Driving routes from Cincinnati to Ann Arbor?
May 19, 2008 7:20 AM   Subscribe

Please tell me about your experience driving the main or alternate routes from Cincinnati, OH to Ann Arbor, MI.

Google Maps gives the main route as primarily on I-75, and says it takes 4 hours, but a friend of mine said it takes more like 6 hours and encounters big traffic jams in Dayton and Toledo. If I check "avoid highways", Google gives me a route that goes up the western side of the state, primarily on route 127, and it says that takes 6 hours. If the alternate route is a pretty drive, I'd be happy to take it. If you've driven from Cincy to Ann Arbor yourself, please tell me what you know about this or any other routes, and which you would recommend. Time is not so much the issue, I'd just like to have a nice non-frustrating drive.
posted by matildaben to Travel & Transportation around Cincinnati, OH (5 answers total)
Um, I used to live in Northwest Ohio and while I've never been on 127, I can vouch for non-interstate travel, although you have to keep a sharper eye out for state patrol. I used to take US 30 to Chicago a lot and made great time every time. I've also been in some slow traffic going around Toledo on the outerbelt and slower traffic through the middle of town, but that was usually due to construction. If there's construction in Dayton or Toledo, or if you like road trips, take US 127.
posted by billtron at 7:31 AM on May 19, 2008

I don't know a ton about the Ohio leg - but I can tell you to be careful in 127, especially outside of Jackson, MI - I've known several people who were killed/seriously injured on that stretch of road. It loses its divider and there are a LOT of trucks (may have changed in the last 15 years). Also, beware the Ohio highway patrol and their unmarked cruisers!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:35 AM on May 19, 2008

I live in Ann Arbor and I've driven this route a few times. You may hit traffic in Dayton depending on your time of day, but Toledo is a non-issue because you'll get on US-23 north to Ann Arbor before I-75 gets ensnarled in Toledo. It's true that taking I-75 all the way to Detroit can be a nightmare, but you'll be missing all the worst parts. US-127 is not remotely scenic and too far out of the way. Just don't hit Dayton at rush hour and you should be fine.... most of the trip is pretty clear. Check buckeyetraffic.org for specific closures or congestion.
posted by ulotrichous at 7:37 AM on May 19, 2008

Before moving to SF last year, I lived my whole life in/near Cincinnati and Toledo. ulotrichous is 100% correct. Dayton at rush hour is your main concern. If you do happen to hit Toledo in rush hour though, 23 can be a little crowded. Especially around the NW corner, where 475 breaks off. But it's a minor concern compared to Dayton.

don't miss giant field goal jesus
posted by GeekAnimator at 10:40 AM on May 19, 2008

I live about an hour northwest of Cincinnati and usually take I-75 to get up to my parents' house in Ann Arbor. It takes me almost exactly 4 hours (I drive north/east and get on 75 near Dayton), and I've never hit SERIOUS traffic (stop-and-go) in the almost 3 years I've been doing it, although sometimes the traffic does slow down a little. I usually drive up on Fridays after work and back down on Sunday afternoons if that makes a difference, so I don't usually hit Dayton until rush hour is over.

My grandma lives just off 127 near the Michigan-Ohio border and I live near 127, so when I visit her, I usually take 127 almost the whole way. I wouldn't describe it as particularly fast or scenic, but it is at least a change of scene. There's a lot more opportunity to get lost, as 127 weaves through towns, you have to stop at lights, etc. I also don't think I would go that way in the dark or in the winter.
posted by srah at 5:23 AM on May 20, 2008

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