village, a day for Ottawa and a half day plus for Niagara will be quite a race in itself. But, if you enjoy driving, it is doable.
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Old Jul 13th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Thanks for that.
Sorry, yes I did mean Lake Simcoe.

I think from what you say it maybe better to drive from Quebec straight to Ottawa, then a choice, either across Algonquin to Lake Simcoe then to Niagara or back thro Kingston and Toronto to Niagara.

Our flight 5th Oct is 8pm so could use last day for Falls and travel to Airport?
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Old Jul 13th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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Here's my suggestion:

1 Oct: Drive Québec City to Upper Canada Village (about 4 hours), visit and then on to Ottawa for the night.

2 Oct: Visit Ottawa

3 Oct: Ottawa to Muskoka through Algonquin Park. Stay in Huntsville, Bracebridge or Gravenhurst. The Muskoka region is far more scenic in autumn than Lake Simcoe, so unless you have a special reason for visiting, I would
give it a miss.

4 Oct: Muskoka to Niagara. I would avoid Toronto and the congestion and traffic. Drive south to Orillia or perhaps Barrie and then head west and south on secondary highways roughly following the Niagara Escarpment through the Mono, Caledon Hills and Halton Hills areas. The areas of the Forks of the Credit near Alton and Erin is quite beautiful at that time of year.

5 Oct: Visit Niagara area and leave that evening from Hamilton.

Alternatively, you could have a nice trip from Ottawa to Kingston, either through the Rideau Lakes region on Hwy 15(stopping at such interesting villages as Merrickville, Westport, Newboro and Jones Falls), or along the St. Lawrence from Prescott folowing the river on Hwy 2. From Kingston, take Hwy 33 along the lake through Prince Edward County, stopping in some of the towns and villages such as Picton and Bloomfield, and then along the lake following Hwy 2 as far as Port Hope. You'll then have to face the traffic through Toronto, but so long as you do it after 9am or before 3pm it's not too bad.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old Jul 13th, 2008, 02:12 PM
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Although I agree with most of what Laverendrye says, I feel that only devoting part of a day -it can only be a part of a day if you arrive on Sept 30th- to Quebec City is a travesty. Lake Simcoe is a waste of time for you and Algonquin Park, although it is a fabulous area to camp and canoe, might be a disappointment if you are just driving through it. At the time of year you are travelling, it may be that the leaves are at their peak but it is also possible that they will not have turned. One never knows. Here is my suggested itinery:

Set30th and Oct 1st - Quebec City
Oct 2nd - drive to Ottawa
Oct 3rd - stay in ottawa
Oct 4th - go from Ottawa to visit Ganonoque and Kingston. Stay overnight in Cobourg in the Woodlawn Terrace Inn.This would leave you a three hour drive to Niagara.
Oct 5th- Niagara Falls and back to the U.K. shattered.
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Old Jul 13th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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almcd: Looking at past posts, mike and sue will be arriving in Québec from a cruise. Typically cruise ships berth quite early in the morning after sailing through the night, so I assume that they will indeed have a full day. Nonetheless, your suggested itinerary does make sense as even one day in Québec City hardly does it justice.
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Old Jul 13th, 2008, 11:20 PM
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I like Almcd's schedule, but do to the limited time, I'd skip Kingston also. Since you'll have been on a cruise prior to Quebec, what's a 1-1/2 to 3 hour cruise through the Thousand Islands.

As it is, you'll have a 5 hour drive from Quebec to Ottawa, and a 6 hour drive from Ottawa to Niagara Falls.

That would give you a little extra time:

Sept 30 & Oct 1 - Quebec
Oct 2 - drive to Ottawa, arrive afternoon
Oct 2 & 3 - Ottawa
Oct 4 - drive to Niagara Falls via NOTL, arrive NOTL afternoon maybe do a winery tour, then an early dinner, and then continue to Niagara Falls along the parkway
Oct 5 - Niagara Falls in a.m. (Maid of the Mist at 9 a.m., then Journey Behind the Falls either 10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m., then drive to the airport stopping for lunch in NOTL again. If it's a late evening flight, then you could walk across the border and do Cave of the Winds also and visit Goat Island for a bit before heading out.
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 08:20 PM
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This is another vote for the itinerary proposed by laverendrye. If you are coming from UK and want see uniquely Canadian scenery the trip thru Algonquin is worth the drive and if you get lucky you will catch the leaves. Forget about Simcoe. We live only 8 hours from Quebec City, spend 5 days in the old city every second year or so and still havn't seen enough so one day is tricky. Don't miss the hike out the Plains of Abraham, great history and scenic hike along the river. I also second the vote for fitting in Niagara on the Lake ( poss a winery ) and not necessarily doing all the Falls stuff.A
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