By Sault Tourism

 

How to Experience one of Ontario's best lookout hikes

Robertson Cliffs, just 30 minutes north of Sault Ste. Marie is one of best lookout hikes in Ontario. Views from any of the incredible lookouts stretch for miles out across Bellevue Valley, towards the Goulais River and as far as Lake Superior. 

Clearly marked trails are maintained by the Algoma Highlands Conservancy, a not for profit organization that is run by local volunteers. To support this organization click here

Where Are Robertson Cliffs?

The Robertson Cliffs are located about 30 minutes north of Sault Ste. Marie, just east of the trans-Canada highway, highway 17. Click here for a Google Maps link to directions to one of the car park areas. 

Where Can I park?

There are three parking areas at the trail heads, these are shown in the below maps. 

Robertson Cliffs near Sault Ste. Marie
Road to Robertson Cliffs
Robertson Cliffs near Sault Ste. Marie
One of the eastern parking lots

How Long Does the Hike Take and How Difficult Is It?

The route to the top can take between 45 minutes and 2 hours depending on which trail you take, and then the same on the way back. So allow yourself at least 2 hours as a minimum.

It’s described a ‘moderate’ difficulty because there is some scrambling over rocks, small streams and occasion trees. Click on the below images to see some maps of the area. 

Map of Robertson Cliffs
Map of local area
Robertson Cliffs near Sault Ste. Marie
Crossing a stream
Map of Robertson Cliffs
The trail map, easily found along the routes

What Routes are there and Are the trails well marked?

There are 3 routes that will get you to the top. The Blue route is a 300 metre route that links up with the white route. It begins at the western parking lot. 

The White route is a 2km, 45 minute route which begins at one of the two eastern parking lots. Well marked trails lead through the Great Lakes St. Lawrence forest before meeting up with the blue trail. Once the blue and white trail meet the trail does get a little steeper as it ascends to the lookout points. 

The yellow trail is a longer 2.5km trek that takes you along beautiful waterfalls. Allow 2 hours for this hike to the cliffs. 

Robertson Cliffs near Sault Ste. Marie
White and yellow trail, trail head
Robertson Cliffs near Sault Ste. Marie
White and Yellow routes diverge
Robertson Cliffs near Sault Ste. Marie
The Blue route marker
Robertson Cliffs near Sault Ste. Marie
Hiking through the forest
Robertson Cliffs near Sault Ste. Marie
More route signs
Blue route trail-head

What about the lookouts and what is view like?

There are 3 main lookouts with several others you can find along the way too. The views… judge for yourself. 

Western lookout
Robertson Cliffs near Sault Ste. Marie
Eastern lookout

Are there any Tour guides?

Three awesome local tour guides can show you the way and also give you some stellar insight into the area. Thrive Tours, Forest The Canoe and Blaq Bear Adventures

How Can I Help Maintain this area?

A huge thanks to the Algoma Highland for maintaining these beautiful trails. You can donate or volunteer to the  Conservancy here!

Robertson Cliffs near Sault Ste. Marie
Algoma Highland Conservancy
Robertson Cliffs near Sault Ste. Marie
QR code to donate
By Sault Tourism

With So many attractions inside this iconic centre, one visit just won't be enough!

The Bushplane Museum in Sault Ste. Marie is one of the Ontario’s top attractions. The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre (to use its full name) features a collage of attractions that suit all types of customers. Aviation enthusiasts will love the collection of vintage aircraft, families will find an educational and safe environment for their children to play and explore while an array of offerings is sure to entertain with something for everybody.

Here are some of top attractions and biggest reasons to visit the Bushplane Museum, in Sault Ste. Marie. 

Iconic Airplanes

A staple of the Museum, the De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, is the museum’s iconic airplane. Visible within the first few steps of the doors, the Beaver glimmers in the light cascading in from the large hangar doors. In 1978 the Canadian Engineering Centennial Board selected the Beaver as one of, “Canada’s most outstanding engineering achievements of the 20th Century.” Beaver CF-OBS, the feature of the museum, was the second Beaver to come off the production line, and the second to ever be produced. With just over 1600 produced, the Beaver is a must see in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Canadair CL-215 is the largest aircraft in the collection and has a rich history in forest firefighting. This aircraft was sold to France and used in efforts in maintaining their forests. After being decommissioned due to reaching its maximum number of “in air hours” and also as a result of the aircraft’s exposure to salt water over time. It was donated to the Centre by the French and was delivered directly off-the-ship via the St. Mary’s River. It had to be reassembled in the Museum due to its massive size.

Children's Learning Centre

For those with little ones, the Children’s Learning Centre is a fantastic way to introduce your children to flight and the science behind it. With arcade-style game consoles, interactive displays, and separated real airplane cockpits the Children’s Learning Center provides hands-on learning experiences for children of all ages.

Entomica

Entomica Insectarium, run under the professional direction of President Dr. John Dedes, is a new addition and instant favourite in the museum. The award-winning non-profit organization sets out to educate the public on the complexity and true beauty that their insects hold. This mission combined with their vibrant and outstanding vivariums and insects from around the world provide an interactive and fun learning experience for groups of all sizes, people of all ages, and everyone in the family. In this sensational setting you may have the opportunity to handle some exotic insects under the supervision of their knowledgeable “bug wrangler” staff.

Did we Mention the Airplanes??

With almost 30 airplanes, including iconic craft like the Saunders ST27 , the Stinson Reliant, the Fokker and the Grumman CS2L Tracker you’ll have so much to see you’ll need a second visit. Plus the kids (adults are welcome too of course) can sit in a real cockpit and let their imaginations soar. 

So much more...

…Like the Ranger Tower. Trek your way up the Ranger Tower to practice your fire spotting skills. A great vantage point of the exhibit space and a unique opportunity for a photo.

The KR-34 Centennial Restoration is another key exhibit and project underway at the Bushplane Museum. This plane in particular, C-FADH, logged over 1900 hours in its open cockpit form.  Although the current restoration is for display purposes only, it is still being fully re-covered and painted. You may find volunteers hard at work while still taking time to answer questions about the project and chat. This restoration began in January 2021 and will take between 2-3 years to complete based on the overall condition of the aircraft. The museum’s goal is to have the restoration completed by 2024, just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Ontario Provincial Air Service.

On the other end of forest firefighting endeavors would be the Museum’s Bell 47-D helicopter. It was first owned by Ontario Lands and Forests and was acquired in 1953. It was the first helicopter to be owned by a government agency in Canada and was donated by Canadore College in North Bay. It was used to spot and combat forest fires right here in Ontario.3. The helicopter was restored by CBHC volunteers after it was donated. 

And then there’s the Wildfires! 3D Adventure, Forest Fire Protection exhibit, the Flight Simulator, and an inspirational section on Women in Aviation

Ranger Tower

KR-34 Centennial Restoration

Come Again Soon!

With so much to see and do at the Bushplane Museum, you’ll have to come back for another visit! 

Visit the Bushplane Museum website to plan your next trip. 

By Sault Tourism

 

7 Ways To Experience Fall Colours In Sault Ste Marie

Witnessing summer’s deep greens change into an explosion of red, orange and yellow is one of the many perks of living in Ontario. There are plenty of places across the province that are perfect for watching the leaves change, but if you want to experience the season’s vibrancy in new and exciting ways, consider looking north of the GTA.

The region of Sault Ste. Marie (also affectionately known as “the Soo”) is one of Canada’s top five locations for fall foliage, according to Forbes. Think of a place where maple forests turn cozy shades of red, where you can lose yourself in the coast’s orange and yellow splendour, and where the vast multicolour landscape takes your breath away — this is Sault Ste. Marie in the fall.

But the Soo is more than just a pretty face. On top of being a magical spot in autumn, Sault Ste. Marie — which is just a one-hour plane ride or six-hour scenic drive north of the GTA — is one of Ontario’s most exciting outdoor adventure destinations.

 

Click here to continue reading…

By Sault Tourism

 

How to Experience Ontario's Awesome Fall colours

Sault Ste Marie is well-known for its breathtaking beauty during the fall season. Nothing can compare to the vivid colours of the leaves, the numerous trails that can be explored, along with views that will never be forgotten that capture Mother Nature’s true-beauty. From mid-September to mid-October you can find so many ways to enjoy the best of fall in our northern community. In the meantime we have narrowed it down to the top five ways that won’t disappoint!

Come to Sault Ste. Marie and experience Ontario’s awesome fall colours as you’ve never seen them before!

Agawa Canyon Tour Train

This attraction is a long-time tourist favourite when it comes to seeing the fall colours in its prime. Hop on this day-long journey that starts in our Canal District and travels 114km into the Agawa Canyon; along the way you will be immersed by wilderness and its array of oranges, reds and yellows. Once you reach the Canyon you will get to walk around and explore various trails that will take you to beautiful scenic lookouts and various waterfalls where the Group of Seven once painted some of their iconic paintings. This can’t miss experience will certainly be one for the books!

Robertson Cliffs

To escape to this beautiful scenic lookout, you only need to travel about 20 minutes north of the City. This intermediate hike will not only get your blood flowing but will guide you through the colourful brush and trees. A helpful tip is to make sure you dress accordingly and be prepared to be in awe once you reach the top! When you have completed this 5km hike on Ila’s Trail, you will come upon the breathtaking fall scenery of the boreal forest. You will undoubtedly want to make sure you capture this view with a picture, as the vibrant colours will take your breath away!  

Hiawatha Highlands / Kinsmen Park

You don’t have to venture far to experience what Fall is all about in Sault Ste Marie. Located just north of the city you will find bridges and paths in Kinsmen Park that will take you through a network of trails, such as the Crystal Creek System, where you will see Fall in all its perfection. You can also explore and visit Crystal Falls at one end of the park and then follow the trails to Minnehaha Falls at the other end.

Another must-do fall experience, are the Hiawatha Highlands via the Pinder System or Red Pine System, these pristine trails, whether traveled by foot or on wheels, will be certain to take your breath away and will surely have you wanting to catch all of the fall colours on camera.

Fort Creek on the John Roswell Hub Trail

Take fall in at its best right here in the heart of Sault Ste Marie! The John Roswell Hub Trail is a 22.5km trail that surrounds our beautiful city, with paved paths that you can walk or bike on. One of our favourite parts of the hub trail in the fall specifically, is the Fort Creek section. You can park at the Fort Creek Conservation Area and take the trail through the forest where you will come upon some incredible bridges that overlook the stunning ravine. This simple trail system is nice laid-back one hour walk from the Conversation Area to the Third Line section and back.

Topsail Island & Bellevue Park

This beautiful gem of a spot will surely have you loving fall in all its glory. With beautiful walking/biking trails that take you throughout Bellevue park, and bringing you upon the St. Mary’s River where you will then find Topsail Island . Here you can explore the paved trail around Prince Island and take in the scenic views of the St. Mary’s river and marina. With the paths lined with trees and benches you can truly take in the crisp air and colours that fall has to offer at your leisure.

After a full day of fall colour watching it’s time to relax while eating supper at one of the many delicious restaurants in town. Finish off your day by watching the sunset over the St. Marys River and then get some well deserved rest at one of Sault Ste. Marie’s hotels.

After such a great day of family fun and activities, the whole family will want to come back and do it all again! Sault Ste. Marie is the perfect place to see the fall colours.

By Sault Tourism

We’ve missed you eh!? Here’s a quick reminder of all the things to see and do up here, plus a few new ones too!

Sault Ste. Marie is the perfect destination for a weekend adventure. And now with the international border being opened to allow Americans to enter Canada as of August 9th, we wanted to remind our American friends of all the many things there is to see and do in our city. While you’re here, check out this article on what you’ll need to do before you to visit Canada

Mountain Biking and Outdoor Adventure

Sault Ste. Marie is a city built for outdoor adventure with some of the best access to forests, waterways and rugged hills anywhere in the area.

Come and check out our incredible and expanding mountain biking in and around the city. The Hiawatha Highlands are home to a world-class mountain bike trail system – just a short ride from downtown. If you’re looking for more adrenaline, head to Bellevue Valley, where a 5km trail drops 200m into a beautiful valley of lush maple trees.

Being a city between two of the Great Lakes and on the St Marys River we know how to enjoy the water. From kayaking to canoeing and standup paddle boarding we have expert tour guides and outfitters ready to get you on the water this summer and fall. Our watersports webpage has all the info you need to get started.

Get that extra thrill for a limited time between August 7th and 15th by taking a high-speed adventure up and down the St. Mary’s river on board the Zodiac Hurricane. You can book a half day excursion or a 60 or 90 minute explore east or west from the city.

The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre

World famous and entirely unique, the Bushplane Museum is one of the biggest and best attractions in the region. Come check out this massive collection of classic airplanes (over 30 to be exact), interact with equipment and let the kids run around too. More displays have been recently added plus you can now see and hold some fascinating insects in the newly housed Entomica Insectarium; a variety of live exotic insects from around the world!

We have new patios, new restaurants and new craft breweries!

Blink and another patio has appeared downtown, that’s certainly what it feels like in Sault Ste. Marie these days. Come and have a craft beer and experience the warm atmosphere of Outspoken Brewing, Northern Superior Co. or The Whiskey Barrel to name just a few. Another addition to the downtown core is the stunning Broers Jansen which boasts an offering of wines made in-house, local craft beers, and a selection of hand-picked Scotch and Whiskeys from Canada and around the world.

Looking for a cool and quaint eatery? We have those too! Grab a bite at the Big Lake Cabin, the delicious Georgie’s Shawarma, or the colourful Ernie’s Coffee Shop. Incredible buttertarts at The Queen’s Tarts are hard to pass up too, especially the new Cheesecake and Whiskey Maple Bacon varieties!  

We’ve been busy making street art!

Come for a stroll down Queen Street and see if you can find all 10 of our murals painted by an exciting mix of local Indigenous and world famous artists! It will surely be an inspiring stroll along the main street of our city.

For fans of the Group of Seven, Sault Ste. Marie is the perfect place to base yourself. Visit a replica train carriage used to transport many of the artists around the region, and then go for a road trip up the coast yourself to see some of the inspiration behind many of the paintings. The Moments of Algoma website is a great resource. 

The Rugged Canadian Lake Superior coastline

Speaking of the coast, the rugged beauty of the Canadian Lake Superior coastline is a must-visit experience. With more trails to hike, coves to explore and beaches to stroll down than could be mentioned, it’s the perfect place to explore and get immersed in nature. Visit the Hike page of our website for more information.

Apple Fritters at the Voyageur Lodge & Cookhouse!

While you are on on the Superior coast don’t forget to stop in at the Voyageur Lodge & Cookhouse for the fan-favourite apple fritters. This delicious dessert sells quickly so it’s suggested you get up there before 3pm daily, you certainly don’t want to miss out! 

Get Your Fix of Canadian Fall Colors

Fall is when the Soo comes alive because it’s when our forever-forests of Maple trees turn every shade of red, orange and gold. Take a hike to Robertson cliffs for one of the best views you’ll experience. A coastal drive will do it too, in fact just being in Sault Ste. Marie will help you experience a truly beautiful fall season. 

There’s No Place Like Home

Take a stroll along our beautiful boardwalk or around Whitefish Island for some fantastic views of the United States. The historic Sault canal are always frequented by smaller boats venturing to and from Lake Superior. Cross the canal and enter the picturesque and culturally significant Whitefish Island, where you’ll be just a stone’s throw away from home.

The Sault rapids that sit between our countries have some of the best fishing anywhere in North America. Check out our Fish webpage for a link to some travel inspiration or a list of expert guides.

For an evening activity have dinner at the View Restaurant or stay in one of our waterfront hotels that overlook the States.

Whatever your reason to visit us in Canada, come and see what’s changed while we’ve been apart. We’ve missed you!

USA & Canada Flag_tile

By Tourism Sault Ste. Marie

Sault ste. marie is one of ontario's best places to fish

Experience high calibre fishing in the legendary St. Mary’s Rapids, or fish year round for some of Canada’s most sought after species in the numerous lakes and rivers in the Algoma region. 

Take advantage of this unique and historic fishing destination with local experts for a full or half day guided experience; all equipment and bait provided. Links to guides can be found at the bottom of the page. 

No.1 – Fly Fishing in the legendary St. Mary’s river rapids

Located in the downtown core of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the St. Mary’s River is legendary for its annual runs of Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon. In the heart of the Great Lakes where Lake Superior flows to Lake Huron, this historic fishery is home to a vast variety of iconic Canadian species.

An original gathering place for the Anishinaabe peoples of the Great Lakes, this historic location is renowned in the fishing community. Accessible only from the Canadian side the rapids offer wadeable open river conditions that will challenge your angling savvy. Get your feet wet and test your skill where Lake Superior meets Lake Huron. 

Target iconic Canadian species including Steelhead, Atlantic Salmon and four kinds of Pacific Salmon!

No.2 – Northern River Fishing

We take our fishing very seriously! Sault Ste. Marie is a year round playground for anglers of any skill. Your gateway to a unique guided adventure, experience fishing for some of Canada’s most iconic species in the numerous rivers available all over the Algoma Region

Enjoy a fully equipped day of fishing action with a local expert and guide. Spin, troll, wade or shore fish the remote wilderness visiting one of the hundreds of tributaries in the Algoma Region. Distance to rivers can vary from 5 minutes to 2 hours in any direction. 

Target various species including Bass, Walleye, Atlantic Salmon, Steelhead or Rainbow Trout. 

No.3 – Great Lakes Fishing

Experience fishing the Great Lakes with your personal local guide. Fly fishing, spin fishing, kayak fishing or boat fishing are all available.

Fishing from the comfort of your personal boat or a beautiful northern shoreline, the options are endless. Offering year round, world-class freshwater fishing, accompanied by a vast wilderness and an abundance of wildlife; you won’t be disappointed exploring
the natural beauty of Algoma with one of Sault Ste. Marie’s top anglers.

Target the generous population of Trout, including Brook Trout, Lake Trout and Rainbow Trout or during specific times of the year, various species of salmon. Click here to read about fishing in Lake Superior Provincial Park. 

No.4 – Ice Fishing in Sault Ste. Marie

Ice fishing is a true northern experience you can build an entire vacation around. Dress warm, pack for the day and snowmobile or snowshoe into a remote lake in the surrounding Algoma Region. 

Take in the peaceful surroundings, winter scenery and wildlife, cutting through layers of thick ice from the comfort of a warm ice hut. Full gear provided with a local ice fishing guide. 

Target various species including Trout, Panfish, Walleye or Northern Pike. Click here to read about ice fishing just north of the city. 

Fishing Guides

By Tourism Sault Ste. Marie

6 Best hikes in Sault Ste. Marie

During spring, summer or fall, hiking is a great way to explore the beauty of Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding area. Sault Ste. Marie is home to some of the best hiking in Ontario. Explore hiking trails to great Ontario waterfalls; hikes with great Ontario views; and trails to ancient historical sites. Here is a list of six of the best hikes around Sault Ste. Marie. 

No.1 Bellevue Park

Duration: 1 hour

Difficulty: easy 

Google Map link here 

Beautiful Bellevue Park is the perfect spot for a family to enjoy themselves at. Easy hiking trails and paths weave around the park and take you to the adjoining Topsail Island and Algoma Sailing club. 

At seventeen hectares its Sault Ste. Marie’s largest park and is immaculately maintained by the city’s many gardeners. It consists of three large children’s playgrounds, a splash pad and offers a little over two kilometres of easy walkways, leading past floral beds, a display greenhouse as well as many other natural attractions. Feed the birds and watch the great freighters go by along the St Mary’s River. 

The park is located in the heart of the city ample parking is available just off Queen Street East on the south east end. 

No.2 The Hub Trail and Fort Creek

Duration: 1-2 hours

Difficulty: easy 

Google Map link here 

Hub Trail website here

If you are looking for a family-friendly hike in Sault Ste. Marie, then the Hub Trail is perfect for you. The trail as a whole is 22.5km long and circles the city but you can choose the section you want to hike. 

The Fort Creek section is a popular route for hikers as it offers the beautiful scenery of the creek itself and many opportunities to spot all the amazing creatures that live there, including hawks, great blue herons, and monarch butterflies. 

The paved trail is approximately 1.6 km and leads you over two picturesque bridges. Visit the dedicated Hub Trail website for more information to help you plan your hike.

No.3 Whitefish Island

Duration: 1 hour

Difficulty: easy 

Google Map link here

Choose Whitefish Island for a beautiful and well paced hike within the city limits. Parking and trailhead is located at Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site and you can access the Island across the locks itself. 

Whitefish Island is a National Historic Site for Canada. It’s also a traditional territory and meeting ground of the Anishinaabe peoples of the Great Lakes due to the abundance of natural resources and fish in the St. Mary’s River. 

This site is complete with an easy to follow trail system marked with informational plaques explaining the importance and historical relevance of the island. These trails will lead you through nature preserves right to the historic fishery of the St. Mary’s River Rapids.  

No.4 Hiawatha Highlands and Kinsmen Park

Duration: 1-4 hours

Difficulty: easy to moderate

Google Map link here

Hiawatha Highlands and Kinsmen Park area has many loop trails that offers hikers choices of terrain, lookouts and varying lengths to suit anyone’s schedule and abilities. Walking beneath towering Pines and beautiful Maple’s, these trails are well signposted at each entrance and along the way. Descriptive name of trails including Beaver Loop Trail or Mable Lake Loop trail and some of these link up with the larger Voyageur Trail systems. For a downloadable map here. Or visit the Trailforks, Alltrails, or Voyageur Trails websites.

A highlight along in the Hiawatha Highlands area is the impressive Crystal Creek Falls. You can park at Kinsmen Park and take a two minute walk to the base, followed by a short climb up wooden steps to the top.

No.5 Hike Robertson Cliffs

Duration: 3-4 hours

Difficulty: moderate 

Google Map link here

The lookout from the top of Robertson Cliffs is fast becoming a must see for tourists and locals alike. Take a 30-minute drive north from Sault Ste. Marie where you’ll find parking and the trailhead 5km down Robertson Lake Road. For more information visit the Alltrails or Voyageur Trail websites. 

The 5km hike through ancient forest is beautiful and the 150 metre climb / scramble up rocks can be challenging to some, but the view over Goulais River valley is well worth the effort. 

The cliffs are part of the Algoma Highlands Conservancy who protect the area. Follow the white markings which will lead you to the top of the cliffs.

No.6 Chippewa Falls

Duration: 2-3 hours

Difficulty: easy 

Google Map link here

Chippewa Falls is a 35-minutes drive north of Sault Ste. Marie, parking and trailhead is right along the Trans Canada Hwy. The falls are visible from the highway itself and stand 25 feet high.

The hiking trail offers an easy 2.5km hike to the upper falls, which starts in the parking area and follows the river upstream to the top of the main falls. The path continues alongside the river past the upper falls if you want to explore further.