Within sailing distance of the great cities of the Midwest, the North Channel and Georgian Bay are best reached by the routes below
From Chicago, 380 miles. Prevailing heavy west winds make most Chicago yachtsmen prefer to start out in the shelter of the west shore of Lake Michigan. First hop is 60 miles to Racine, second is 45 miles to Port Washington. Here yachtsmen have a choice. If the weather is fair and the skipper wants to make long runs he can take the east shore route (dotted line) 125 miles to Frankfort and then go another 80 to Charlevoix, premier resort town of the lake, just 55 miles from Mackinac. If shorter runs and calmer water are preferred, the skipper can continue (solid line) along the west shore from Port Washington and run 50 miles to Manitowoc. Then he goes into Green Bay, stopping at Jackson Harbor, 105 miles from Manitowoc. The next-to-last jump is 80 miles to St. James, with Mackinac 40 miles away. Chicago cruising men (and yachtsmen from other Midwest points as well), to get maximum time in North Channel duzing their vacation, take their yachts to an intermediate approach point before their actual vacation begins.
From Detroit, 290 miles. Skippers from Detroit and the western end of Lake Ontario start their trip by running up the Detroit River into Lake St. Clair and from there to Port Huron. Those who want to make the full cruise from Mackinac east through North Channel will then take the course (solid line) from Port Huron 35 miles to Sanilac or to Harbor Beach, another 35 miles farther on. After the next 125-mile jump to Presque Isle, they have only 70 miles left to Mackinac. However, yachtsmen who want a shorter cruise can run a route to the west through North Channel, in the direction opposite the cruise outlined on the preceding page. This saves 60 miles by going up Huron's east shore (dotted line) from Port Huron 65 miles to Goderich. From there the cruise runs 60 miles to Port Elgin and another 60 miles to Tobermory, eastern gateway to the cruising grounds. From here the yachtsmen can sail west into the islands of North Channel until he must turn around and head back to Detroit via Tobermory again.
From Rochester, 400 miles. Rochester skippers, yachtsmen from easterly U.S. points on Lake Ontario and Canadian skippers from the Toronto area can get into the North Channel by entering the Trent-Severn Canal at Trenton, 65 miles from Rochester. The canal runs 240 miles through locks and railway portages to the southern end of Georgian Bay. From here yachtsmen can cruise 95 miles to Tobermory and then take the 150-mile run to Mackinac (solid line) for the full west-east North Channel cruise; or they can take the alternate tour (dotted line) 50 miles to the eastern end of North Channel and run the channel from east to west, returning via Tobermory. The Trent-Severn route from Rochester takes a day or so longer than the route through Detroit (see center map) via Buffalo; but the waters of the Trent-Severn offer calm, protected cruising for boats less than 45 feet long. Longer hulls cannot be accommodated on the overland railway boat cradle on which all boats must be transported at one point along the canal route.