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ON Highway Itinerary Marathon to Wawa along #17

What to See & Do Between Marathon and Wawa?

This section provides lots of great lake views, sweeping forest vistas, great rock cuts, and views of the trans-continental railroad. The highway passes through or by several one-industry company towns for extracting Ontario’s amazing resource wealth and getting it to the world, via the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Seaway.

Ontario Itinerary - Marathon - Wawa

Here is the itinerary of the 180 km along #17 between Marathon and Wawa:

Lake Superior islands-Pearl, west of Terrace Bay
The forests in this leg of the Trans-Canada indicate a major shift in eco-zones. The forests north of Wawa are most coniferous Boreal Forest, while the forests south of Wawa are mixed deciduous-coniferous which are part of the Great-Lakes St Lawrence ecozone.
Cobble Beach along Lake Superior
Marathon was a company town, which used to be a fur trading post which grew to a population of about 2500 in the 1940s when the Marathon Corporation of Canada (now part of American Can Company) built a kraft pulp mill there.

Terrace Bay -TCH rock cut for highway
Terrace Bay -TCH rock cut for highway

Obatanga Provincial Park Sign, near White RiverHeron Bay is 5 km south of the Trans-Canada, at highway #627, which continues south to the Pic River Indian Reserve and Pukaskwa National Park. This town was built by the Ontario Paper Company, which used Great Lakes freighters to ship logs from the nearby Black River and Pic River valleys to their plant near St Catherines. When the company switched to rail transport in the 1960s they abandoned the town.

White River is in a “bowl” which shelters is from Lake Superior’s moderating influence, and because colder air falls down, it tends to be colder than surrounding communities. White River was settled as a Canadian Pacific Railway depot.

Northern ontario river
Northern ontario river

High Railway Bridge between White River and Terrace Bay
About midway between White River and Wawa is the Obatanaga Provincial Park. It has several large lakes and is popular with shorebirds. Southeast of this park the terrain moves into an area rich in iron. The iron found in this region was a key factor in locating a major steel plant at Sault Ste Marie, where access to the Great Lakes enabled shipment of finished steel to manufacturers in both Canada and the US.

As the trans-Canada Highway  transitions frorm the north shore of Lake Superior to the East shore of Lake Superior,  it bends around Pukaskwa National Park. Established in 1971, it is Ontario’s largest national park, with an area of 1,878 square km ( 725 square miles). The visitor center is on the west side of the park, alongside the Pic River. It has sandy beaches,  boating, day  hikes,and back-country hikes, and is home to the  White River Suspension Bridge, a moderate hike from the visitor centre.

Wawa , onwas built on terraces left behind by the receding shorelines of Ice Age glacial lakes (just like the terraces at Terrace Bay, to the west). Wawa boomed due to a chance gold discovery in 1896, but after the gold petered out, the prospectors shifted to iron required by American industry.

Elevation Chart: Marathon to Wawa

Elevation Chart: Marathon to Wawa
Elevation Chart: Marathon to Wawa

Trans-Canada Highway Itinerary Map

Use mouse to drag/move map. Click on “+” or “” to zoom in or out. “Satellite” combines map & photo.
Note:

Itinerary Details

KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
 
Map
Add
Info
 
0 Junction Hwy 101, Wawa Info Centre, N to Wawa airport, town of Wawa, all services (Wawa)  282.5

 

Municipality of Wawa, 3 km to the N of the highway.


Highway 101, as Mission Rd in to Wawa, continues E to Chapleau.


Chapleau, pop. 2300, 130 km E of highway.


Algoma Motel.


Beaver Motel.


Best Northern Resort & Restaurant.


Bristol Motel.


Camp Michi Wawa.


High Falls Motel and Cabins.


Lakeview Hotel.


Lakewood Motel.


Mystic Isle Motel.


Northern Lights Motel & Breakfast.


Parkway Motel, 3 km S of junction, on Highway 17.


Miss Ellie’s Bed & Breakfast.


Wawa Motor Inn.


Michipicoten’s 9 Hole Golf Course.


Visitor Information Centre, with the famous statue of the Wawa Canada Goose. public washrooms.


Lady Dunn Health Centre, 3.7 km N of highway, via Hwy 101 & Broadway Ave.

1 Cross Magpie River (Wawa)  249.6

 

2 Magpie River Rd, S to Wawa RV Resort & Campground (Wawa)  254.5

 

Wawa RV Resort & Campground.

6 Services, W side of Hwy 295

 

8 Services, W side of Hwy 289.3

 

39 Hwy 519 N to Dubreuilville & Algoma Central Railway 440.7

 

Town of Dubreuilville, pop. 900, 35 km NE of highway.
54 Obatanga Provincial Park, S of hwy 422.8

 

Obatanga Provincial Park, with 32 lakes, day-use area, camping, water sports, winter sports.

61 Services, Lodging, E side of hwy 429.2

 

63 Passing Hammer Lake, lake is to W of highway for 6 km 427.9

 

74 Roadside Turnout, picnic area, west side of hwy 438.3

 

85 crossing small lake 406.9

 

86 creek crossing 398.1

 

90 Highway Junction Hwy 631, S to town of White River (services along the hwy) (White River)  375.5

 

Town of White River, to S of highway.


White River Heritage Museum, celebrating the home of Winnie the Pooh, the early CPR, and AJ Cason of the Group of Seven painters.


Continental Hotel and Restaurant.


White River Motel.


Township of Hornepayne, 97 km NE of highway.


Winnie the Pooh Statue in White River.


Thermometer at east entrance to White River, marking coldest spot in Canada.

108 Crossing White River 345

 

112 Crossing White River 342

 

117 Road S to Pic Mobert North Indian Reserve, and town of Mobert (8 km) and access to Pukuskwa National Park 356.6

 

Pic Mobert North Indian Reserve, on east shore of White Lake.


Access to Pukuskwa National Park, via White River.

123 Bridge over White Lake 322.5

 

Over east side of White Lake.


White Lake Provincial Park, south of highway, on west side of White Lake. Camping, water sports, sandy beaches winter sports.

127 Bridge over Dunc Lake 322.5

 

over northern portion of Dunc Lake..
135 Cedar Lake S of hwy 312.4

 

140 Junction Hwy 614 N to Manitouwadge (58 km), Roadside turnout on S side just W of junction 312.1

 

Township of Manitouwadge, pop. 2300, 58 km N of highway. Home to Golden Giant gold mine.


Early 1980s, gold was discovered at Hemlo, near highway junction. Several open pit mines in the area.


small rest stops with bathrooms just to W of junction. both sides of highway.


Prairie Lake Project uranium mine, operated by Nuinsco Resources Limited, 28 km N of Highway

145 Gravel Pit mine to N of hwy 321.6

 

154 Passing Lake S side of hwy 260.6

 

Rious Lake to S of highway, about 1.7 across.
167 Crossing Black River 240.2

 

173 hwy 627, S to Pic River Indian Reserve 50 212.8

 

Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation.


community of Heron Bay, 10 km S of highway, in the Pic River 50 Reserve.


mouth of Pic River is 20 km S of highway, and has sandy beaches with dunes on the N side of the river’s mouth.


Pukaskwa National Park, Hattie Cove entrance. Pukaskwa is the only wilderness national park in Ontario.

173 Crossing Pic River 197.5

 

Pedestrian bridge on N side of highway, accessed by trails along S side of highway (go figure!)..
176 East access to Marathon, all services, OPP (Marathon)  311.8

 

Superior Slopes Ski Hill, just W of highway junction. Ski hill (325 ft, 11 runs) slopes away form the road.


Gravel pits on N side of highway, one a km E of junction, 1 a km W of junction.


Craig’s Pit Provincial Park, 5 km SW of highway. Hiking trails to access glacial kettles in gravel beds. No facilities.


south side of highway, beside Superior Slopes Ski Hill.


Service station on N (westbound) side of highway, about 1.3 km W of this junction.

180 Peninsula Rd, (W) to north access to Marathon (5 km), all services (Marathon)  316.1

 

Marathon Municipal Airport (CYSP), just NW of highway.


Town of Marathon, about 2.5 km SW of highway.


Marathon District Museum.


Mink Creek Falls.


Peninsula Golf Course, 9 holes designed by Stanley Thompson.


Best Western Airport Motor Inn.


Lakeview Manor.


Marathon Harbour Inn.


Peninsula Inn.


Travelodge Marathon.


Wayfare Inn, /4 mile west of Marathon Intersection.


Pic River Guest Suite.


Penn Lake Park campground,2 km from highway, in-town.

KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
 
Map
Add
Info
 

KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
 
Map
Add
Info
 
0 Peninsula Rd, (W) to north access to Marathon(5 km), all services (Marathon)  316.1

 

Marathon Municipal Airport (CYSP), just NW of highway.


Town of Marathon, about 2.5 km SW of highway.


Marathon District Museum.


Mink Creek Falls.


Peninsula Golf Course, 9 holes designed by Stanley Thompson..


Best Western Airport Motor Inn.


Lakeview Manor.


Marathon Harbour Inn.


Peninsula Inn.


Travelodge Marathon.


Wayfare Inn, 1/4 mile west of Marathon Intersection.


Pic River Guest Suite..


Penn Lake Park campground,2 km from highway, in-town..

4 East access to Marathon, all services, OPP (Marathon)  311.8

 

Superior Slopes Ski Hill, just W of highway junction. Ski hill (325 ft, 11 runs) slopes away form the road.


Gravel pits on N side of highway, one a km E of junction, 1 a km W of junction.


Craig’s Pit Provincial Park, 5 km SW of highway. Hiking trails to access glacial kettles in gravel beds. No facilities.


south side of highway, beside Superior Slopes Ski Hill.


Service station on N (westbound) side of highway, about 1.3 km W of this junction.

7 hwy 627, S to Pic River Indian Reserve 50 212.8

 

Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation.


community of Heron Bay, 10 km S of highway, in the Pic River 50 Reserve.


mouth of Pic River is 20 km S of highway, and has sandy beaches with dunes on the N side of the river’s mouth.


Pukaskwa National Park, Hattie Cove entrance. Pukaskwa is the only wilderness national park in Ontario.

7 Crossing Pic River 197.5

 

Pedestrian bridge on N side of hihgway, accessed by trails along S side of highway (go figure!).
13 Crossing Black River 240.2

 

26 Passing Lake S side of hwy 260.6

 

Rious Lake to S of highway, about 1.7 across.
35 Gravel Pit mine to N of hwy 321.6

 

40 Junction Hwy 614 N to Manitouwadge (58 km), Roadside turnout on S side just W of junction 312.1

 

Township of Manitouwadge, pop. 2300, 58 km N of highway. Home to Golden Giant gold mine.


Early 1980s, gold was discovered at Hemlo, near highway junction. Several open pit mines in the area.


small rest stops with bathrooms just to W of junction. both sides of highway.


Prairie Lake Project uranium mine, operated by Nuinsco Resources Limited, 28 km N of Highway

45 Cedar Lake S of hwy 312.4

 

53 Bridge over Dunc Lake 322.5

 

over northern portion of Dunc Lake.
57 Bridge over White Lake 322.5

 

Over east side of White Lake..


White Lake Provincial Park, south of highway, on west side of White Lake. Camping, water sports, sandy beaches winter sports.

63 Road S to Pic Mobert North Indian Reserve, and town of Mobert (8 km) and access to Pukuskwa National Park 356.6

 

Pic Mobert North Indian Reserve, on east shore of White Lake.


Access to Pukuskwa National Park, via White River..

68 Crossing White River 342

 

72 Crossing White River 345

 

90 Highway Junction Hwy 631, S to town of White River (services along the hwy) (White River)  375.5

 

Town of White River, to S of highway.


White River Heritage Museum, celebrating the home of Winnie the Pooh, the early CPR, and AJ Cason of the Group of Seven painters.


Continental Hotel and Restaurant.


White River Motel.


Township of Hornepayne, 97 km NE of highway.


Winnie the Pooh Statue in White River.


Thermometer at east entrance to White River, marking coldest spot in Canada.

94 creek crossing 398.1

 

95 crossing small lake 406.9

 

106 Roadside Turnout, picnic area, west side of hwy 438.3

 

117 Passing Hammer Lake, lake is to W of highway for 6 km 427.9

 

119 Services, Lodging, E side of hwy 429.2

 

126 Obatanga Provincial Park, S of hwy 422.8

 

Obatanga Provincial Park, with 32 lakes, day-use area, camping, water sports, winter sports.

141 Hwy 519 N to Dubreuilville & Algoma Central Railway 440.7

 

Town of Dubreuilville, pop. 900, 35 km NE of highway..
172 Services, W side of Hwy 289.3

 

174 Services, W side of Hwy 295

 

178 Magpie River Rd, S to Wawa RV Resort & Campground (Wawa)  254.5

 

Wawa RV Resort & Campground.

179 Cross Magpie River (Wawa)  249.6

 

180 Junction Hwy 101, Wawa Info Centre, N to Wawa airport, town of Wawa, all services (Wawa)  282.5

 

Municipality of Wawa, 3 km to the N of the highway..


Highway 101, as Mission Rd in to Wawa, continues E to Chapleau.


Chapleau, pop. 2300, 130 km E of highway.


Algoma Motel.


Beaver Motel.


Best Northern Resort & Restaurant.


Bristol Motel.


Camp Michi Wawa.


High Falls Motel and Cabins.


Lakeview Hotel.


Lakewood Motel.


Mystic Isle Motel.


Northern Lights Motel & Breakfast.


Parkway Motel, 3 km S of junction, on Highway 17.


Miss Ellie’s Bed & Breakfast.


Wawa Motor Inn.


Michipicoten’s 9 Hole Golf Course..


Visitor Information Centre, with the famous statue of the Wawa Canada Goose. public washrooms..


Lady Dunn Health Centre, 3.7 km N of highway, via Hwy 101 & Broadway Ave.

KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
 
Map
Add
Info