Sault Ste. Marie

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<map lat='46.517768256846566' lng='-84.32212829589844' zoom='11' view='0' float='right' />

Sault Ste. Marie (nicknamed the 'Soo') is a major town of 75.000 inhabitants along the Transcanadian Highway in Ontario, Canada. Sault Ste. Marie is also a border crossing to Michigan to its twin sister town of 16.000 inhabitants also called Sault Ste. Marie.

The 'Soo' in Canada

The city is located between Lake Huron and Lake Superior on the shore of the St. Marie River and is usually a necessary stop when travelling East-West within Canada.

A stop overnight in Sault Ste. Marie is usually needed as the journey to the next western town of Thunder Bay takes a whole day. As for example, Thunder Bay is at 790km NW and Sudbury at 390km E of Sault Ste. Mary.

The Trans-Canada 17 enters in the northern fringe of the city with roads connecting to the International Bridge (known as the 17B), which makes it a little confusing.

There is a public transit system on the Canadian side for about 2$ per ride, the main bus Terminus is located downtown at the corner of Dennis/Queen.

South to Michigan, United States

  • Look at the information on Border Crossing

North to TC17 for Thunder Bay

  • From the International Bridge:

From Huron St., take Queen St and walk the short distance until you arrive on Gore St in downtown Sault Ste. Marie (note that you can get a free map of Ontario or Sault Ste. Marie region at the Welcome Centre at the corner of Queen and Huron).

The lower street parallel to Queens (Bay St) is the one way streets going the right direction. Once you have reached Church St, climb up (which will become Pim St. and further Great Northern Road). You can ask someone to help you reach the TC17 corner or catch a city bus (Cedar Heights Line) to 2nd or up to 4th Line Street along the Great Northern Road.

  • To Thunder Bay:

Get yourself left at the corner of Black Road/2nd Line Road along the TC17 coming from the East or even further along the Great Northern Road anywhere between the 2nd Line Road and the 4th Line Road.

Note that the minimum distance you should accept is to at the Crossroad with the Trans-Canada 11 in Nipigon, which is at a distance of 580km from Sault Ste Marie. Beware of not stopping in Wawa (Ontario). <= I disagree. I believe it's all about what you look like. If you look harmless, usually anyone will stop. There is always traffic, especially big trucks. Now to get rides with big trucks, you have to ask them at gas stations. My wait time in WaWa was 15 minutes (

This is a notoriously tough location to get any rides out of, so don't be too alarmed if you have to wait as much as 1-3 days to get a ride. Most traffic heading north is local traffic who are unable to take you to Nipigon. Long-distance trucks do not have ample space to pull over on the narrow shoulder, neither is it safe for them to do so on the short ascend to a tight curve at the top of a hill. You are probably best off talking to drivers at a truckstop to get a ride to North to Thunder Bay. If you are lonely and bored, know that you probably will not be the only hitchhiker paying for a Greyhound bus ticket to Thunder Bay.

East to TC17 for Sudbury

  • From the International Bridge:

From Huron St., take Queen St and walk the short distance until you arrive on Gore St in downtown Sault Ste. Marie (note that you can get a free map of Ontario or Sault Ste. Marie region at the Welcome Centre at the corner of Queen and Huron).

Both streets parallel to Queens (Bay St or Albert St E)are the needed one way streets. Once you have reached East St or Church St, climb up to Wellington St E which will eventually become Trunk Road. You can ask someone to help you reach the TC17 which is maybe 8km from the Pim St/Church St Corner. You can also try to take a city bus toward Rankin District (Riverside or McNabb Line).

  • To Sudbury:

Either ask for a city bus to Rankin District and you will find the junction with the old TC17 and the new 4 lanes Trans-Canada Road to the left. Right after the railroad, there should be enough space to hitch.

Note that the next settlements with services along the TC17 are Iron Bridge, Thessalon or Massey.

The 'Soo' in the United States

From Sault Ste. Marie Michigan, it is possible to head southward along the I-75 to the Detroit area or remain on the Northern Michigan Peninsula along the western side of Lake Michigan through Wisconsin or toward Minnesota. You can reach the I-75 from downtown following the W Portage Avenue or going down Ashmun Street until you reach W Easterday Av.

North to Ontario, Canada

  • Look at the information on Border Crossing

South to I-75 for St.Ignace (Michigan) and Southern Michigan

Reach the On-Ramp at the corner of W Easterday Avenue and Eureka Avenue which is located right after the US Border Control. There is also several Gas Stations and the Michigan Welcome Centre (where you can get a free map of Michigan) at this location.

West to Northern Michigan Rte 28 to Marquette (Michigan)

The road to Marquette (Michigan) can be access through the exit 386 on the I-75. However, this road is entirely rural and is a State Correctional Service (prison) is also located nearby. Signs Do not stop for hitch-hikers are well seen in this area and someone along the road would be seen with suspicion and have a difficult time.

Therefore it may be easier to hitch all the way down to St.Ignace (Michigan) and hitch along Northern Michigan Route 2 until Gladstone/Escanaba instead.

Border Crossing

Crossing the border at Sault Ste. Marie can only be done through the 'International Bridge', which is a long 4.5km car traffic bridge patrolled by the police and army on both side. Pedestrians are not allowed on it as there is no footpaths. Therefore hitching across would be the only possible solution. Crossing the bride is toll 2.50US$ or 2.95CDN$ per car (as of May 2009).

  • Canada to United States:

On the Canadian side, the bridge ends directly downtown on Huron Street between Queen St. W and Albert St W. Most of the incoming traffic would do so from the north on Huron St and since the road happen to be large enough there is sufficient place to try and hitch a ride there.

The US border control is located across the bridge on the American side while the Canadian one is right at the exit of the bridge along Huron St. As such, be aware that the police is well present at the entrance of the bridge.

If needed, you will find the Ontario Welcome Centre at the corner of Huron/Queen St.

  • United States to Canada:

On the American side, the bridge is accessible from the I-75. The nearest access to the bridge toward Canada can be done at the on-ramp from West Easterday Avenue (#394 on the I-75).

The Canadian border control is located across the bride on the Canadian side right before you enter downtown Sault Ste. Marie.

At the corner of Huron/Queen St, you will find the Ontario Welcome Centre, which is a great place if you want to get a free map of Ontario or other information.


wikipedia:Sault Ste Marie