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Cleveland to Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Toolguy5
Explorer
Explorer
Looking for the best routes from Cleveland Ohio to Munising, Michigan.

I know straight shot is I-75. Looking for alternatives but do not want to go through Chicago. Willing to go around chicago.

How rough is it crossing Mackinaw Bridge with Fifth wheel. Do not like heights. I can do it but anxiety builds up.


Dan
Dan & Patty
Miss Pickles the Pomeranian Princess Rainbow Bridge 8/8/2023
2020 GMC 3500 Sierra Denali 6.6 Duramax / Allison tranny
2021 Jayco Eagle 319MLOK
BWRVK 3710 companion
Maddy the Pampered Pom @ Rainbow Bridge 12-3-2013
20 REPLIES 20

lane_hog
Explorer II
Explorer II
If money is no object and you're bridge averse, consider the Lake Michigan Car Ferry from Ludington to Manitowoc as an alternative...

It's not cheap for a truck + trailer or motorhome, but it is enjoyable.
  • 2019 Grand Design 29TBS (had a Winnebago and 3x Jayco owner)
  • 2016 F-150 3.5L MaxTow (had Ram 2500 CTD, Dodge Durango)
  • 130W solar and 2005 Honda EU2000i twins that just won't quit

nickthehunter
Nomad II
Nomad II
afidel wrote:
nickthehunter wrote:
Trekkar wrote:
… If you just want a break from I75, you could pick up US23 north of Woodville. This is a nice route along Lake Huron that will still take you to the bridge.

Have a good trip!
??? Woodville and US23 are nowhere near each other

US-23 heads east after splitting off I75 about 5 miles north of Woodville, that's pretty close to me..
Well you learn something new every day. When you google "Woodville, MI" you get three separate locations. One near Standish (as afidel and Trekkar notes), one near Big Rapids (the one I am familiar with), and one near Jackson. All are apparently unincorporated bergs so I guess they all can colloquially be "Woodville MI".

Trekkar
Explorer
Explorer
Trekkar wrote:
As has already been stated, the bridge is very safe. (It will be closed to traffic on Labor Day for the Bridge Run).

I75 is your quickest route, but good alternatives have already been suggested if you have the time. If you just want a break from I75,
you could pick up US23 north of Woodville. This is a nice route along Lake Huron that will still take you to the bridge.

Have a good trip!


As I said earlier, US23 north of Woodville (or Pinconning) would give you a break from the freeways. (Exit 188 on I75)
2014 Dodge Ram 1500
2021 Salem SFX 167RBK

Bob806
Explorer III
Explorer III
nickthehunter wrote:
I would definitely go up 23 through Ann Arbor rather the going through Detroit; for one thing it’s more direct.


Yes, but as an OSU alum I always go around Ann Arbor:)

On a serious note, lots of great suggestions. If you like state parks the Huron Lake side is a nice drive, with many great camping options like Tawas Point, Hoeft, Harrisville. We also enjoy Wilderness SP just west of the bridge.

afidel
Explorer II
Explorer II
nickthehunter wrote:
Trekkar wrote:
… If you just want a break from I75, you could pick up US23 north of Woodville. This is a nice route along Lake Huron that will still take you to the bridge.

Have a good trip!
??? Woodville and US23 are nowhere near each other

US-23 heads east after splitting off I75 about 5 miles north of Woodville, that's pretty close to me..
2019 Dutchman Kodiak 293RLSL
2015 GMC 1500 Sierra 4x4 5.3 3.42 full bed
Equalizer 10k WDH

nickthehunter
Nomad II
Nomad II
Trekkar wrote:
… If you just want a break from I75, you could pick up US23 north of Woodville. This is a nice route along Lake Huron that will still take you to the bridge.

Have a good trip!
??? Woodville and US23 are nowhere near each other

Trekkar
Explorer
Explorer
As has already been stated, the bridge is very safe. (It will be closed to traffic on Labor Day for the Bridge Run).

I75 is your quickest route, but good alternatives have already been suggested if you have the time. If you just want a break from I75,
you could pick up US23 north of Woodville. This is a nice route along Lake Huron that will still take you to the bridge.

Have a good trip!
2014 Dodge Ram 1500
2021 Salem SFX 167RBK

nickthehunter
Nomad II
Nomad II
I would definitely go up 23 through Ann Arbor rather the going through Detroit; for one thing it’s more direct. Do note, no matter which route you take, there is construction going on and you will be delayed; very likely stop and go at times.

ken56
Explorer
Explorer
If you have the time go up the west side like Gizmosmom said. Great drive and plenty of towns to stop in like South Haven, Holland and Grand Haven, all the way up is neat towns to stop in. That's what I mean if you have the time to do that. If time is limited then go up 75 and get to Munising and enjoy yourself. Planning any overnights or just going straight through? Long drive if straight through.

The bridge is no big deal but if you have some phobia of sorts then they will drive you across. Details are on their website, the Mackinaw bridge authority. It truly is one of our national treasures.

GizmosMom
Explorer
Explorer
As a former resident of western Michigan I also suggest traveling up the west side of Michigan. Take US 31 north. A beautiful ride is on Michigan Highway 22. Take US 31 to Highway 22 just past the little town of Beulah. Enjoy the views, the people, the fruit and the lake air!
Marilyn w/ Joe, 2016 Class C Sunseeker 2430 SF, often pulling a Ranger bass boat. Traveling with Trigger
Smudge & Gizmo are waiting at the Rainbow Bridge

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
Mfan wrote:
No cars bring driven correctly have ever fallen off it.


Not to scare the OP but yes, a Yugo did vault over the rails back in 1989. I was working for a professor doing an analysis as an expert witness. There is still debate as to what actually happened but it only takes about 0.1PSI over the bottom to lift a Yugo. The theory is, an updraft thru the grate caused the car to essentially become weightless and she lost control and with the car essentially weightless, when it hit the curb rail, it jumped over the main railing. A much heavier RV would be far less likely to have such an issue.

Not something I would worry about but just getting the facts straight.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
Unless you are purposely doing the west side of Lake Michigan, Chicago is out of the way by a good amount. Plus, if you consider the metro area, it's probably an extra couple hours to actually bypass Chicago.

You could go thru Canada but again, it's a good distance out of the way when you go around Georgian Bay.

If you are worried about Detroit, take US-23 north out of Toledo. It reconnects with I-75 at Flint. Still want to avoid rush hour on weekdays around Ann Arbor.

You could take either I-94 or I-96 west to US-127. Only ads a few miles but not a ton to see.

If you really want to avoid doing I-75 and you have a few days, you could take I-96 to Muskegon and then take US-31 up stopping 2-3 places along the way. Adds some miles but easy driving and some great stops (Ludington, Grand Haven, Traverse City, Sleeping Bear Dunes, etc....)

As far as the bridge, they will shut it down to RVs if the winds are kicking up too much and it's only 45mph. Just did it last week and it was a toddle. If you are worried about heights, just focus on the road ahead. $8 with trailer to cross (motorhomes are more depending on axle configuration). They do take cash unlike the Illinois tollway where they take a picture and you have to go online to pay the toll (a real pain in the...).
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

afidel
Explorer II
Explorer II
Going up directly I stayed at Houghton Lake, the drive up 127 wasn't bad at all. Coming down we did I75 and stayed at Pontiac Lake, one of my favorite campgrounds ever.
2019 Dutchman Kodiak 293RLSL
2015 GMC 1500 Sierra 4x4 5.3 3.42 full bed
Equalizer 10k WDH

Mfan
Explorer
Explorer
The bridge is a problem for me also, but doable. Speed limit is 45mph. If the weather is bad, they won't let you cross it. No cars bring driven correctly have ever fallen off it.