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Old 09-13-2004, 12:20 PM   #1
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Has anyone driven route 17 Ottawa to Sault Ste Marie?- Canada?

My wife and I will be picking up our new to us motor home at the end of this month in New Hampshire. We were thinking of driving back home to Milwaukee via Canada using the Northern route 17 around the top of Lake Michigan to avoid Chicago. This is not a vacation or a sight seeing trip. We are familiar with the roads in Michigan but not in Canada so if any one can help us out we would appreciate some advice. We are looking at route 17 out of Ottawa to Sault Ste. Marie. We will be driving a 280 Turbo Diesel.
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Old 09-13-2004, 08:36 PM   #2
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A couple of years ago we drove Hwy 17 from Sault Ste. Marie to Pembroke (most of the way to Ottawa) and the roads seemed fine, but that was before we had our '66 Overlander. It was scenic and not too busy. You'll see a few Tim Hortons along the way. The slightly more southern route on Route 60 thru Algonquin Provincial Park is also nice.

Earlier this year we pulled our trailer From Sault Ste Marie to Espanola and back on Hwy 17. The roads were pretty good, but a little bumpy (at least for our old trailer) around Blind River, as I remember. Not real bad, but not glassy smooth. We'll be back up there on the same stretch next weekend heading east again on vacation.

Not sure what other advice I can offer except to make sure you have a passport or birth certificate for the border crossing. We've never been asked to show them, but it's recommended you have them just in case. The crossing at the Sault doesn't seem to be too busy most of the time, but we have had a half hour or so delay coming into the States at least once in the last couple years.

Good luck whatever route you choose.


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Old 09-13-2004, 08:51 PM   #3
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Has anyone driven route 17 Ottawa to Sault Ste Marie?- Canada?

Greetings Chaplain Kent!

I haven't driven the route that you mention through Canada, but as an alternate if you decide to stay South of the border you might try the route that I have used to avoid the Chicago nightmare when traveling between Cleveland, OH and the Quad Cities in Illinois - - just West of Cleveland, I drop down and take US 24 West to I-39 in Illinois (I-39 will take you directly North to Madison, WI). The roads were in excellent condition the last time that I traveled that stretch back shortly after the WBCCI International Rally.

Another thought, if you do take the route through Canada, you might want to make sure that you know what kind of documentation will be necessary for your travel with a newly purchased vehicle - - I would suspect that there might be questions regarding registration as well as insurance at the crossing.

Good luck with your adventure!

Kevin D. Allen
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Old 09-14-2004, 05:45 AM   #4
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One more thing. The maximum speed limit along Hwy 17 is 90 kph (about 55 mph), often slowing to about 60kph in small towns along the way. People (including semi's since this is a major Canada highway, afterall) do occasionally do a bit above the speed limit, but we settle right at 90kph with the Airstream in tow. Hwy 17 is a two lane road pretty much the entire length you are considering travelling, except for the last few miles as you will approach Sault Ste. Marie, where it becomes a divided haighway.

If time is of the essense for you, an expressway in the U.S., like I-80/90 might be a better (although less scenic) choice. If not, enjoy 17.

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