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US HWY 2 west to east


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I am looking for the best route, from Sault Ste. Marie,Mi thru Canada and picking up hwy 2 into maine and up the coast, we are pulling a 40' 5th wheel and was seeking advice on a route that keeps us out of any cities and interstates any input would be greatly appreciated ! mario

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! Its good to have you join us on the internet as it can be a very helpful part of the club.


Canada has very few highways of the type that the US interstates are. Avoiding all of the cities in route to Maine will mean missing some of the most interesting things in all of Canada. We especially recommend a visit to Ottawa, the Canadian capital and an absolutely fascinating city. One of the most interesting things about Ottawa is the fact that it is relatively small as national capitals compare. Montreal has much to offer also, but is a very large city. If you have any interest in history, a visit to the old city of Quebec is also something not to be missed.

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In our rather extensive experience the collection of roads designated as the Trans-Canada Highway are reasonably good and you can access it on the Canadian side at Sault Ste. Marie. Parts of the highway are limited access and similar to our interstates but much of it is not. As Kirk noted it does take you through Ottawa and Montreal but it's pretty easy to find a way to circumvent the heart of Montreal (but not Ottawa) using its perimeter highway network (we just did it last month). From Highway 10 just east of Montreal you can easily access Interstate 91 to Vermont or I-93 to New Hampshire. On both of those you cross US2 which will take you to Maine. Or you can loop around the north side of ME on the Trans-Canada and enter ME on the northeast corner at Houlton.


We did the route through VT, NH and ME last month and we did the loop "up north" through Quebec City and Montreal last fall. Both routes are pleasant and there's lots to see along the way. If you stay on the southern shore of the St. Lawrence while passing Montreal and Quebec you avoid much of the traffic and, by US standards, the "big" Canadian cities really aren't that large and traffic really isn't all that bad. There's some construction on the Trans-Canada going through Ottawa, but the worst of it is only for a mile or two.


As Kirk has mentioned there are great museums (and other things) to see in Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec if you've never been there. All three cities have museum passes you can purchase which make visiting multiple museums a more affordable proposition. We thought the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa was superbly done; a museum that doesn't glorify war, but, rather, commemorates it. IMO Quebec City is worth going to just for the food; it's the closest you can come to visiting Europe while still in North America.

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Cross over at Cornwall, ON. Then start east to pickup US2 at the top of the lake. Follow US2 all the way to Bangor. Then Ellsworth and turn for Bar Harbor. Follow the coast downeast stopping at the reversing falls in Pembroke then Campobello Island. When in Nova Scotia the National Park at Fundy Bay. Tidal change is really starting to get impressive. Tidal bore at Truro. If you have time then drive around the Gaspe Peninsula in the CCW direction before heading back west.




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FWIW, the border crossing at Houlton ME/Woodstock NB is surprisingly small and there wasn't anyone in line when we went through early in the morning a couple of weeks ago. I had always been a little unsure of this one because it's the "I-95" crossing and I always think of I-95 with respect to what it's like through the mid-Atlantic states, namely heavily trafficked. However, this far north there appear to be few people or trucks on it, probably because the southern route that takes you through St. John is a little faster. But, after comparing the routes with Google Maps, I decided there wasn't enough of a difference and the northern route is all limited access highway on both the US and Canadian sides. There's even a decent RV park on the US side at Houlton which makes for a good stopping point for us both coming and going.

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