Make a weekend trip to a Greyhounds game in Sault Ste. Marie.

By Sault Tourism

The Soo Greyhounds are on a playoff charge this season; they are racking up the wins, making big trades, and the atmosphere inside the GFL Memorial Gardens is buzzing. So come and visit Sault Ste. Marie and cheer on the Hounds as they seek to make history in 2024… And why not make a weekend of it? Enjoy  our incredible new restaurants, take in our beautiful sights, enjoy fun activities, visit museums, indulge in shopping, maybe even go skiing!

Keep reading to pick up some ideas, and at the bottom of the page you’ll also see some hotels offering discounts for ticket holders!

Greyhounds Trades and Playoff Charge

Already a strong team this season, and already one of the top teams in the OHL standings, in early January the Hounds made three big trades to bolster their ranks. Firstly they traded for NHL and US World Juniors Gold Medalist Gavin Hayes. Then a couple of days later, they made two further trades, showing their fans, and the league, their intent to make a playoff charge. 

This has led to many to suggest that the 2023/24 team is one of the best they’ve had in years. And, to add further excitement, as of January 29th, the Greyhounds were on a 5-game winning streak and were placed second in the OHL Power Rankings table! 

Remaining Games

There are 13 home games remaining in the regular season between Friday, February 1st and Sunday, March 24th. Then there is the fun, excitement and uncertainly of the playoffs! With buzz steadily rising, games are starting to sell out so get your tickets now! Visit the Soo Greyhounds website for all the information including a list of remaining games. Click here for a direct link to the Memorial Gardens box office.

Restaurants and Pre-games Bites!

The GFL Memorial Gardens is located in the heart of our downtown and close to many great restaurants. Check out Ernie’s Coffee Shop, Lychee Thai, Peace Restaurant or Arturo’s Restaurant, which are a short walk away from the arena. Sault Ste. Marie has a wide range of foods from Indian, Vietnamese, Steakhouses… check our restaurants page for more choices! 

Inside the GFL Memorial Gardens there is a variety of game-day choices to fill you up!

Make a weekend of it!

Come for a game, stay for the weekend! Check out our famous Bushplane Museum featuring 24 real Bushplanes to explore! Inside the Bushplane Museum you’ll also find Entomica Insectarium, complete with a host of real life insects and bugs you can actually hold! 

Another thing to do here is to keep it cultural and visit the Sault Ste. Marie Museum or Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site, both offer fascinating histories of the local area. Need to catch up on some shopping? Station Mall has many of your favourite high street stores, as well as a fantastic food court. 

Have you ever tried axe throwing? Check out one of our newest and most fun indoor activities! Missing golf and still need a fix? The Up and Down Lounge has state of the art golf simulators, which can be booked by the hour. You can also grab a drink and some food to be able to make an evening of this fun winter activity!

The Soo Blaster is another fun spot for families, with games including pool, Air FX Hockey, Pinball, golf simulators and plenty more! There is also ten-pin bowling at Northcrest Bowling with 24 lanes, food and drink options too. 

Downhill Skiing at Searchmont

It’s not been the most wintery of winters for sure, but huge credit to Searchmont Resort, who have continued to make snow and keep runs open. So check them out! One of the highest verticals in Ontario, rentals, restaurant and a variety of trails for all skill levels. 

Discounted Hotels

A number of our hotels offer discounted rooms for Greyhounds visitors. Below is list of direct numbers to call to find out more information:

Delta Hotel 705-949-0611      

Fairfield Inn 705-253-7378 

Holiday Inn Express 705-759-8200      

Microtel 705-910-0180           

Quality Inn 705-945-9264

Sleep Inn 705-253-7533

Head North for Skiing Solitude in Sault Ste. Marie

The adventure capital of Ontario is the perfect ski destination for anyone looking to escape the crowds and get lost in fresh powder

Step aside, Rocky Mountains. Other regions offer ski towns that pack the amenities without the crowds. Look just across the U.S.-Canada border, beyond the northeast end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, to Sault Ste. Marie. The adventure capital of Ontario boasts fun resort runs, an accessible ski program, groomed nordic trails, backcountry terrain, and piles of snow (courtesy of the adjacent Great Lakes). Whether you’re traveling from near or far, winter in Sault Ste. Marie has the solitude and powder every skier is chasing—along with excellent accommodations and places to dine. But take it from the residents who know the area best. We asked three local skiers to explain why Sault Ste. Marie is the ideal destination for your upcoming ski vacation.

Ski the Lake Effect

Outside: What’s special about skiing at nearby Searchmont Resort?

Robbie Andison, Canadian Ski Team alumSearchmont and the backcountry surrounding it is such a special, untouched area of Ontario. The lake-effect snow mixed with the cold winters provide such a great base. And it allows visitors and locals to find some fresh powder whenever they want.

Click here to continue reading…

By Sault Tourism

 

Find out Why Stokely Creek Lodge is considered one of the best nordic skiing resorts in North America

Visit Stokely Creek Lodge and experience winter the way it should be; world-class cross-country skiing, heart-pumping snowshoeing, beautiful lodges and chalets, log fires, hot chocolate all in some of the most beautiful snow-lined countryside anywhere. Come and see why USA Today has described Stokely Lodge as one of the top 5 Nordic Ski resorts in North America. It’s the perfect place for an adventure vacation, a romantic getaway or if you are just longing to experience a true winter retreat. 

Did Someone Say Winter?

Yes, winter! Stokely Creek Lodge is located in one of the largest snow belts in North America where it can get up to 17 feet of snow a year, this means there will be snow! Stokely snow is the awesome, white, cozy kind ideal for skiing or snowshoeing. There are also log-fire warming huts along the way, great for a lunch break to warm those hands or just to catch your breath. 

Stokely Creek Lodge
Snowshoeing at Stokely Creek
Stokely Creek Lodge
One of 6 warming huts on the trails

What about the Ski trails?

Stokely Creek has more than 100km of groomed trails, on 8000 acres making it the largest Nordic skiing resort in the area. Check out the trail maps here! There are both skating and classic trails on a variety of terrain and elevation making it perfect for moderate to advanced skiers. Head out to Norm’s Cabin or one of the 5 other warming cabins including one at the top of King Mountain, or head to one of the faraway frozen lakes. You can ski for hours and not see another person!  

Stokely Creek Lodge, Ski Ontario
World-class cross country skiing
Stokely Creek Lodge
One of the many lakes on the trails
Trail Map
Skiing Trail Map

And Snowshoeing too?

Yes! There is 25km of snowshoe trails at Stokely Creek that are suited for all skill levels. Some will take you along beautiful babbling brooks and some will take you all the way to King Mountain! Click here to visit Stokely’s website or open up a trail map here!

Snowshow Trail Map
Stokely Creek Lodge
Trails maps are placed along each trail

What about the Lodges and Chalets?

Stokely Creek offers Scandinavian style accommodation for guests in the main lodge or in individual chalets. The main lodge has fireside reading rooms and a large dining room where meals are served. There is also a clubhouse with a log fire where guests can relax or warm up. 

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is offered with hot and cold options available. Communal dinner is served in the main dining room, with special considerations being made for the 2021 / 2022 season. This includes options for separate tables for groups, more spaces for guests, or food being brought to the Club House. Learn more here!

Stokely Creek Lodge
The main lodge - photo courtesy of Leigh McAdam
Stokely Creek Lodge
The main lodge's log fire
Stokely Creek Lodge
One of the lodge's fireside reading areas
Stokely Creek Lodge
The clubhouse

Are Day Visitors Welcome?

Absolutely! Stokely Creek is located just 35 minutes north of Sault Ste. Marie and so is great for a day trip. Visitors are welcome to enjoy all of Stokely Creek’s awesome facilities such as fireside reading rooms, the clubhouse, the waxing room, and the 6 warming huts on the trails! Ski or snowshoe passes are available as well as ski lessons. Scroll to the bottom of this page for all the information. Day visitors can purchase meals and drinks at the main lodge and packed lunches are available for a day on the trails. 

See you soon!

Stokely Creek Lodge and the surrounding trails and countryside is the perfect place in which to experience a true winter. It is open from December 26th through March. Visit the website for more information. 

For more travel inspiration read ‘Stokely Creek Lodge for Cross-country Skiing’ by Leigh McAdam and ‘Stokely Creek Lodge’ by Martin Lortz.

And visit our Ski page for information on other cross-country ski areas, downhill resorts and backcountry skiing!

Enjoy The PErfect Day of Winter Activity in Sault Ste. Marie with Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing and Fat Biking.

By Sault Tourism

Hiawatha Highlands IS winter. Take the 10-minute drive from downtown Sault Ste. Marie on any winter’s day and discover this for yourself. The parking lot outside the iconic Soo Finnish building will be buzzing with activity; people hurrying to get skis on, unloading fat bikes from trucks, lacing up boots and snowshoes. There will also be an unmistakably buoyant and friendly atmosphere because whatever your chosen activity is, you’re about to experience winter the right way. 

Cross-Country Skiing

The favourite activity at Hiawatha is cross-country or Nordic skiing. Over 50km of professionally groomed trails, for both classic and skate skiing, on three unique systems offers something for all abilities. 

The Pinder system has 10km of green and blue trails with just a hint of elevation; perfect to learn those cross-country skills. The beautiful Red Pine system is more of a challenge for those looking for some hills and climbs, and with up to 15km of trails, this system is great for a workout! The third system is the stunning Crystal Creek trail network, which offers a variety of graded trails surrounding the creek and waterfalls. You can choose to ski up to 23km of green, blue and black trails, including the extension to Mabel Lake, making this system a favourite.

If you like night skiing then check out the 2km Kinsmen lit section of the Crystal Creek system, perfect for an evening workout. Hiawatha Highlands also runs lantern ski events at various times of the year. Keep an eye on the website or on social media for details of this beautiful event! 

Skiing at Hiawatha Highlands, Sault Ste. Marie
Skate Skiing the Mockingbird extension on the Pinder System
Hiawatha Ski Trails
Ski Trail Map

SnowShoeing

A fun activity and a great way to experience winter is to snowshoe! There is more than 9km of snowshoe trails at Hiawatha that run parallel to the ski trails. The Pinder trails are relatively flat and take you through the beautiful Hiawatha forests. If you are looking for a real winter-workout then head to the Crystal Creek trail for 4km of vigorous ups and downs and heart-pumping exercise!

Check out the ski trail map here or above for more info. 

Snowshoeing at Hiawatha
Snowshoeing at the start of the Crystal Creek Trail
Snowshoeing at Hiawatha
Snowshoeing in the Hiawatha forests

Fat Biking

Fat Biking has grown in popularity in the last few years and there is now over 9km of trails at Hiawatha Highlands to enjoy. Trails are located within the Crystal Creek system (within Kinsmen Park) and are keenly maintained by the Sault Cycling Club. For a longer ride, you can choose to head out to Mabel Lake on trails shared with skiers. Fat Bikes are also now available to be rented at the clubhouse also. 

Hiawatha Fat Bike Trails
Fat Bike Trails at Hiawatha
Fat Biking at Hiawatha Highlands, Sault Ste. Marie
Fat Biking at Hiawatha

PASSES, RENTAL AND CLUBHOUSE​

Hiawatha Highlands has a cozy clubhouse where you can buy passes, refreshments, or warm up before or after your activity. The clubhouse is also where you can rent skis, poles, boots or snowshoes. Visit the ‘Passes’ page to get all the information on daily and seasonal passes and rental equipment.

Clubhouse at Hiawatha
Clubhouse
SKI03481_TN
Ski and snowshoe rental
Clubhouse at Hiawatha
Kiosk for passes and refreshment

COME FOR A VISIT!​

Come and see for yourself why Hiawatha Highlands is one of the most popular places to experience winter in Sault Ste. Marie.  And be sure to check out our ski page for information on other cross-country skiing areas, downhill and backcountry skiing areas!

By Sault Tourism

 

Try Ice Climbing with Steve Foster in Sault Ste. Marie for a fun, challenging and highly memorable bucket-list experience.

Sault Ste Marie is a city that DOES winter – we have the snow, the ice, the winter-loving people and we have incredibly beautiful, frozen waterfalls too! Ice climbing is great way to experience winter; it’s physically challenging, it will get your adrenalin going, it’s beautifully awe-inspiring, and it’s a truly unique adventure!

Steve Foster, from Sault Ste. Marie, is a certified, highly experienced, expert ice climber who will help you have the best possible adventure. His company, Steve Foster Adventure Instruction, offers half day experiences for all abilities, to enjoy these beautifully frozen ice structures.

What to Expect from a Tour

Steve Foster Adventure Instruction will meet you in the morning at one of his scouted and fully verified locations. From there Steve will provide a fully inclusive tour that includes: professional equipment that fits you, warm clothing should you need it, a quick demonstration, and of course expert instruction from over 25 years ice climbing. 

Steve’s tour last around 4 hours and he can work with your specific timing needs. The costs of a tour are $150 a person and includes use of all equipment as well some snacks and a hot chocolate. 

You should bring warm clothing, including several layers for extra warmth, though Steve will communicate all the specifics in an email to you after booking a tour!

The Ice Climb

Whether you are a first-time ice climber or a seasoned veteran, you will have a blast! Depending on the location Steve Foster can provide several different ascent options depending on skill level or just personal preference. 

The Experience

Ice climbing is a truly unique adventure. Come and experience it for yourself!

Visit the Facebook page Steve Foster Adventure Instruction, or email sfadventureinstruction@gmail.com for more info or to book a tour. 

Have you ever tried winter surfing?

By Narcity

Say hello to ice-frosted trees and streets, snuggly scarves, puffy jackets and cozy nights in by the fire. The snowy season is nearly here, which means Ontario is about to transform into a winter wonderland.

In Sault Ste. Marie, you can truly embrace the best of the cold weather. Located seven hours north of the GTA by car (or a short plane ride), this action-packed Ontarian town is one of the province’s best destinations for a snowy getaway.

Nestled between Lake Superior and Lake Huron on the banks of St. Marys River, Sault Ste. Marie (affectionately known as “the Soo”) is packed with opportunities to ski, snowboard, skate, snowshoe and even surf (yes!) your way through the winter.

Whether you arrive by plane or by road trip, these nine activities will keep you busy on your adventures through Sault Ste. Marie’s idyllic winter landscape.

Click here to read more…

By Conor Mihell

A Marathon for all levels of skiers, fatbikers and trail runners blazes new trails to celebrate Sault Ste. Marie’s rich winter sports tradition

The history of nordic skiing in Sault Ste. Marie is long, colourful and defined by a profound sense of community. More than half a century ago, winter enthusiasts from the upstart Soo Finnish Ski Club blazed their own cross-country ski trails through the snowy woods and rugged hills of what’s now known as the Hiawatha Highlands, located just north of the city centre. Early skiers didn’t know the pleasure of machine-groomed trails. Frontrunners in the club’s recreational races not only set the pace, they also had the challenge of making tracks through the soft powder while keeping ahead of pursuing skiers. Such legendary beginnings kindled one of Ontario’s most vibrant cross-country ski scenes and blazed the way for the development of some of the province’s finest networks of trails.

a fun and adventurous recreational race

Fast-forward to 2022, and local event organizer Lawrence Foster was looking to celebrate Sault Ste. Marie’s snowy winters and exceptional skiing terrain. He conceived the inaugural Beaver Freezer Marathon as a fun and adventurous recreational race to wrap up the season at the Hiawatha Highlands. Multiple race options catered to all levels of skiers, fat-bikers and trail-runners, including families, beginners and elite athletes alike, with distances of up to 42 km. Scheduled for mid-March, the event would link existing Hiawatha Highlands nordic ski and fat-bike trails with frozen lakes and wetlands, showcasing the rugged, snow-covered landscape. All proceeds from the volunteer-run event would go towards supporting future trail development to support Sault Ste. Marie’s ongoing efforts to become a hub of outdoor recreation.

“We wanted to make it fun and inclusive,” says Foster, a Sault College professor and former world-class adventure racer. “We had team options. You could race it as a relay or do it as a group. Your kid could ride or ski beside you in the relay. We wanted to have a community event with a friendly vibe, all supporting a good cause.” 

Upwards of 300 Competitors

First-year registrations far exceeded Foster’s expectations. Upwards of 300 competitors signed up for the event, the majority locals but also approximately 40 registrants from Sudbury, Toronto, Ottawa and Michigan. “It seemed like a great way to ski in places you wouldn’t get to experience otherwise,” says participant Paul Kyostia. “I was looking forward to skiing across the lakes with the benefit of packed trails in between.”

With Foster in charge of mapping a course, participants were sure to get a premium slice of Algoma backcountry. Starting and finishing at the Hiawatha Highlands headquarters at Kinsmen Park, the Beaver Freezer route wound through nearly a dozen frozen lakes and waterways, including Trout and Lower Island and Finn, just north of city limits. Groomers marked and packed the trails for easy skiing, cycling and running. Sault College was the inaugural event’s title sponsor and the college’s Natural Environment students volunteered to assist with race day details, including safety checkpoints and aid stations. 

abundant snowfall and perfect lake ice

With abundant snowfall throughout the winter and perfect lake ice, the plan seemed bulletproof until a deluge of freezing rain forced Foster to postpone the Sunday race until the following weekend. Foster was deflated, but at the same time he knew that so many dedicated enthusiasts would do far more than salvage the event. Participants and volunteers shuffled their plans and held onto their enthusiasm, and with improved weather conditions Foster says the rescheduled race day was all he ever hoped for. “Countless people lined up to volunteer to make it a great event,” he notes. “I’ve received so many messages of support from people looking forward to next year’s Beaver Freezer. It feels good to be contributing to the momentum of trail development with the Kinsmen Club, the Sault Cycling Club, and Tourism Sault Ste. Marie.”

Foster admits that the weather always remains a wild card for late-winter events, but he’s hoping that scheduling the 2023 Beaver Freezer Marathon across an entire weekend will provide an adequate buffer for any surprises. “The biggest highlight has been the support of the community,” Foster says. But given the area’s deep and passionate roots for nordic sports, local support is a given. As word gets out, Foster anticipates a larger contingent of out-of-towners—with visitors arriving to experience the great trails and welcoming vibe of yet another shining example of why Sault Ste. Marie has always been Ontario’s winter sports capital. 

2023 Event

The 2023 event will take place on Saturday, March 11th, with Sunday, March 12th being the backup day. All the information you’ll need including course details, timing and other info is available on the Beaver Freezer website

Out of town guests will receive 10% off their stay at The Water Tower Inn. Details here.  

Downhill and Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, skating, Snowmobiling, Fat Biking, Ice Caves and more - Sault Ste. Marie is a true Winter experience

By Sault Tourism

Sault Ste. Marie is a true winter paradise with so many outdoor activities to choose from. We have one of the highest vertical downhill ski hills in Ontario, over 150km of incredible cross-country Skiing, an abundance of stunning snowshoe trails… Plus we have beautiful woodland skating trails, a new  snowmobiling day loop, groomed fat biking trails and Sault Ste. Marie has some iconic, and awe-inspiring ice caves. This winter visit Sault Ste. Marie for your true winter experience. 

Getting to Sault Ste. Marie is easy too with several flights a day from Toronto, Sudbury and Thunder Bay and rental cars waiting at the airport. And course you can drive on the Trans-Canada highway, which is well maintained over the winter months. 

Ski One Of The Highest Verticals in Ontario

Big vertical, rugged terrain, Searchmont Resort has some of the best downhill skiing in Ontario. And… new snowmaking equipment means a planned November 23rd opening day – potentially the earliest in the region!

On top of the 703 feet of vertical, 26 runs, 100 acres of rolling mountain, terrain park, 4 lifts, snow school, Searchmont is also a fully equipped resort with a restaurant, bar, shop, ski and snowboard rentals and accommodations. Escape the crowds and the lift queues of jam-packed southern Ontario ski hills and get away to this stunning, adventure-packed mountain.

If you like your vertical off the beaten track, check out the incredible backcountry skiing at Bellevue Valley Lodge.

Cross-Country Ski over 150km of Groomed Trails

Sault Ste. Marie offers some of the best cross country skiing in North America. Stokely Creek Lodge has 100km of trails, groomed for both classic and skate skiing and spread over 12,000 spectacular acres of the Algoma Highlands.

Breathtaking scenery including frozen lakes and waterfalls, endless forests, and amazing vistas like the one at the top of King Mountain, make Stokely a bucket-list destination for nordic skiers. Enjoy Scandinavian lodging and stay warm in one of the six warming huts along the way; it’s an experience that will bring you back year after year.

Situated just 10 minutes from downtown, Hiawatha Highlands offers more than 50km of beautiful skiing in towering Pine forests. Click here for a link to all trail and maps or read more about all that Hiawatha Highlands has to offer! Top-tip: enjoy a nighttime lantern ski, which happens a few times a season!

Bon Soo, Sault Ste. Marie's winter Carnival is BAck in 2024!

The Bon Soo winter carnival is back for its 61st edition! Join from February 2nd to 10th for this iconic Sault Ste. Marie event! 

All the details are on the Bon Soo website. Look out for: Bum Slides, Brett Kissel, Polar Rush, Polar Bear Dip and so much more! 

You can also read our breakdown of the event here via our Bon Soo 2024 Travel Inspiration page

Try Ice Climbing!

Steve Foster, from Sault Ste. Marie, is a certified, highly experienced, expert ice climber who will help you have the best possible adventure. His company, Steve Foster Adventure Instruction, offers half day experiences for all abilities, to enjoy these beautifully frozen ice structures.

 

Axe Throwing and Golf Simulators

Sometimes you just need a break from the snow and cold. Well, have you ever tried axe throwing? Check out one of our newest and most fun indoor activities!

Missing golf and still need a fix? The Up and Down Lounge has state of the art golf simulators, which can be booked by the hour. You can also grab a drink and some food to be able to make an evening of this fun winter activity!

Sled our new Snowmobile Day Loop

Sault Ste. Marie has a new day loop for riders! The Soo Highlands Loop starts in the city and goes north to Searchmont and the surrounding area. Sledders can explore the natural beauty of Algoma Highlands, and its rugged landscapes just north of Sault Ste. Marie, in this 169 km loop. 

For inspiration watch Cristy Lee enjoy her recent sledding experience in the Soo here!

Ride our Groomed Fat Biking trails!

Sault Ste. Marie is on its way to becoming an epicentre for Fat Biking, one of the fastest growing winter sports.

The Soo has perfectly groomed trails to the north of the city at Hiawatha Highlands and Crimson Ridge. Enjoy some challenging elevation in the beautiful Hiawatha forests as well as the picturesque trails at Crimson Ridge. 

Downtown, the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site has easy fatbike trails for use on St. Marys and Whitefish islands, adjacent to the St. Marys Rapids. In addition, the St. Kateri Outdoor Learning Centre has around 3.5 km of fat biking trails. 

Get your skates on!

Sault Ste. Marie has a number of some skating rinks and trails, all within a walk or drive of downtown. Check out our new downtown plaza and it’s brand new skating rink!

The City also maintains five over outdoor rinks including the popular waterfront Clergue trail (pictured). 

Snowshoe on the Canadian Shield

Snowshoeing is one of the best ways to experience winter in Sault Ste. Marie. We have well-marked and beautifully scenic trails all over the city, including at Hiawatha, Crimson Ridge and Stokely Creek.

We also have some expert tour guides who can not only show you the way, but can also provide information about the area and its cultural significance… you may even be treated to a cup of hot chocolate 😉

Check out our Tours & Guide page for all the info!

Relax, Dine and Drink

After a day in the snow and ice you’ll want to refuel and recharge, and we have some great restaurants serving some fantastic food to warm you right up!

From Syrian Shawarma to spicy Indian, delicious Italian or sizzling steak, the Sault has so many great restaurants