This page is meant to give instructions for someone on the East Coast, who wants to drive somewhere and see the "northern lights." As a disportionate number of people on my "aurora list" are from the Rochester area in Upstate New York, I am adding directions for a "short trip" up to the shore(s) of Ontario Lake.  

   Get on 390 north--and just keep going.  At the end, one will be able to turn left or right; turn left onto the Lake Ontario Expressway.  You will eventually reach "Townline Road." Turn left, and then turn left at the first intersection.  This road is quite dark, and if there is a display going on, you may well be able to see it on the horizon on your left.  You will eventually pass a lone house on your right (after about a mile), followed by a parking space on your right.  I used to go up there every night it was clear--for about a year (I think once even a member of what New York State has the audacity to call police drove by.), and I have never had any trouble what-so-ever.  Good hunting.

   For those a little more serious: Get on the New York Thruway, going west.  Keep going until you reach Canada.  Do *NOT* tell Customs that you are going to Canada to see the northern lights--trust me on that one.  :P

   It's more than a little out of one's way, but for those who wish to cross the border without control, follow this link: Freedom.

   Provided that you've survived the pointless abuse you may well have received at the border, continue on the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Expressway).  If traveling at night, don't miss the cool flame coming out of the refinery on your left, fairly close to Toronto.  (It always reminds me of the opening scene to "Blade Runner"--_the_ _best_ movie ever made.) Pass pretty much through Toronto (Canada's biggest city--believe it or not), and take 400 North, to Barrie.

   At the fork in the road you will eventually reach, take 11 North, to North Bay.  Pass through North Bay--about the silliest place on Earth--and keep heading on 11 North.  There is just something magical about taking 11 North out of North Bay--in search of the "northern lights." -Don't fail to miss the GIANT fish on the left about 50 miles up! (And don't miss the view at Dymond--it's extraordinary.) If there is even a moderate display going on, and the weather is _clear_ (It is more than a good idea to check with in life is more hearthbreaking than a 1,000+ mile trip to see the aurora, knowing it's there, and just looking at the underside of clouds.  :( ), you should be able to see "the lights" about one hundred miles south of Cochrane, or so.  (You _may_ have some light pollution from Iroquois Falls--don't be fooled by this.) Note: Going further than Cochrane (Say hi to Chimo! :) ) won't do you any good--11 North becomes 11 West, and you're no longer going any closer.

   For those who are REALLY serious: On 11 North, when you reach New Liskeard, take 65 (West, I think--it may be North. . . .), cross into Quebec, and onto 101 North.  (It's not too bad.) Then take 117 West to 109 North.  You will have to pass through Rouyn-Noranda, and it downright bites.  (I searched for a way around it over the course of several months; there is none.) On 109 North, you will pass through Amos, followed by Matagami.  The scenery is beautiful, and the people in Amos are really friendly (Of possible note, I bought, in Amos, the only "complete Spirograph" that I have ever owned--it's in _French_.  :P )--but suffer from a case of "Quebocois pride" far in excess of my tastes.  :P

   Finally, go through the checkpoint in Matagami.  If you want to get through quickly, tell them you are already signed up for "the tour" at Radisson.  If you want to get through REALLY quickly--lie, and tell them that you are only going to the "Matagami Campgrounds." If there is any activity going on at all--you will be able to see it north of Matagami.  You should see the route between Matagami and Radisson during the daytime, though, as it is breathtakingly beautiful.  Also, if you do go all the way to Radisson, you really should see the Robert Bourassa installation; it is the largest underground hydroelectric plant in the world, and is REALLY cool.  -Don't forget to see "Giant Steps." :)

   Now, some final things that I feel obligated to say.  One, Canadian Customs agents can--and not totally infrequently do--pointlessly harass American tourists.  (I get it one time in three (if I tell the truth), and one time in five (if I lie)--averaged over 53 border crossings.  Also, northern Ontario is the ONLY place on Earth that I have received criminal abuse from what I am told to call police--outside of the "psychotic state" of New York, of course.  That said, good [aurora] hunting!