Rock Cut near Terrace Bay

Why travel 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.

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.
Obatanga Provincial Park Sign, near White River
Heron 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 deport.

Views of Superior west of White 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.

Wawa was 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

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
 

0Junction 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 Nof highway, via Hwy 101 & Broadway Ave..

1Cross Magpie River (Wawa) 249.6

 

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

 

Wawa RV Resort & Campground..

6Services, W side of Hwy295

 

8Services, W side of Hwy289.3

 

39Hwy 519 N to Dubreuilville & Algoma Central Railway440.7

 

Town of Dubreuilville, pop. 900, 35 km NE of highway..
54Obatanga Provincial Park, S of hwy422.8

 

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

61Services, Lodging, E side of hwy429.2

 

63Passing Hammer Lake, lake is to W of highway for 6 km427.9

 

74Roadside Turnout, picnic area, west side of hwy438.3

 

85crossing small lake406.9

 

86creek crossing398.1

 

90Highway 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..

108Crossing White River345

 

112Crossing White River342

 

117Road S to Pic Mobert North Indian Reserve, and town of Mobert (8 km) and access to Pukuskwa National Park356.6

 

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


Access to Pukuskwa National Park, via White River..

123Bridge over White Lake322.5

 

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…

127Bridge over Dunc Lake322.5

 

over northern portion of Dunc Lake..
135Cedar Lake S of hwy312.4

 

140Junction Hwy 614 N to Manitouwadge (58 km), Roadside turnout on S side just W of junction312.1

 

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

145Gravel Pit mine to N of hwy321.6

 

154Passing Lake S side of hwy260.6

 

Rious Lake to S of highway, about 1.7 across…
167Crossing Black River240.2

 

173hwy 627, S to Pic River Indian Reserve 50212.8

 

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…

173Crossing Pic River197.5

 

Pedestrian bridge on N side of hihgway, accessed by trails along S side of highway (go figure!)..
176East 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…

180Peninsula 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
 

0Peninsula 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..

4East 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…

7hwy 627, S to Pic River Indian Reserve 50212.8

 

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…

7Crossing Pic River197.5

 

Pedestrian bridge on N side of hihgway, accessed by trails along S side of highway (go figure!)..
13Crossing Black River240.2

 

26Passing Lake S side of hwy260.6

 

Rious Lake to S of highway, about 1.7 across…
35Gravel Pit mine to N of hwy321.6

 

40Junction Hwy 614 N to Manitouwadge (58 km), Roadside turnout on S side just W of junction312.1

 

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

45Cedar Lake S of hwy312.4

 

53Bridge over Dunc Lake322.5

 

over northern portion of Dunc Lake..
57Bridge over White Lake322.5

 

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…

63Road S to Pic Mobert North Indian Reserve, and town of Mobert (8 km) and access to Pukuskwa National Park356.6

 

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


Access to Pukuskwa National Park, via White River..

68Crossing White River342

 

72Crossing White River345

 

90Highway 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..

94creek crossing398.1

 

95crossing small lake406.9

 

106Roadside Turnout, picnic area, west side of hwy438.3

 

117Passing Hammer Lake, lake is to W of highway for 6 km427.9

 

119Services, Lodging, E side of hwy429.2

 

126Obatanga Provincial Park, S of hwy422.8

 

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

141Hwy 519 N to Dubreuilville & Algoma Central Railway440.7

 

Town of Dubreuilville, pop. 900, 35 km NE of highway..
172Services, W side of Hwy289.3

 

174Services, W side of Hwy295

 

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

 

Wawa RV Resort & Campground..

179Cross Magpie River (Wawa) 249.6

 

180Junction 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 Nof highway, via Hwy 101 & Broadway Ave..

KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
 

Map
Add
Info