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Author Topic: Planning a trip around superior  (Read 8225 times)

carpenters nail

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Planning a trip around superior
« on: June 15, 2015, 09:14:41 PM »

 This summer we are planning a trip around lake superior. We are planning to do this on our goldwing, and camping as we go, traveling clockwise. As of now, we are looking at mid august, however, that is not set in stone.

  What will we be looking at as far as the weather? Would it be better to postpone to september, or maybe head  out earlier?

  In case you're interested, this trip begins and ends in central Louisiana.
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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2015, 09:25:23 PM »

I assume the answer to this question is "no," but are you considering a visit to Isle Royale as part of the trip? If so, you need to make ferry reservations in advance (and lodging reservations if you plan to stay at Rock Harbor Lodge).

Weather in August was fine on my visit to that area except for the day we were on the ferry out to Isle Royale. That day was super-windy and it wound up being the only time I've ever been seasick (severely so). You do need to bring good bug repellent, of course.
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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2015, 08:36:48 AM »

Not directly related to Lake Superior, but given your origin and target, are you looking at following the Great River Road up along the Mississippi River?
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leroys73

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2015, 03:23:24 PM »

in July 2011 I did it counter clockwise on my Made in the USA Honda VTX1300R motorcycle.  I am from the Dallas area but met 3 buddies in Oklahoma City.  The 4 of us planned to camp and hotel.  For not hurrying we made good time to Duluth with one night of camping near there and two hotels the 2 nights before.  It was very hot until northern MN then great the rest of the trip until I hit Missouri (scenic route) on the way home.  Then it was hot and humid. 

We stopped in at Areostich Riders Warehouse.  Glad I did since I have spent enough money by mail.  Richard Bong's (WWII's number one ace) museum is in Superior, WI.  It is worth a visit.  We enjoyed the UP for its weather and scenery. 

Since I wanted to do the Lake Superior Circle Tour we stuck very close to the Lake.  We followed US 2 to  east of Ironwood then took some road to the Porcupine Mts State Park then connected to MI 64.  From there up to Copper Harbor (nice) following US 41 over to Marquette staying in two more hotels after disusing the pros and cons of camping. 

My buds sort of lost interest and headed home with excuses from wife sick to I am so important I have to get back to work.  I continued on my own at my pace.  I enjoyed the time with them but I like going it alone too. 

After Marquette I picked up MI 28 to Munsing then H58 to what I thought was very pretty Grand Marais with a stop at Miners Falls.  I enjoyed Grand Marais and the Pickle Barrel Home with a rustic restaurant with good food next door. On some maps H58 appears to not be paved but it is to just east of Grand Marais as of the summer of 2013 (I had to return with my family since I enjoyed the trip so much).   

From here I went south (paved road) M 77 then east on M28 to M 123 near Newberry (camped at a KOA near here).  Then I rode up to Whitefish Point and the Great Lakes Shipwreck museum and lighthouse. A stop at Tahquamenon Falls State park is worth it.  There is a restaurant there that has a good lunch.  If you hike in the park be prepared for the mosquitoes. From here it was over to Sault Ste. Marie to cross. 

Was that a hoot!  I had to pull up to what reminded me of a McDonalds drive up window and wait for the border patrol guy to come to the window.  As I was reaching for my Passport he said something to me I did not understand so I just said I was going around Superior.  He didn't ask for any ID.  The all he said to me was, "Enjoy your trip".  WOW, it was different returning to my mother land.

From here it is a no brainer, just follow Canadian 17.  I did camp in Lake Superior Prov. Pk which was very good.  I'd suggest pulling over before 5 at the parks.  My next night was near Thunder Bay at a KOA.  From here I began heading in the general direction of home by the scenic route. 

I paid by credit card while in Canada so I did not have to change to Canadian money.  I have done that at times and it is no problem.  My trip was a little hurried but very enjoyable.  I had circled Superior in the 70s by car.  I remembered the Canadian side as nicer scenery then as compared to now.  I believe they moved the highway farther away from the lake in places. 

Warning, in addition to moose there are a lot of trucks on 17.  Be very careful of them.  On the wing fuel should not be a problem but I would not push it too far.  The weather for me was great and bugs not much of a problem.

I had to rush the trip a little more than I wanted too but time was in limited supply.

Enjoy the trip and tell us about it.

   
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 09:20:19 AM by leroys73 »
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texaskdog

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2015, 03:27:39 PM »

I would travel through Michigan so you can cross the Mackinac Bridge and go to the Island if you have time, and then the Soo Locks (clockwise though that would be the way back).   

Bonus points if you can go through Mineral Center up to the old US 61 crossing at Pigeon River, closed now of course so would mean some doubling back.
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carpenters nail

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2015, 04:36:12 PM »

Wow, thanks for all the info. Will not follow the Great River Road on this trip, due to time, however, looks like it might be a nice ride next time out. Had never heard of it before, had to look it up.
Also, thanks for more ideas about things to see and places to visit. I also enjoy reading of others trips and experiences. Thanks alot.
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froggie

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2015, 10:09:51 AM »

If you like pie, stop at Betty's Pies a couple miles northeast of Two Harbors on MN 61.  And while you're along the "North Shore" (MN shoreline of Lake Superior), be sure to stop at Split Rock Lighthouse, Gooseberry Falls, and Grand Portage (which has its own "Joshua Tree" sticking out towards the lake).
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texaskdog

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2015, 12:45:21 PM »

and get a Russ Kendall smoked whitefish in Knife River (fresh catch and very hard to find in the south)...I'm ASSUMING you are taking County 61 through there!  Just leave room for the pie
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Rothman

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2015, 08:59:11 AM »

If you like pie, stop at Betty's Pies a couple miles northeast of Two Harbors on MN 61.  And while you're along the "North Shore" (MN shoreline of Lake Superior), be sure to stop at Split Rock Lighthouse, Gooseberry Falls, and Grand Portage (which has its own "Joshua Tree" sticking out towards the lake).


Betty's Pies is a fun, local place to stop.

Getting an Anchorburger at the Anchor Bar in Superior, WI would be another.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2015, 10:12:01 PM »

If you have a few minutes to hang around the Cascade River area on 61 in MN, I highly recommend that.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2015, 11:31:48 PM »

If your desired route is via the Sault Ste. Marie border crossing, you can stop in Chicago and see how broke IL is and see how awesome Chicago is too.

If you desired route is via Duluth to the MN 61 border crossing, check out the Twin Cities. Roadgeeking, there is a stub on I-35W in Minneapolis, planned I-335.
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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2015, 11:36:31 AM »

Quote
there is a stub on I-35W in Minneapolis, planned I-335.

Not anymore.
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Jim

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2015, 08:47:09 PM »

In case this is of interest to potential Lake Superior travelers, I'm most of the way on a westbound trip over the north shore.  Ontario 17 was a bit of a letdown from Ottawa to Sault Ste. Marie.  It was painfully slow at times with construction and slow-moving vehicles, including one large pack of school buses in transit, and the road is usually just far enough away from bodies of water for much great scenery.  But from Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay today was superb.  Still slow going at times, but not nearly as bad, and the scenery was amazing.

Weather today varied from cloudy and mid 50's in SSM in the morning to a rainy 60 degree ride on the eastern shore to a nice dry break but still cool to cold and foggy and drizzly (low 50's) on the north shore, to 80 and sunny in Thunder Bay.

Looking forward to completing Superior's north shore and re-entering the US tomorrow.
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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2015, 10:53:34 AM »

This trip also really appeals to me. I've done the bit from Paradise to Ishpeming, MI, many, many, many times due to living in the UP (though on the south side of it). I'm sure I'll have proper time in the summer once I finish up yet another degree.
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carpenters nail

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2015, 02:48:17 PM »

  At the moment, the plan is, straight up- get out of the heat- to Munising,MI. Take a boat tour, over to Bayfield and another boat tour. Then a tour around the lake,( through Duluth, up 61, across on 17), dropping down through Michigan, and then, straight back into the heat. If all goes well, there should be plenty of time to sight see and relax as we travel. Everytime I get more info. , I have more things to look up, and more ideas. My wife is a waterfall nut,( don't have many of those down here), so if there are any that are a "must see" please let us know.
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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2015, 02:55:40 PM »

Quote
My wife is a waterfall nut,( don't have many of those down here), so if there are any that are a "must see" please let us know.

There are at least a half-dozen of these along the Minnesota portion, including the Gooseberry Falls that I mentioned earlier.
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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2015, 03:20:49 PM »

I agree that MN 61 is a great ride for waterfalls.
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GaryV

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2015, 05:44:03 PM »

Black River Scenic Byway ( http://www.westernup.com/waterfalls/briver.html ) east of Ironwood in the UP has about 5 falls.

At the M-28/M-94 intersection near Munising is Alger Falls, but it is often just a trickle in summer.  About a 1/2 mile south on M-94 is Wagner Falls St Park.  There are also several waterfalls in Pictured Rocks itself.

Canyon Falls is at a roadside park along US-41/M-28 west of Marquette.

If you're heading into the Keweenaw, there are several smallish waterfalls north of Hancock.

And on the return, if you're taking the full circle route, you'll be passing Tahquemenon Falls.

I also concur with Gooseberry Falls in MN; I was there once.
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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2015, 07:47:46 PM »

Although Gooseberry is great, there's also Split Rock and Tettegouche as well.
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Jim

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2015, 11:49:43 PM »

We chose the High Falls at Grand Portage State Park as our waterfall on Saturday - well worth the short hike.  By the time we got to Gooseberry Falls, we decided we needed to make some time and passed it up.  Also enjoyed a short walk to views of Split Rock Lighthouse from the adjacent state park.

It sure was a long way to get from Upstate NY to Omaha, but I'm very happy to have made the ride over the top of Lake Superior.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2015, 08:01:04 AM »

Although Gooseberry is great, there's also Split Rock and Tettegouche as well.

Gooseberry is the easiest and is totally justified for the hype, but as such it will be the most crowded by far (I believe it is the most visited state park in MN). Its relatively close proximity to Duluth compared to other falls along the route probably contributes to this.

Tettegouche and C.R. Magney are awesome, but unlike the other parks the falls are somewhat further inland from the road and take some time and effort to walk to, probably about 15-20 minutes one way in order to see the "showcase" waterfalls - Tettegouche also has a lot of stairs in order to get around, and Magney has some fairly steep ascent/descent along the trail to the Devil's Kettle.

Cascade River (about ten miles SW of Grand Marais) is my favorite state park.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 08:08:20 AM by TheHighwayMan394 »
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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2015, 01:17:00 PM »

I've posted a few pictures in other threads so far, but for those interested in the whole set, here's my set that includes the ride over the top of Lake Superior.  Included is the ride from home (pictures start around Syracuse), up through the Thousand Islands to Ottawa/Gatineau, then on Highway 417/17 across to Thunder Bay, followed by 61 down to Duluth, and a little I-35.

http://www.teresco.org/pics/tch-20150715-19/
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2015, 02:28:12 PM »

Ah, I forgot about Hughie's Taco House! I forgot how much I loved the tortilla shells they have.

I believe your turnout at Milepost 121 was an abandoned alignment of then-US 61. I found it accidentally last October on vacation up there. And as a former Superior resident I can relate to the fact that Culver's is deceptively distant from both I-535 as well as most other points of interest in town.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 02:36:59 PM by TheHighwayMan394 »
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carpenters nail

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2015, 02:15:35 PM »

  Well, we head out this Friday. Sure do appreciate all the info. We will be on a grey goldwing, pulling a fluorescent yellow w/tiger stripes trailer,(homemade from a harbor freight trailer and rooftop carry-all). If anybody does happen to cross our path, feel free to strike up a little conversation, or just honk in passing.
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carpenters nail

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Re: Planning a trip around superior
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2015, 10:10:21 PM »

  OK, back from the trip. It was REALLY awesome. Thanks to EVERYONE for the input. I did exactly as expected, left all the info at home home and had to rely on memory. Pictured rocks was great, although no water falls. I would not recommend it at this time of year, however, we were not disappointed with the scenery. Was going to take the sunken ship tour in Bayfield, but they were all booked up, and we didn't have the time to wait.(Should have book in advance). Some of the falls were still going,( made my wife happy enough ), but I would suspect that they would be totally awesome in the spring.
  Stopped by Betty's Pies,.... no regrets. Went to Hughies Tacos,....went inside,.....I'm from louisiana,... right next to Texas,.....I am NOT paying $4.00 for a taco,.....I left. We went to Frankies' Pizza,...Fantastic. They melt the cheese on top so that it comes out kind of like a calzone,...delicious. Went to Carmody Bar and Grill,...tried the broiled Walleye,...also fantastic. The only thing we didn't like about Carmody's was the music. ( some kind of modern crap where every song sounded exactly the same, and all the girls sounded as if they were all using their baby voices).
   The border patrol was great people. Just for fun, they took our trailer apart and let us repack it all by ourselves. Gotta love those guys.
   Never saw a single moose, however;... we met a guy that had just cooked some for his supper and had 2 pieces left over, so he let us try it, ....need to get some more.
    We were on a Honda. we discovered that we did not rank with the Harley people. In fact, they would go out of their way to avoid us. Several of them made it very obvious that they did not see us, even though we were only feet away.
     The Mackinaw bridge,.....HOLY MACKEREL....I didn't get to see anything. The wind was blowing what felt like hurricane force. All I did was fight my way across. I hurt for 2 days after that. My wife got very little for pictures. She was too busy hunkering down behind me, too scared to pull the camera out, for fear that the wind would pull it out of her hand.
      Also,....THANKS to Dianne for the hamburgers in Michigan.
       To the guys from Duluth,...nice to meet you,...had a great ride.
       In Canada,... past the border patrol, EVERYONE we met was extremely nice.
    My wife says," people talk of southern hospitality,... we found more up there".
   I would surely recommend this trip to anyone who would consider it. And, definitely recommend camping along the way. That's where you meet the people.
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