Saturday, 12 December 2009

Proposed Route - Winnipeg to Sault Ste. Marie

As I've already mentioned, I'm not keen to take the Trans-Canada Highway to the north of Lake Superior as there are effectively only two main roads and all the traffic therefore has to use them. For me, it would mean riding 8-10 days (1,400 km) along the #1 / #11 / #17 to Sault Sainte Mairie via Thunder Bay. All the while I'll be riding on a 'dangerous' road which has considerable traffic and reputedly a poor to non-existent shoulder for cycling. Not my idea of fun...

So instead, I'm going to head south into the United States and ride a rural and often forested route through the northern extremities of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. OK, the purists and pedants would say this then isn't a ride across Canada, but so what? (I'm going to annoy any pedants again a bit later when I ride across the Adirondacks in New York State after visiting Niagara Falls).

My chosen route through the US uses a lot of local 'county roads' that would require a fair amount of map reading and navigating, were it not for the modern wonders of Google Maps, online routing sites like BikeRouteToaster and BikeHike and a GPS!

Elevation Profile

After crossing into the US near Piney, I'll ride south-east to Duluth, MN via Red Lake and the Chippewa National Forest (which has the highest breeding density of bald eagles in the US, apparently). I'll enter Wisconsin after crossing the Bong Bridge between Duluth and Superior and continue SE through several forested state parks. After crossing into Michigan near Iron River, I'll start heading back NE towards Munising, where the #28 follows the shore of Lake Superior and is meant to have fine views.

The #28 then runs due E straight to Sault Ste. Mairie, MI, but I'll make one further detour NE through the Newberry State Forest Area and Tahquamenon Falls State Park to Paradise. Paradise, MI that is! It's a bit out of my way, but I just fancy going to Paradise! Another ½ day spent hugging Lake Superior's coastline will see me to 'the Soo', the twin cities of Sault Ste. Mairie, Michigan and Sault Ste. Mairie, Ontario. I'll cross back into Canada on the 3 km International Bridge.

Placename or POI Dir. Road Highway Name Next POI Total Km
WINNIPEG SE #1 Trans-Canada Hwy 36 2,902
Dufresne SE #207
10 2,938

SE #210 Seine Road 21 2,948
La Broquerie

43 2,969

14 3,012

SE #12
14 3,025
Piney S #89
40 3,040

Manitoba / Minnesota (USA) State Border

Roseau S #89 5th Ave. SW 72 3,079
Gryla E #89
88 3,151
Red Lake E #1
39 3,239

S #72
16 3,278
Blackduck E C#30 (+ local roads) 52 3,294
Jessie Lake

(+ local roads) 70 3,365
Calumet S C#12 (+ local roads) 64 3,440
Floodwood E C#8 (+ local roads) 75 3,504
DULUTH SE #2 Bong Bridge 5 3,578

Minnesota / Wisconsin State Border

Superior SE #53
22 3,583

E #2
14 3,605

26 3,620

S C#H (+ local roads) 59 3,645
Sandborn E #112
5 3,704

SE #13
21 3,709
Mellen E #77 Lake Drive 21 3,731
Upson S
O'Brien Lake Rd 40 3,752
Pine Lake E C#G (+ local roads) 64 3,792
Northern State Highland Forest

53 3,856
Phelps S C#A
24 3,909
Neima NE #55
16 3,933

Wisconsin / Michigan State Border

Iron River E #2 W Adams St 28 3,949
Crystal Falls E #69 Superior Ave. 48 3,977
Felch N C#581 (+ local roads) 108 4,024
Harvey E #28
61 4,132

58 4,193

35 4,251
Newberry N #123 Falls Rd 66 4,286
Paradise S #123
18 4,352

Lake Superior Shore Rd 75 4,370
Sault Ste. Marie, MI NE I-75 International Bridge 3 4,444

Michigan / Ontario (Canada) Border




Mike said...

Manitoba before Winnipeg and the rest of Ontario after Sault Ste. Marie are the parts really worth avoiding. Especially the after Sault Ste. Marie part... THAT is the part I would have changed for sure. I don't think I would have changed this part, although I'm sure your proposed route would be really cool too. I really liked highway 71 in Ontario though... I don't know if I'd want to miss that!

Shaun said...

Hey Mike
Thanks for the info! That's interesting to know about highway 71 and this stretch of the Trans Canada. I suppose I also fancied being different with my USA route! After Sault, I'm only going as far as Espanola and then heading south via Manitoulin Is. down to Niagara Falls.