‘It will take you away and leave you breathless.’
There are many words that can be used to describe Northern Ontario’s rugged beauty: awe-inspiring, astonishing and inspirational are just a few. There are just as many opportunities to experience and explore these incredible landscapes on a trip to Sault Ste. Marie. Climb aboard the one-day Agawa Canyon Tour Train for a Northern Ontario travel experience that will leave you breathless.
Riding the rails
Departing from the train depot (99 Huron St.) in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, this 114-mile excursion truly showcases the rugged beauty that is exclusive to the region. As you settle into your comfortable coach, you can feel the pace of life slow as the ride evokes a sense of simpler times while raising expectations of the journey that lies ahead. Traces of city life soon fade away as the Northern Ontario wilderness begins to unfold outside the large tinted windows. The seemingly unending mixed forests of the Canadian Shield open up as you skirt the shores of northern lakes and rivers, cross towering trestles, and set eyes on the same rugged landscapes and majestic views that inspired the Group of Seven to create some of Canada’s most notable works of art.
As the train winds its way through this one of a kind terrain, a GPS triggered commentary weaves the story of the region. Available in five languages including English throughout the coaches and in French, German, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin via wireless headsets, you’ll learn about upcoming points of interest as well as some of the rich history of the Ojibway, fur traders, explorers and entrepreneurs that opened up this vast wilderness. And to enhance the scenery outside your window, locomotive mounted cameras provide an engineer’s ‘eye-view’ via flat screen monitors installed throughout the coaches. Just when you thought you’d experienced it all, the train starts its descent into the canyon at Mile 102. As the rail line hugs the top of the canyon wall, you’ll descend 500 feet over the next 10 miles to the floor of the Agawa Canyon, created more than 1.2 billion years ago by faulting and widened and reshaped by the last ice age that retreated 10,000 years ago.
Agawa Canyon Park
As the train pulls to a stop at mile 114, you’ll have an hour and a half to experience the jewel of the tour – Agawa Canyon Park, which is only accessible by rail. There are plenty of picnic areas for those wishing to have lunch during the stopover or you may want to eat prior to arrival or after departure, in order to have the most time to explore the park.
Enjoy scenic walks on graveled trails leading to several waterfalls or experience the invigorating climb up over 300 stairs to the breathtaking Lookout perched 250 feet above the canyon floor.
The excursion is one of North America’s iconic rail tours and offers a unique and engaging way to enjoy the rugged beauty that is Northern Ontario.
Planning your stay
Every great trip starts with a great plan. Let us help! Whether you are looking for a Northern Ontario outdoor adventure experience, a ride on the scenic Agawa Tour Train, or just a long weekend getaway in Sault Ste. Marie, here are the tools to help you make that plan.