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Niagara Falls to New York Metro Area
  • via Quebec and Coastal New England
  • via Finger Lakes & Hudson Valley
Explanation of the two route segments

Most tourists of New England come through New York State so we feel it is
logical to group the two in this Route J.  You can easily travel back and forth
between the two segments.  

1.       Niagara Falls to New York Metro Area inner segment
    This segment is described in purple typeface.
    The most traveled and most direct main route from Niagara Falls to New
    York City is the New York Thruway.  The route is generally parallel to the
    Erie Canal and Hudson River.   Our route is somewhat south plus a fragment
    of western New England

2        Niagara Falls to New York Metro area via Quebec and Coastal New England
    This segment is described in black typeface.
.   
SPECIAL NOTE FOR RVERS: In both New York State and Connecticut only
cars are permitted on the highways designated as “Parkways”.  RV drivers who
ignore this advice may be upset if their vehicle challenges a low overpass.   
 

WHAT TO EXPECT

So much to see.  Niagara Falls, then an even higher water falls, and the scenic rockbound
Maine coast.  Mix in theatre, fine art and music.  Then add in the rolling countryside, small
New England villages that look like they did a century ago, vineyards in lake country, and
mountains in northern New England and you have the makings of a great vacation.  This plus
Quebec and quiet fishing villages.

History was made here.  You might board
Old Ironsides, or the WW2 USS Massachusetts
or America’s first nuclear submarine, the
USS Nautilus.  You’ll visit battlefields from the
American Revolutionary War — in the US and Canada.  This was a seafaring area.  You’ll
see Plymouth Rock, a port from the sailing era, maybe follow the path of Paul Revere’s ride.  

You’ll see why New Yorkers and New Englanders think they have it all.

As you read this you may wish to trace the route on your road map.
Inner segment

New York State

From Niagara Falls head east on the New York  State
Thruway and go south of it to the …

Finger Lakes.  These scenic lakes include the wine
district – New York’s equivalent to California’s Napa
Valley.  Drive around the area to see the scenic
vineyards, visit the wineries and small villages like
Penn
Yan
. Go to…

Hammondsport to see the Taylor Wine Museum.  Now
you know the reason for their “Lake Country” line.

Corning you can visit the Corning Glass plant to learn of
glass.  You’ll visit the museum and see glass blowers
making fine Steuben Glassware.   What artists!  

Watkins Glen, on the shore of Lake Seneca, right, is
noted for the races.  Racing enthusiasts will want to visit
the
International Motor Racing Research Center and
Museum
.  Hike the cliff and view the falls at the Watkins
Glen State Park
.  Go on to …

Going a bit east and north to US-20 (New York Thruway,
exit 28, south to US-20) is …

Howes Caverns.  A worthwhile stop – you’ll see
stalactites and stalagmites.  The most memorable part of
the visit is the boat ride on the underground lake.  

Now head east to I-87.  At this point you can ... head
north to
Lake George, Lake Placid, on your way to
Fort Ticonderoga,
right, on the shore of  Lake
Champlain
.




Then travel north to
Montreal, Canada.  Or, from the
Fort Ticonderoga area you head east through Vermont’s
ski country to join the “Outer segment” in New
Hampshire or you can join it in Quebec.  OR…
head south of
Troy, NY and go east on Route 2 to …

Massachusetts

    US-7.  This is a scenic route, especially during the
    fall.  It is a main north-south route from
    Connecticut to Vermont and Montreal.  North on
    US-7 is a logical way to join the “outer segment”.  

Going south to...

Williamstown.  Here you can visit the Sterling and
Francine Clark Art Institute
, which is a world-class
museum – a gem.  A couple of blocks from this museum
is the
Williams College campus with a renowned art
collection.  Nearby is
Mt. Greylock State Reservation and
other locations for skiers.  Go south on scenic US-7 you
will pass Lake Pontoosuc on the way to…

    [If going south on US-7 through Pittsfield you will
    have no problem following the route.  However, if
    going north through Pittsfield it can be a bit tricky,
    especially if you are driving a RV.   Going north, as
    US-7 widens from one to two lanes in each
    direction, stay in the right  lane.  You approach the
    “village green” and the traffic in the right lane takes
    a mandatory right turn, you can make a right so
    you are in the left lane of East Street, and go a
    block to the left turn on US-7.]  

Pittsfield.  You've heard of Shaker furniture; now you
can go a few miles west on US-20 to visit the
Hancock
Shaker Village
where you can learn of this religious
movement and the community they founded in 1783.  
Continue south on  US-7 to...

Stockbridge.  This is a quiet little New England town in
the Berkshire hills.  Take time to walk in this picturesque
village.  One of America’s most famous illustrators was
Norman Rockwell.  His covers for
The Saturday Evening
Post
are part of Americana, especially of the WW2 years.  
There is a marvelous display of his works at his former
home, which is now the
Norman Rockwell Museum.  Visit
the studio, right.

If you happen to be here during the season, you may
enjoy the music of outstanding artists such as the
Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, an outdoor summer
venue.  

Continue south on US-7 through the pleasant New
England village of
Great Barrington then drive east and
then south alongside the Hudson River on Route 9 …

New York State

Hyde Park.  The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National
Historic Site
includes a museum and library honoring the only US
president elected to four terms.  He is credited with leading the
nation out of the “Great Depression” and died during the final
days of World War II.  Then return to I-84 to…

Connect to
Route K to head south or take the outer segment of
Route J in Connecticut or Massachusetts
Outer Segment

New York State

From Niagara Falls head east along the U.S. side of the
St. Lawrence River to...

Ogdensburg.  Most people never heard of this small town
but a US treasure is located here.  The
Remington Art
Museum
is the repository of many sculptures by this
famous artist who is noted for his western art.  

You are near the Canadian border so it is convenient to go
to…

Province of Quebec, Canada

As you enter Canada you will pass through Canadian
customs.  Be aware of the border regulations, especially
concerning firearms, tobacco products, alcoholic
beverages, mace, etc. Also, be sure you have proper
documents to return to the US.  Prior to leaving home you
should get an insurance certificate showing your vehicle is
covered in Canada (there is no fee for this).

The province of Quebec is French speaking, however, in
the cities of
Montreal and Quebec you will not have to
test your high school French.  Once you are outside of the
city most people do not speak English.  We have
occasionally had a bi-lingual person help us, however, like
in the US, most are fluent only in the native language.  

Montreal.  Visit Old Montreal, Montreal Botanical
Gardens, Notre-Dame Basilica
.  This is a difficult city for
the first time visitor to sightsee on their own, so you
should plan to take a commercial tour.  For an adventure
take a ride on the
Lachine Rapids – take a change of
clothes and enjoy.  From Montreal head east to…

Quebec City.  Take time to see the daily changing of the
guard at the Citadel, have lunch at a sidewalk café, browse
the book stalls, enjoy.  Put on the walking shoes and take
it all in. Walk down the side streets and into the shops
and churches.  This is a marvelous old city to tour.  If
staying on the south side of the St. Lawrence River, drive
to the ferry, park, and ride across the St. Lawrence River
– the parking at the ferry is easier than driving into the
city.   



Also, consider driving out to
Chute Montmorency, a
waterfalls that is higher than the Niagara Falls.  On the
way drive around the picturesque
Ile d’Orleans.  They're
both east of the city on the north shore of the St.
Lawrence River.  









Side Trip.  If you have a time to spare, consider going east
around the...

    Gaspe Peninsula.  This is a wonderful ride through
    the countryside that changes from farms to small
    fishing villages.  Along the way stop to see salmon
    climb the fish ladders, go into the small villages, view
    exquisite gardens, and visit Forillon National Park of
    Canada at the “land’s end”.  Then continue to...









    Perce.  This small coastal village is dominated by a
    rock and Ile de Bonaventurea, a nearby island that
    is the seasonal home for over 50,000 nesting
    Gannets — what a sight (and smell)!  This is a "must
    see".  (Note: As you approach Perce there is a 17%
    grade with a sharp turn at the bottom of the hill.)


                                     


    After this, swing over to the beautiful Maritime
    provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince
    Edward Island (home of the little girl’s book, Anne of
    Green Gables).  For some ideas see Route M.
After seeing the changing of the guard at the Citadel enjoy strolling in Old Quebec
It's everchanging scenery along the Gaspe
You may see seals as you approach Ile de Bonaventurea
Travel Letters
Chute Montmorency
Tourists are dwarfed by the massive rock at Perce