Sault Ste. Marie
Located just north of the United States border between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, the Canadian city of Sault Ste. Marie provides innumerable opportunities to explore the great outdoors. The city’s name translates to “Saint Mary’s Rapids” or “Saint Mary’s Falls.” The settlement was initially established by the French in 1668 at what is now the American city of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The two Sault Ste. Maries are now connected across the St. Mary’s River by the International Bridge.
The city’s location means there are plenty of things to do in Sault Ste. Marie for nature lovers. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Sault Ste. Marie is a one-day tour of the gorgeous Agawa Canyon. The Agawa Canyon Tour Train takes passengers 183 kilometres north of the city to the base of the canyon, where they can explore the valley floor, the canyon’s four waterfalls, or hike to a lookout platform for breathtaking views of the Agawa Canyon.
In addition to sightseeing, visitors can explore the city’s surroundings on foot or by bike. Trail systems in the Bellevue Valley, 20 minutes north of the city, and the Hiawatha Highlands, just 10 minutes away, offer some 80 kilometres of trails. Hikers can check out the 65-kilometre portion of the Coastal Trail that runs along Lake Superior, as well as the less strenuous Orphan Lake Trail and those that crisscross Pancake Bay Provincial Park. You can also fish in the St. Mary’s Rapids, which support schools of rainbow trout, brown trout and whitefish as well as runs of steelhead, Atlantic salmon, chinook and pink salmon.
In the summer, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Sault Ste. Marie. The area’s three beaches are perfect for a relaxing day in the sun. The Pointes des Chenes is just 20 minutes west of the city, where the St. Mary’s River flows into Lake Superior. Its sandy beaches and good swimming conditions make it a top choice for those seeking a beach close to town. Batchawana Bay and Pancake Bay Provincial Park are about 45 minutes from the city, and feature sandy beaches ideal for a picnic. Visitors can kayak in Batchawana Bay or the St. Mary’s River or go canoeing in the Agawa River. In the winter, you can go skiing or snowboarding at the Searchmont Ski Resort, 45 minutes from town.
In addition to its natural beauty, Sault Ste. Marie is home to tourist attractions such as two 18-hole golf courses and several art and cultural festivals. These include the Algoma Fall Festival, which features music, theatre, dance and other arts programs throughout the month of October, and the Art at the Docks festival, the Algoma District’s foremost art show.
Surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, Sault Ste. Marie’s premier attractions are all outdoors. Visitors can explore the beautiful Agawa Canyon, bike or hike along the region’s many trails, or swim in, canoe or kayak the area’s waterways.