Thunder Bay

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<map lat='48.41826449418743' lng='-89.18975830078125' zoom='10' view='0' float='right' />

Thunder Bay is a town of 110.000 inhabitants in Northern Ontario, Canada situated along the Transcanadian Highway.

Thunder Bay is an incontrovertible stop on a journey East-West as the eastern next town (Sault Ste. Marie) is at about one day ride from the town, as well as Winnipeg on the west.

East to Nipigon and Sault Ste. Marie

On the east side of town, Highway 11/17 (Thunder Bay Expressway) just east of the Red River Road/Dawson Road/Highway 102 intersection is a good spot. Many hitchhikers find very good luck in the eastbound merge lane near the "No bikes/pedestrians" sign. Travelers have been picked up in as little as 5-minutes in this spot; while also waiting several days during the less traveled winter months.

No pedestrians or cyclists legally allowed on this part of the highway, but police seem pretty tolerant as long as you aren't walking and stay just off the paved portion of the road.

This spot is a short walk from a Safeway store on Dawson Road which has a Starbucks; and a Tim Horton's just off Dawson Road one intersection west of Highway 11/17 for coffee fixes.

West to Kenora and Winnipeg along highway #102 and #17

There are two ways to hitch out of Thunder Bay:

  • 1) Take the #17 highway westward from close to the Confederation College.
  • 2) Take Dawson Road/Highway 102 northwest from close to County Fair Mall, which meets up with the 17 main highway within half an hour.

Both are major routes for into and out of Thunder Bay. Hitchwiki user Stickbugg is not sure which is easier, but he says that taking the #17 at first was very difficult and only one person stopped in 6 hours.

Hitchhikers report lots of positive results when hitching in front of the Macs Gas station, located on Dawson Road/Highway 102 roughly 1.2km west of the Highway 11/17 (Thunder Bay Expressway) intersection. Many report getting rides in about 15-minutes.

West to Fort Frances Border Crossing to Minnesota along the H-11

South to Grand Portage Border Crossing and Duluth, Minnesota

Look to start in Thunder Bay airport area along Route 61

In years of driving from Thunder Bay to the US Border and further south to Duluth, MN, this writer has never seen a hitchhiker on this route. Many drivers planning to cross the border may be reluctant to pick up hitchhikers.