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Discussion Starter #1
Seeking the wisdom of the fellow listers.

Next week I have to ride my wing from Michigan UP to North Windham CT. I will start from the Mackinac Bridge (check that one off my riding bucket list).

Option A is to take a southern route across MI and across western Ontario. 903 Miles 14 hours (plus gas stops, eating and 2 border crossings) I've ridden some of this. Not very scenic

Option B is to take a northern route over Lake Heron. 1,000 Miles 16 hours (plus) Never ridden "up there".

With either A or B I would likely stop in Niagara Falls USA for the night.

Option C is a even more northern route. Avoids large population centers. 958 miles 17 hours +/-. Lots of Canada riding.
 

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If you're going next week, it will be noticeably cooler on the northern routes.
Cottaging and camping is big business in the area south of Hwy 17 and north of Lake Erie (once outside of Greater Toronto Area - GTA). Next weekend is out long weekend. Traditionallly the time that many open their cottages for the season. This means that many services also open for the season. Much of the area has had (and still has?) flooding and unusually high water levels.


Option 1 - I can agree that isn't very scenic at least from Sarnia/Port Huron to Brantford. And,as you likely know, the 400 series roads are limited access, like the Interstate highways.

Option 2 - If you do this, I'd figure out a way to avoid metro Toronto area, unless you are really comfortable riding in a huge population centre. (we're talking the 9 million range)
It's essentially one large city from Oshawa, east of Toronto, all the way through Toronto/Missisauga/Oakville/Burlington/Hamilton.
Barrie south and until Niagara Falls it's typically very very busy, especially at commute times.
https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-is-the-golden-horseshoe.html

Unless you want to 'do' Niagara Falls, perhaps turn east at some point north of Orillia.
If you want to see Niagara Falls I'd pick a route to the west from Barrie area to be able to travel south through Guelph area and then Brantford then across to the Falls. Unless you don't mind the traffic madness.
(if you do go to the falls, be sure to view them from the Canadian side)

Option 3 - I'm surprised at this, but I don't think I've ever run between North Bay and Ottawa on Hwy 17, even though I've been in both cities lots of times.
We do enjoy the run on 60 thru Algonquin Park (Huntsville to Renfrew (near Ottawa).

The whole area from about Lake Simcoe/Orillia to Sudbury to Ottawa to Kingston has many many small lakes and much more scenic than the flat farming areas you may have been thru between Sarnia and Hamilton.

Lots of interesting and scenic routes (not rockies scenic, but much better and Sarnia to Brantford) from Sudbury to your proposed crossing at the end of 416 (or could go west to 1000 Islands and cross where ON137 hooks up with I81).
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you for all the information. I need to look at some of those route suggestions.

As for Niagara Falls. Been there, done that, several times.

As for cold. I packed the electric heated gear. Snow would be a big bummer. Forecast for North Bay on 5/22 is 50's (15c) and 40% chance of rain. Something to consider.

I completely forgot about Victoria Day. Good to know.

Not concerned about riding in a big metro area. I've ridden in LA, Chicago, and NYC many times. I forgot about the 400 series roads.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Option 1 won out. Lots of cold and rain ruled against options 2 and 3. The ride down through MI and across ONT was pleasant. It rained near every day on this trip.

It was 45F, raining and windy riding across the Mackinaw Bridge. The waitress in Mackinaw City told me they wont ride it on a sunny day.

Overall a great trip. Thanks for all the advise.

Three attached thumbnails. The bridge. A lake beach at Barkhampstead Connecticut and a beach on the UP of Lake Michigan.
 

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