Western Ontario and Manitoba Drive

Old Jul 23rd, 2015, 04:42 PM
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Western Ontario and Manitoba Drive


My wife and I are driving to Minot, ND the first week of October, coming from Kentucky. Rather than drive the shortest route through the states, I would like to take extra days and go up through Saulte Ste Marie and then around Lake Superior to Thunder Bay, then on across to Winnipeg. We'll take equipment to camp as needed and would like to make some stops to do some day hiking trails. Really want the opportunity to just enjoy some solitude of driving together and an opportunity to fill our senses with the peacefulness and beauty of nature. It would be nice to have a shower option along the way ;-)

Am not finding much information about that part of the world so would appreciate any comments from those who are familiar with it. Any particularly beautiful areas to stop and hike? Any areas to avoid? We could cross over into Saskatchewan before heading south if it's really worth the extra time. Is the first week in October going to be COLD? Any highway suggestions - the obvious or alternate routes? Will fall foliage already have peaked? Aspens anywhere?

Thank you for any other thoughts or suggestions ...
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Old Jul 25th, 2015, 04:28 AM
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The first week in October will likely be cold for camping in Northern Ontario, but great for hiking. You are probably not finding much info because really there is not a whole lot in that part of the world except vast expanses of forest, rocks and lakes. You will have no problem finding natural beauty, peacefulness and solitude. Communities are small and far apart.

Take a look at the websites for Canda’s national parks, and Ontario Provincial parks. They have hiking trails in lovely areas. Most have showers, but this may be too late in the season for some.

Not a whole lot or routes to choose from. Trans Canada highway, #1 is about it. Keep in mind that our roads and speed limits are in kilometres (KM) and our gas in litres. Pay attention when you see sigs that say “last gas for xx km”.

The US dollar goes a long way Canada these days, so you shouldn’t mind the higher gas prices.
eliztravels2 is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2015, 08:22 PM
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After Labour Day, campground options in Northern Ontario decrease considerably, so do your research with this in mind.
You probably won't see much snow (I'm only half kidding), as after mid-October, on a trip around Lake Superior, I expect to run into snow somewhere.... but it melts in a couple of days, then, if you do get some, and it tends to fall in snow belt areas, mostly. Often, though, most days are beautiful fall days. Motels can be a lot cheaper then, than in summer, if you do get a few cold wet nights.
In my view, the strip of Ontario along Lake Superior is the nicest part of the province. Mind you, I am partial to "wilderness", while most people aren't.
You should see great fall colours in the section closest to Sault Ste. Marie, but north of there, maple trees diminish and yellows take over. Lake Superior Provincial Park is very picturesque and has some nice hiking trails. You may even consider taking the Agawa Canyon train ride (Agawatrain.com), but tickets can be tough to get, unless you book ahead.
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 07:55 PM
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Camping will be cold and options for campsites will be limited. There are a few nice privately owned motels along the way. My tip would be to always ask to see a room before committing to stay though. Neys Provincial Park at the top of Lake Superior has some nice and easy trails. Be sure to stop at the Terry Fox Monument in Thunder Bay (a picnic lunch here would be lovely). I just did this drive this past summer and highly recommend it! We drove from Toronto to STL then to KC, north through S and N Dakota to Winnipeg and around the Great Lakes back to T.O. Be sure to pack cold weather clothes (at the end of Aug at Neys Prov. Park, I had to sleep with a toque on!). During the day should be fine but it is not unreasonable to get snow at this time of the year. Fall colours are a little slow to get started this year--you might be a little early for the peak period but will be a beautiful drive non-the-less.
Towns that will have decent hotel options: Sault Ste. Marie, Dryden, Thunder Bay.
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Old Oct 1st, 2015, 05:03 AM
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No evidence the OP has been back here since the first post in July. I suspect their plans have changed.
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