I'm the someone that Rep knows. ;-)
I did the trip this past June, starting and ending in Menomonie, WI.
Once you get into Minnesota and Ontario, there aren't really that many
options if you want to stick close to the lake. Along the North Shore in
Minnesota there are a couple of paved paths that you can take and I
recommend that you do so as some of the views are gorgeous. Other
than that, it's Highway 61 all the way across the border and into
Thunder Bay. Highway 61, for the most part, is decent enough with
generous paved shoulders. There are a few sections where it's a bit
narrow but autos were respectful, even though when I was going
through that section the weather was hellacious with cold 40º rain for
days and even a couple tornadoes. Some sections of Hwy 61 were even
Once into Thunder Bay, you'll have to go through the city as bicycles
aren't allowed on the expressway. Seems an interesting enough city
but I was a bit disappointed in the downtown, as it seems like their
economy is hurting and business were closing everyone and many
buildings were vacant, hopefully it better when you go through. Once
out of Thunder Bay, it's Provincial Highway 11/17 all the way to
Nipigon where they split and you'll take Hwy 17 all the way to Sault St.
Marie. Canadian highways are a bit narrow with almost no paved
shoulders over 6 inches. That said, Canadian drivers were amazing
and VERY courteous, always giving me as much room as possible.
Once you get into the hilly country past Nipigon, Rossport, Scriber, etc,
be careful as the hills are so steep that semi trucks have a hard time
getting up the hill and they'll not be able to move to pass you as other
people will be passing them. In those situations, I would get off and
let them pass, the drivers always appreciated that and would give me a
wave. Be sure to carry enough water and some snacks when you get
into Lake Superior Provincial Park as there aren't really any services. I
got into the habit of filling my bottles whenever the opportunity
presented itself to me and I always carried three days worth of food.
Michigan was gorgeous as well and the people were as friendly as the
Canadians. Out of Sault Ste. Marie there's a bike path that'll connect
with Lakeshore Drive, though I wasn't able to find it and was running
late so I took some back roads to get where I needed to be. Highway
28 across the U.P. until you get to Munising is one of the most
godawful boring roads ever, but the drivers were courteous. 41 up to
Barraga, Houghton, and Copper Harbor is pretty as well.
Let me know if you'd like more information, here's some links to the
Wisconsin and Michigan Department of Transportations sites which
have nice PDF maps for cycling-related information: MichiganWisconsin
I used these, combined with the Delor
maps to figure out my routes on a day to day basis.
The Adventure Cycling maps are also quite good.
Whoops! I forgot, here are my photographs
and my half-arsed blog
This message was edited by jaypee on 12-9-08 @ 7:56 AM