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Old 06-26-2016, 06:57 PM   #1
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Virginia to Lake Placid, NY - contemplating return south on I-87

Hello all

We are headed north from Virginia to the Adirondacks in a week. We will go north on I 81 to lake Meachum state park, near Lake Placid NY. Looking to potentially return a different way via I 87 along the Hudson River valley and then eventually head west again to pick up a route that avoids NYCity and I 95

Anyone with experience with I 87 please let me know how congested this route may be. Will be traveling on weekdays not weekends

Also, if you have camping recs in NY or PA please let me know
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Old 06-26-2016, 07:56 PM   #2
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We are planning a trip to Cooperstown, NY in August. We will be traveling from central PA, near Gettysburg.

We will be taking I-81 most of the way. Where in VA will you be traveling from?
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:11 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ras.robshort View Post
Hello all

We are headed north from Virginia to the Adirondacks in a week. We will go north on I 81 to lake Meachum state park, near Lake Placid NY. Looking to potentially return a different way via I 87 along the Hudson River valley and then eventually head west again to pick up a route that avoids NYCity and I 95

Anyone with experience with I 87 please let me know how congested this route may be. Will be traveling on weekdays not weekends

Also, if you have camping recs in NY or PA please let me know
Welcome to the forum!

I-87 the NYS Thruway is a fine road, but has tolls of course. If you travel on weekdays you should be fine, but I would avoid Mondays and Fridays if possible, as the weekend traffic can be unpredictably heavy in spots.

As you head south, I-84 west is your first option to bail from I-87 at Newburgh. I am not familiar with this stretch of 84.

If you skip I-84 west, I would recommend that you head west on I-287 as you approach the NYC area, and take this loop around the possible congestion. You could then head west on I-80 or go down to I-78, as each will take you back to I-81. Probably not a good idea to continue south and east on I-287 as it makes its way back towards Staten Island.

Avoid I-95 like the plague IMO.

I took the above routes last fall when I picked up the new trailer in PIttsburgh PA, but you might check current conditions for construction to make your final choice between I-80 and I-78. We prefer I-80, but each route can be packed with trucks moving fast. Daytime trailering only for us BTW.

Good luck! And have fun in the Adirondacks. It is an amazing area, but don't forget that cell phones do not work up there at all in most areas!

Peter

PS -- At some points I-287 is called The Garden State Parkway, so keep your eyes open for this possible signage.

PS2 -- The NYS Thruway has its own rest stops with gas and snack bars galore. Standard fair but very convenient while towing a trailer (easy parking etc.).
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:40 AM   #4
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81 is a good route, then onto NY RT 11 and then onto NY RT 37. Last time I was up that way was about five years ago but all were good routes.

On your return if you want a nice spot, with some interesting things to do and see, work your way down to Oneida NY and camp at Turning Stone Resort and Casino. It's a bit pricey, but a beautiful campground, shuttle to Oneida Indian Reservation Casino and three championship golf courses.

While at Lake Meacham try and get over to Ft Ticonderoga, a wonderful place to spend some time and learn more about the Revolution and this areas involvement.

Enjoy

Bud
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:12 AM   #5
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We took I87 and I84 last Fall to miss NYC as we headed up to Maine/PEI and back. No problems although the State of NY needs to spend some money on the road surfaces.
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:09 AM   #6
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We live in this area. Take 81 to Scranton PA then 84 East to 87 North. Stay on 87 (aka NYS thruway) to whatever Adirondack exit you choose.
Keep in mind that you actually exit 87 in Albany and pay a toll. Then continue on 87 (aka Northway). Btw, the Northway has no tolls.
Several people I know forgot to exit and just stayed on the thruway. One guy I know coming to visit drove 50 miles one way before he realized it! And had to pay double tolls.


On an island in Vermont
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:52 AM   #7
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I-87 is a well maintained thruway. However, it is probably the dullest ride you will take. There is absolutely nothing to look at except forest on each side of the road. Good luck!
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:44 AM   #8
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I95 will beat your eyes out. Avoid.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:06 PM   #9
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Every spring break we head south from VT to FL and return. We get on I-87 at Lake George NY and head south. It connects to NY Thru-way (south) in Albany NY (that is still I-87, but is now a toll road). We ALWAYS avoid the NYC Metro area and get off I-87 in Newburgh NY and head west on I-84, and then get on I-81 south in Scranton PA. If you want more western side of Adirondacks (when you are heading north on I-87, NY Thru-way) stay on the Thru-way when you hit Albany NY - this is now I-90 west. I would STRONGLY advise getting an EZ Pass (do it online). With all our traveling, it makes tolls lines almost nonexistent. We head west (Rockies) almost every year, and avoid toll stops in NY, PA, OH, IND, ILL etc. It's a whole different world going around Chicago with EZ Pass. Safe journeys.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:13 PM   #10
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EZ passes are available for each TV/trailer combination, even for single axle trailers.

Application, which includes an 800 number for information:

http://www.thruway.ny.gov/ezpass/ta-w68176.pdf

In theory you cannot tow a trailer with just a passenger vehicle EZ Pass. We have two different ones, and keep the inactive one in the special shielded plastic slip provided, inside the glove compartment of the TV.

The NYS EZ Pass is accepted in most states in the NE, so it is a good investment of time and energy IMO, as there are many high-speed EZ Pass lanes which let you drive right by the toll booths.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:25 PM   #11
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We travel between CNY and VA frequently. I-81 has lots of truck traffic and always has construction around the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area. Currently near Ravine, just north of Lebanon it is only one lane. That said the surface is ok for most of the trip. I would suggest going all the way to Syracuse on 81. Then I-481 to I-90 the NYS Thruway. You will go by the Oneida exit, previously mentioned, and Turning Stone RV park and casino. Exit on Rt 12/8 north in Utica and travel up through Old Forge, Raquette Lake, Blue Mountain lake, Long Lake to Tupper Lake. Then just a hop skip and jump to Meacham Lake SP. Through the ADK's the roads are generally good and scenery pleasant on the eye. Going home you could skip over to Plattsburgh and pick up the Northway, I87. In Plattsburgh there is a AS renovation/refurbishing business called NOMAD Airstream on the old air force base. Check out their Facebook page and stop and take a tour. It can be seen from I87 if you know where to look and is literally just off the exit to the airport. They do phenomenal work. There is also a new brewpub on the old air force base in a 1812 army barracks. Valcour Brewery is worth a visit. It's no more than 4 miles from Nomad. But check to see if they are open during the week. Avoid Albany during both morning and evening rush hours. Where you go west off I87 below Albany to hit I81 or how is you choice. Many options including I-88 from just west of Albany to Binghamton and down I81 home. Have fun and toot the horn when you go through Herkimer county. I'll be listening.

PS We will soon be in VA full time instead of NY and VA. Where are "ewe all" located?
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:29 PM   #12
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We stayed at Four Mile Creek State Park right on Lake Ontario. If you're going that far west in upstate NY, it had panoramic views of the lake and isn't too far from Niagara Falls if you're into that! When in Lake Placid, we stayed at the KOA. While I'm not
into RV Parks, there were some great hiking trails and swimming in a river with high rocky-ledges for jumping into the cool water. You can access it right from the KOA.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:19 PM   #13
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So without looking at a map, I'm guessing you're taking 81 north to 88 east. If you want take 87 back, you could go to 84 and take that west back to 81. IMO 87 south of 84 doesn't offer much in the way of scenery.

You could take 84 to 209 and get down around to Stroudsburg, PA (a very scenic drive) and then 33 to Easton and your interstate of choice from there. It's not interstate driving. And avoid a weekend.
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Old 06-27-2016, 08:14 PM   #14
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I've been going to Lake Placid for years for the Ironman Triathon and stay at Draper's Acres. It used to be Whispering Pines but was just sold to a wonderful local family. It is on the road into Lake Placid so it's very convenient and, like everything in Lake Placid, it's a wonderful spot.
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