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otrfun

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Posted: 08/23/21 09:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have plans to visit NE in about 2-3 weeks (mid Sep). Driving from the mid-west with our 10.5 ft high truck camper. We have about 9 or 10 days set aside for our time in NY and NE. We're aware that campgrounds are still very full this time of the year.

First planned stop is Niagara Falls. From there our general plans include a drive to Acadia NP, then down the coast to Cape Cod, then east, through New London, New Haven, Bethel NY, then either I80 or I86 back home.

Very much looking for recommendations to get us from Niagara Falls through NY, VT, NH, to Acadia NP.

Is Hwy 18 and Hwy 101 along Lake Ontario scenic? Or would we be better served taking another route, say, Hwy 31 or I90? Is the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway (Schenectady to Waterford) worth a detour?

In light of our somewhat limited travel time through NY & NE (9-10 days), any thoughts about driving through the Green Mountains and White Mountains vs. a more southerly route through, say, Manchester or Concord, before taking I95 to Acadia NP?

Lastly, any must-see places of interest that anyone would care to recommend along this route would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!!

* This post was edited 08/23/21 01:24pm by otrfun *

Ed C

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Posted: 08/23/21 10:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just a quick answer, your camper is most likely not allowed on any parkway in NY but it's worth a call to the State Park to find out for sure.


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WNYBob

Tonawanda, NY

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Posted: 08/23/21 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The restricted parkway are not in upstate NY.
You'll be fine on 18.

otrfun

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Posted: 08/23/21 11:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP here. We were aware of the Parkway restrictions. Are you saying one of the highways I listed or the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway is a Parkway?

Anyone aware of a map identifying all the Parkways in New York State?

Thx!

DrewE

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Posted: 08/23/21 01:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's often hard to recommend must-see things without some clue as to your interests.

The Lake Ontario State Parkway does allow RVs (with some height limits, though that's not likely a problem with a truck camper). So far as I know it's the only parkway in New York and Connecticut where RVs and non-commercial trailers are permitted.

That said, while it's a mildly scenic route (though without many substantial lake views), it's also in fairly poor repair with pretty rough pavement. NY18 is generally in better repair. West of the LOSP, NY 18 is also a generally scenic route with occasional glimpses of the lake. The Thruway is fast but boring, not especially scenic, and of course has tolls.

There is a neat looking little park and museum on the Thruway eastbound in Port Byron for the old Erie Canal lock 52; I think it's also accessible from the town without going on the Thruway. I haven't yet managed to stop on my way through when it's been open, but it looks like a fun place to stretch one's legs and maybe eat lunch.

Campgrounds should not be too full during the week, but weekends might be pretty busy.

If you like scenic driving and don't mind some fairly steep grades and fairly tight corners, a route that I often take when going between (northern) Vermont and western New York is NY365 from Verona, to NY 8 all the way across to Hague and then 9N north to the bridge to Vermont at Crown Point. This is a fairly scenic drive, without much at all in the way of development, and 8 in particular towards its eastern end has some pretty steep grades with pretty sharp corners. I don't mind taking my class C over it, but some would be understandably uncomfortable doing that sort of thing.

In Vermont, taking 17 to 22A north to US 7 north to I-89 S (via the short I-189 spur) and then on to points east is probably the best. VT 17 between 116 and 100 goes over the Appalachian Gap and is very steep with very sharp corners; though the view from the top is pretty nice. I don't generally recommend that stretch for RV travel, though it's not impossible in decent weather (i.e. not winter).

The state parks and state forest around Groton have some nice hiking and multi-use trails through and between them. It's a pretty area.

Crossing over towards Maine, I'd probably take I-89 to Montpelier, then follow US 2 at least as far as St Johnsbury. Going across New Hampshire there are a number of fine options: US 2 is good, US302 is also good and a pretty road, and the Kancamagus Highway (NH 112 from Lincoln to Conway) delightful. The Kanc has a lot of pull-offs and hiking opportunities, ranging from brief strolls to day hikes or longer, as well as a few (primitive) campgrounds along it.

I must say I found it amusing when I read you planned to drive east from Cape Cod...obviously you meant west! If you return via I86, the Corning Glass Museum is well worth stopping at. Not quite so much on the way, but beautiful places to see, are Watkin's Glen and Letchworth State Park.





Crowe

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Posted: 08/23/21 04:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would check in advance to make sure there's availability. Some school systems have already to started so mid-week shouldn't be much of an issue but weekends might be. Acadia in ME, Mt. Washington/N. Conway in the White Mountains. Keep in mind you may have difficulty crossing back into the US if you go the Canadian route.


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otrfun

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Posted: 08/23/21 05:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DrewE, thanks for the helpful, informative reply! Nice to get some kind of perspective on what some of our options might be. This will be our first time traveling to NE, so any and all info is much appreciated.

Really like your suggestion to drive from Verona, Crown Point, Hague, and Montpelier, as a gateway into Acadia NP. How are road conditions on NY 365, 8, and 9N? We can deal with switchbacks and grades, but we're not particularly fond of miles of rough, bumpy roads. Read a few reports that VT 17 road conditions (via the Appalachian Gap) were poor?

Once we get into Montpelier (and continue heading east), how would you say the road conditions on VT/NH 2 and VT/NH 302 compare?

Thanks again for all the great info!

* This post was edited 08/23/21 06:00pm by otrfun *

otrfun

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Posted: 08/23/21 05:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Crowe wrote:

I would check in advance to make sure there's availability. Some school systems have already to started so mid-week shouldn't be much of an issue but weekends might be. Acadia in ME, Mt. Washington/N. Conway in the White Mountains. Keep in mind you may have difficulty crossing back into the US if you go the Canadian route.
Thanks for the info. We've made a number of calls to campgrounds throughout NE. Weekdays look promising, but, as you said, weekends will likely be hit or miss. We may be forced to seek out a Walmart (or equivalent) on the weekends.

We were thinking about driving into Canada for a few hours (via the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls). All the red-tape may make a cross-border excursion too much hassle at this point. We'll see.

DrewE

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Posted: 08/23/21 08:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

365 and 8 and 9N are all decent roads--not glass smooth, of course, but not by any means what I would consider rough. 17 is generally fine in terms of not having particularly rough pavement etc. as well, even through the Appalachian Gap; while the road may be a bit rough, it matters a good bit less when you're going 20 mph or so instead of 50...and towards the top of the gap, that's what you'd be doing. Like I wrote before, I would generally not recommend the Appalachian Gap for RVs, even though it is safely doable with proper care.

US2 and US302 I'd expect to generally be in fairly decent repair, but I don't travel them too frequently and so can't be specific there. They're rather important secondary truck routes (US2 in particular), and so kept in pretty good repair. Naturally there will be some areas better than others, and quite likely a few spots of construction along the way. The Kancamagus Highway was in very nice condition the last time I drove it, too.

jkwilson

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Posted: 08/24/21 07:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Roads in New England tend to be insane on Friday and Sunday as weekend traffic heads out from and back to the cities. The closer you get to the ocean, the worse it gets.

If you don’t already have an EZPass, consider it. It’s hard to avoid the toll roads out there.


John & Kathy
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