Great Lakes -LEO route

Bill53

Premier Member
#1
Hoping for one last cert this year before the weather turns too cold / risky. Planning to cicumnavigate Lake Erie and Lake Ontario but not familiar with best routes around major cities of Detroit MI and Toledo OH. I intend to cross at Sarnia/ Port Huron and avoid getting tangled in Detroit traffic. Any advice as to which Interstates to take or avoid would be welcome.
 

Kylearane

Premier Member
#3
I also agree with using Sarnia/Port Huron. I did that ride back in early July. I didn't have any trouble with Detroit or Toledo, but I went through there at 1:30 in the morning. The only slow traffic I had to deal with was in Toronto, but it wasn't that bad.
 

Bill53

Premier Member
#4
Thank you both Mark and Kyle for the advice and confirmation of entry point choice. Now I just need suitable weather on the dates I have available. As yet I haven't acquired heated gear so I must consider this ride carefully. Good protection on the R1100RT and my Motoport jacket with liner is pretty good.
 
#5
Did the Lakes Erie and Ontario back around 2008? Ran with a group out of Capitol H.D. In Lansing. We departed and finished in Port Huron in June and ran a clockwise route. Our start was in rain and it continued for the first 900 miles finally seeing the sun come out as we arrived in Toledo. Also note we had 1/4” hail as we passed Toronto which added a bit of intensity and maybe ramped blood pressures up a notch or two. Also note that I-75 running north from Toledo is under perpetual repair and some of the worst road conditions in a State where roads are considered “war zone”! As mentioned earlier US-23 north from the Toledo area, up to I-69, then back to Port ?Huron would be a viable alternative but adding a few miles. Proper layering, and good weather protective gear will get you through. Enjoy and keep it safe.
 

Bill53

Premier Member
#6
Thank you for the encouragement ! Everything is in order and set to go Friday AM. Will be going counter clockwise - North of Toronto to Sarnia / Port Huron, Toledo etc.... Getting the cold and hard part done first and doing unfamiliar roads and traffic in daylight. Will be two tracks as the phone is new and the tablet is a backup device.
https://spotwalla.com/publicTrips.php?un=BeemerBill
 

JAVGuzzi

Premier Member
#8
The choice of where to cross, I think depends on what time you will arriving in the Detroit area. If later in the evening or at night, or early in the morning on a weekend, I would cross over at Detroit on the bridge ( no MC allowed in the Detroit/Windsor tunnel ). Did that twice: once on a Lake Huron SS1K and also on a Lower Great Lakes SS1K. Be advised the wait at Port Huron / Sarnia can be long, even on a weekend during the day.

Where will you be starting & ending at and what time will you be starting ?

EDIT : If you are starting near Sutton and going CW, it looks like Detroit or Port Huron would both be fine. It's about 20 miles additional going to Port Huron, but Google Maps says it takes only 2 more minutes.

If you are planning to cross at Detroit on the bridge and there is construction on I-75 north of Monroe, then just take I-475 north of Monroe to I-94 East and then take I-96 to the bridge. It's not difficult. After going east on I-94, jut watch for the signs " Bridge to Canada" . We did that on our last Lower Great Lakes ride - piece of cake. I think I would rather cross at Detroit - no reason not to. And there is no grating on the Ambassador Bridge.
 
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Bill53

Premier Member
#9
My plan is a 4 AM Friday departure from Sutton, 401 west to London and likely to Sarnia. It adds kms but maybe the same time. so I will research expected wait time at Detroit crossing. So far the weather looks good. My biggest concern is weekday morning traffic in/around Detroit .... don't know the area at all. Either route puts me in Detroit about 9:30 AM unless I go to Flint and south from there....
 
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JAVGuzzi

Premier Member
#10
I would go CW so you will have less traffic when going through the more busy metro areas. Going to Flint will add a lot of time.
 

Bill53

Premier Member
#11
The Flint option was being considered as a way of avoiding the I-75 near Toledo [reported as a war zone]. Will use the I-94 from Port Huron is my current thinking, and 23 from Ann Arbor. Once I get to I-90 it should be pretty good from there to crossing back at Gananoque and home. The CCW plan is to miss the Woodstock-Toronto 401 Friday evening. When I did my Lake Huron ride that was the worst part !
 

JAVGuzzi

Premier Member
#12
No problem on I-75 near Toledo. The potential problem would be construction on I-75 north of the I-475 exit between there and Detroit.

To avoid that, you would simply take the I-90 exit to I-280 to I-75, then to avoid construction on I-75 NORTH of Monroe, and north of the I-475 exit, take I-475 to I-94 East, to I-96 and that will take you straight to the bridge. It's not complicated at all and you will be on a freeway all the way, no war zones.

If you take US-23 to Flint and then I-69 to Port Huron, Google maps tells me that would add 71 miles and 43 minutes. And you would need to get a corner receipt at Flint, BTW. That would add a few more minutes. You could get a receipt at the Speedway ( 24/7 ) station at the Bristol Road exit.

But I recommend crossing back in Detroit on the Ambassador bridge. No good reason not to, but it's your decision, of course.

Good luck, be safe, and watch out for those 18-Wheelers & Cagers.
 

JAVGuzzi

Premier Member
#14
Yup, obviously I-275, not I-475. When you get close to I-96 when going east on I-94, just look for the sign "I-96 & Bridge to Canada'. I-96 will take you directly to the bridge - no surface roads to take at all - it's easy- peasy , even the first time. But if you need an adrenaline rush, take the surface roads from I-96 to the bridge.
 
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Bill53

Premier Member
#15
Ride done ! Just posted a report '3rd times a charm' in the report forum....
Just putting the docs into a complete set for submission.
21 hours 1145 miles !