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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Muskegon to Niagra Falls (CA) advice

Hi we're taking the ferry from Milwakuee to Muskegon (the previous night) early morning looking to head out for a day ride to Niagra Falls, Ontario. Map shows Hwy69 to 402,401&403 as the direct route. Need fairly straight shot on this trip but at least looking for a tolerable ride. Is this the best route, any alternatives that makes good time but offers a reasonable ride?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 01:02 PM
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If you are thinking of riding into Canada, do some research, it is not simply a matter of showing up at the border and riding across.

In theory, Theory and Reality are the same. In reality, they are different.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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You mean they would question me? Certainly a bunch of bikers wouldn't raise any eyebrows. Thanks riden Canada a few times, post 9/11 maybe i've always gotten lucky but as long as you're not carrying and you have a valid passport it's typically not bad. For anyone considering Canda do check with your insurance as you typically need to declare you are heading out of the Country to ensure coverage.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 01:28 PM
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You mean they would question me? Certainly a bunch of bikers wouldn't raise any eyebrows. Thanks riden Canada a few times, post 9/11 maybe i've always gotten lucky but as long as you're not carrying and you have a valid passport it's not bad. For anyone considering do check your insurance as most you will need to declare you are heading our of Country to ensure coverage.
I am CDN living in north Chicago and take the ferry a couple times a year when going to visit family... better than crash bang through Chicago traffic and always nice to avoid the armpit known as Indiana..

You say a "day trip" to the Falls eh? you do know it's 7-9hrs depending on crossing delay at Port Huron and any traffic/weather?

You will need valid Passport or Green Card for everyone with you... $3.00 toll both directions..

The Lake Express is a great ferry... a relaxing crossing but take first ferry off the say for sure. And YOU will need to strap down your own bikes... the crew will not do it for you. call and make a reservation to be safe! I was denied once.

Once across take 31 to 96, 96 to 69... 69 to Port Huron... cross to Canada and 402 to the 401, 401 to the 403... 403 to the QEW Niagara...

Fuel up in Michigan before you cross to save 30% on fuel prices plus once over in Canada there isn't anything to speak of intil London and from there on you will have traffic... 60% of Canadians live between London and the Golden Horse Shoe Hamilton and Niagara... Nice places to stay with great view and walking to food and casino are Westin and Sheraton Falls View... large canopies to park bikes under too.

ENjoy... plan on at least 3 days unless you drive at night.

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Last edited by Fat CDN; 06-01-2012 at 01:33 PM.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks much, just what I was looking for. I know I didn't make it clear but we're taking the last Ferry the night before from Milwakuee so we're leaving Muskegon the following day bright and early. We already have our tickets and was aware we need to strap down but was told they have the straps.

I was figuring 7 hours not including lunch stops, leaving at 7:00am I was hoping to arrive by 4:00. Niagra Falls is one of two hotel reservations I've made in a trip from California to Maine down the East coast back to California. I hate making reservations because then you're locked into a timeline but figured we could have problems finding a room during peek tavel season at the Falls. We'll spend the following day at the falls and head out mid afternoon for a short ride to our next distination, potentially Syracuse which is only 169 miles.

Am I totally off in my estimates?

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 02:31 PM
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Thanks much, just what I was looking for. I know I didn't make it clear but we're taking the last Ferry the night before from Milwakuee so we're leaving Muskegon the following day bright and early. We already have our tickets and was aware we need to strap down but was told they have the straps.

I was figuring 7 hours not including lunch stops, leaving at 7:00am I was hoping to arrive by 4:00. Niagra Falls is one of two hotel reservations I've made in a trip from California to Maine down the East coast back to California. I hate making reservations because then you're locked into a timeline but figured we could have problems finding a room during peek tavel season at the Falls. We'll spend the following day at the falls and head out mid afternoon for a short ride to our next distination, potentially Syracuse which is only 169 miles.

Am I totally off in my estimates?
You are well informed... should be good trip... flat as a table top but a good trip.

Once in NY State consider taking Hwy 20 or 20A and dip under and/or back up the Finger Lakes... Watkins Glen would be nice tour but around the lakes up to Syracuse is worth it if time allows.

When I lived in Ontario (Brantford till I was 34) we used to say the best motorcycle roads in Ontario where in New York State...

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks much, really appreciate the advice!

Men fight for freedom, then they begin to accumulate laws to take it away from themselves. ~Author Unknown
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 03:34 PM
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There is also a Courtyard where Ferry and Victoria meet. Close to lots of food, waking distance to the falls, there is the Boutique Harley Dealer shop close by as well. The folks at the Courtyard were real nice when I stayed there, even pointed out where to park the bike, under the canopy, so it was within site of the security camera all night (24 hour security guards watching as well). Got a great Steak at The Keg Steakhouse, which is attached to the Courtyard.

For a good day ride, head south, or north, on Niagara Parkway. South probably has less traffic, but if you go north, you end up at Niagara-on-the-Lake, which is a neat town, has wineries (if you are into that), places to eat, and not quite so "Touristy" as Niagara Falls. I went south on my way back and rode on highway 3 on the north side of Lake Erie, nice peaceful ride, until my Cruise Control quit on me (rear brake light switch, got it fixed at Thunder Road HD in Windsor, great folks, wonderful service).

If you are looking for a real dealer shop, Clare's HD is where 89 crosses QEW. Met some nice folks there.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 03:52 PM
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one other detail came to mind... small but good to be aware of... you loose an hour due to different time zones CST into EST when you cross Lake Michigan so plan accordingly...

from Muskegon to Port Huron about 5.5hrs... once across into God's Country at Sarnia it's about 3 hrs to Niagara Falls... usually contruction of some type on the 403/QEW around Hamilton so be aware and be careful... Ontario drivers are agressive and if the posted speed is 100km/h they will be doing 130-140km/h on open highway.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 04:16 PM
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one other detail came to mind... small but good to be aware of... you loose an hour due to different time zones CST into EST when you cross Lake Michigan so plan accordingly...

from Muskegon to Port Huron about 5.5hrs... once across into God's Country at Sarnia it's about 3 hrs to Niagara Falls... usually contruction of some type on the 403/QEW around Hamilton so be aware and be careful... Ontario drivers are agressive and if the posted speed is 100km/h they will be doing 130-140km/h on open highway.
Yes, I noticed that when I was up there.

One other thing, your speedo, if it is an American bike, is in MPH ONLY!!!
Do your MPH to KPH conversions ahead of time, and keep them in your head. Most speed limit signs I encountered were round numbers (30, 50, 100 KPH). Last thing you want is to get a ticket.



They do have some interesting road names up there...



An interesting roadside attraction along the QEW, aaarrrhhhh!

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Last edited by OldNerdGuy; 06-01-2012 at 04:19 PM.
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