View Full Version : Road trip from NYC

28-Jul-2015, 22:12
A friend and myself are planning to get out of the city for about 5 days and we're gonna drive west and see where that takes us. I've traveled all over the south but I never really spent much time in the rust belt. Any suggestions on where we should head? We're planning on camping out, so it'll probably be more rustic and rural than urban. Don't know if we'd make it, but we'd considered heading to michigan and seeing how far we get before we gotta turn around.

Andrew Plume
29-Jul-2015, 02:18
well if you like decaying buildings like I do (providing you can get to them), there's plenty of sites on the web. Here's a random link:


good luck and watch where you step

29-Jul-2015, 04:52
I recently drove from NYC to Albany, then headed west on I-90 to Utica, then took route 12 north towards Lowville.
Around Utica and beyond, there was plenty of rust belt decay, and small lonely towns dotted the smaller highways.
Rochester and Buffalo are good options if you want to visit some larger urban areas, and they're roughly a half-day's drive from NYC, so you'd have more time to visit, shoot photos, etc.
If you don't have one yet, get an E-Z Pass for the big highways; it's a more efficient way to travel the interstate.

29-Jul-2015, 05:46
the I-90 corridor is pretty interesting--I lived in syracuse for a few years, and there is a lot of interesting stuff in that area, plus there is lightwork, which is a cool place/probably has some interesting photographs on display. Rochester of course, plus there is the george eastman house.
from NYC, once you get out of the city, Syracuse is a solid 4 hours going 80/81, and you can catch up to 90 there.

once you get into central NY there are a number of state parks close to cities/highways, so camping is easy.

if you want scenic I'd suggest Letchworth state park, "the grand canyon of the east" as well as Chimney Bluffs state park on the shore of lake ontario.

I haven't done it, but the canadian route to Michagan is supposed to be nice, and there is niagara.

29-Jul-2015, 05:50
Get ahold of me if you get to west michigan. I could stand to do some shooting.
There are several places to camp around here but it's summer so getting a spot (especially on weekends) will be tricky. Some state parks have a percentage of sites which cannot be reserved ahead of time, so that should be helpful.

Richard Raymond
29-Jul-2015, 07:09
Heading to Michigan you will be taking the US80 out of NYC. Depending on what time of day you leave it will take you about 10-12 hours of drive time to get to Kalamazoo, MI. The trip through northern PA will be rolling hills. Once you get to Ohio you will be in a more industrial setting. If Michigan is indeed the goal then I would drive straight through and start camping in Michigan. Spend your 4 days and do the 10 to 12 hour drive back. Check with some Michigan tourist recreation websites for camping info. Eastern Michigan will offer more urban opportunities and fewer camping places. You might do a loop from the US80 going up the east side (Detroit) of Michigan, around the top and then back down through Kalamazoo and return on the 80. Not sure how much you are interested in getting to the upper penn but that is also an option for rural settings.

29-Jul-2015, 13:29
thanks for the tips, all will be added to the consideration pile. we're gonna sit down and make some decisions tomorrow, so we'll see!

Alan Klein
29-Jul-2015, 13:42
I'd go through PA and NY middle staying off many super highways. Lots to see and camp along the way. Then come back through route 80. See Google map routes. This is a start. (Need passport to go through Canada?)

29-Jul-2015, 14:13
If you go the other way (North), I'd suggest the White Mountains in NH, western Maine mountains/lakes, northern Maine, former Loring AFB for rural photography / coldwar history exploring. It's definitely rural, and if you have time, then head straight south to the eastern corner of Maine..

29-Jul-2015, 14:29
If you do go into Canada be sure to downplay the goal of photography. I know of photographers who were going from the USA to Canada on photography assignments who were refused entry.


"Because there are Canadian photographers who can do the job."

If I were planning a trip like this, I would go when the autumn leaves were turning colors.

Since y'all are going now, are you planning a trip into Detroit to photograph decaying homes and neighborhoods?

I grew up in Ohio so know there are annual events such as the Apple Butter Festival and others. You might want to use Google to try to find out local community events such as that. Or county fairs.


Fred L
29-Jul-2015, 16:23
crossing into Michigan at Sault Set Marie would be a good drive. The Sudbury to Sault section not as much as the Hwy 69 stretch. Lots of good opportunities to get out with the camera, esp so if you like water and rocks. Shld be some derelict abandoned gas stations/ motels as well.

and the US dollar will go far in Canuckistan ;)

and blueberries. LOTS of blueberries for sale in and around Sudbury. I'm talking the small explosions of flavour wild ones.

30-Jul-2015, 04:44
If you do go into Canada be sure to downplay the goal of photography. I know of photographers who were going from the USA to Canada on photography assignments who were refused entry.


"Because there are Canadian photographers who can do the job."

I used to get the same questions and hassles when crossing into the US. Now I say I'm just a hobbyist.
And to answer Alan Klein: yes, both Canada and the US now require you to show a passport to cross the US/Canada border.
Not that long ago, a driver's license was enough.

Jim Andrada
30-Jul-2015, 21:32
Or just a wave of the hand once upon a time long long ago. I recall that the school buses in some rural areas used to cross the border several times on their routes.

Leszek Vogt
30-Jul-2015, 22:02
Actually, I need to correct the myth. Five states (including NY) offer Enhanced Driver License....it has security features...and both sides accept this form of ID at the border. In fact, I used to had one and used it. However, if anyone wishes to fly to Canada....this type of ID will not be honored.

Hmmm, 5 days isn't much. I'd either follow your own desire or whatever sounds good. If that was me, I'd run somewhere...away from the humidity. Tho you might be more accustomed to it.

Good luck.


1-Aug-2015, 10:20
we've decided to head into vermont. neither of us have been before. from what I've heard from people I can expect dairy products and maple syrup. But what else is there?

Randy Moe
1-Aug-2015, 10:49
we've decided to head into vermont. neither of us have been before. from what I've heard from people I can expect dairy products and maple syrup. But what else is there?

Good people.

1-Aug-2015, 16:46
Burlington is a quirky little city, lots of fun.

Alan Klein
1-Aug-2015, 17:17
Vermont. Visit Bernie Sanders. Help him with his campaign. Also Green Mountains. Go up to Equinox Mountain. Great view of numerous states from outpost owned by a monastery. manchester is near by. Nice town with quaint stores and outlets like Eastern Mountain States and LL Bean.

1-Aug-2015, 18:24
If you're into beer and get lucky you might get a can of heady topper, purported to be the best beer in the world.

Richard Raymond
2-Aug-2015, 06:30
Coming north out of NYC on route 187 will be Lake George north of Glens Falls and Queensbury. Remember that all the month of August Saratoga Race Track will be open. Lake George is scenic and crowded with summer vacationers. North of there is Fort Ticonderoga which you may find interesting. From Glens Falls head east on route 4 up to the ski areas then take Route 100 north through the central part of the state. Farms, small towns, Ben and Jerry's, Stow Ski Area. From there head west through Smugglers Notch to just north of Burlington. Head south to Burlington and then continue south along the eastern side of Lake Champlain on route 7. This loop will drop you back to the southwest corner of Vermont and then out to route 187 for the drive south. This loop will give you camping opportunities and a scenic view of the state. The Vermont tourist bureau will have maps and points of interest along the loop that may be to your liking as well as camping information.