Tour Boat, train, trails and outdoor adventures aplenty. Sault Ste. Marie is the perfect Summer Destination

By Sault Tourism

Miss Marie Sault Lock Tours

Introducing The Miss Marie Sault Lock Tours Boat, which last year officially launched for its first full year and is back in 2024!

The Miss Marie takes passengers on a 90-minute cruise up and down the picturesque St Marys River. Enjoy the downtown sights of both Canadian and US Sault Ste. Marie, then pass through both set of historic locks and underneath the spectacular International bridge. Wave to Lake Superior ‘lakers’ as well as pleasure boat riders on this famous waterway, or just can sit back and relax and take in the many sights of this beautiful boat ride.

Take a bucket-list train ride

The Agawa Canyon Tour Train is one of North America’s iconic train rides. See the boreal forests, rivers, and waterfalls that inspired Canada’s most iconic artists – the Group of Seven. If traveling in latter part of summer, witness some of the most incredible colours as the maple forests create a stunning palette of reds, oranges and yellows. 

This year’s tour season will be from Aug. 1 through Oct. 13. More details on pricing and purchasing tickets can be found on the Agawa train website.

Discover Awesome new Mountain Biking Trails

Sault Ste. Marie is the best destination for mountain biking in Ontario. Discover trails for every age, ability or style from jump and flow trails to enduro-style trails carved out of the Canadian Shield. Come and see why Sault Ste. Marie is being called Ontario’s new bike town. 

Visit the Hiawatha Highlands, with over 55km of trails including 12km of newly built world-class trails — just a short ride from downtown. Visit out new Mountain Bike page for more info or check our out post on spending a weekend mountain biking in the city. For mountain biking events, read more here!

Explore our incredible hiking and paddling trails

Cradled by the ancient mountains of the Canadian Shield and the biggest fresh water lake in the world, Sault Ste. Marie is Ontario’s best Trail Town.
Hike trails that will lead you to incredible lookout vistas, or along the largest fresh water lake in the world. Or paddle one of our many and varied waterways, from winding rivers to portage-friendly inland lakes, or course the Big Lake, Lake Superior. Whatever your own personal mode of transport is, be it foot or paddle, we’ve got a trail for you.

Enjoy The best Sandy Beaches In Ontario

Sault Ste. Marie has some of the best sandy beaches in Ontario. Our beaches are incredible! All around our city you’ll find perfectly beautiful, long sandy beaches with crystal clear water that are perfect for a swim, a play in the sand or just to relax and soak up the sun. Great beaches are just one reason Sault Ste. Marie is the perfect place for a summer vacation.

Click here to check out 6 of the best sandy beaches in Ontario, all just a short drive from Sault Ste. Marie.  

Enjoy so many unique events

Sault Ste. Marie has so many fun events happening all through the summer. From the three mountain biking races to Rotary Fest and the much-loved Queen Street Cruise. Looking for a show or musical performance? Check out all the events listed at the Sault Community Theatre website.

As well as three biking races, we also have a number of running events happening in June; Run The Great Lakes as well as the Community Strong Festival – a series of races over a weekend in June, including a Boston Marathon qualifier!

We also have the Fringe North Festival and an Italian Festival, which are very popular with locals and visitors alike. Stay up to date by visiting our Events page here!

Experience Lake Superior

Lake Superior is wild, rugged and beautiful. It can be angry and violent, it can be calm with glassy water reflecting a perfectly clear blue sky. The sunsets can be some of most beautiful anywhere, and the maple forests that hug the coastline put on a fall colour display of bright reds, oranges and yellows so spectacular you’ll be telling your friends for years.

A drive along the coastline from Sault Ste. Marie will let you experience all of this. Get out of your car, RV or motorbike at any of the many stops along the way. Fill your camera up with countless shots of this beautiful coast. Visit in spring, summer, fall or winter for a different experience each season. Be inspired by the incredible Lake Superior coastal drive from Sault Ste. Marie.

Visit The Bushplane Museum

The Bushplane Museum, or the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre to give its full name, is one of Sault Ste. Marie’s top attractions. Perfect for kids to learn about bushplanes, women in aviation, forest fire prevention, plus, kids can run around, climb into planes and have fun exploring. For adults, it’s a museum full of beautiful and fascinating aircraft that shows the important history of bushplanes in Ontario. 

Check out Entomica while inside the museum; a wonderful Insectarium where you can meet and hold some pretty interesting creatures!

Other cultural attractions include: Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site, The Sault Ste. Marie Museum, Art Gallery of Algoma and Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site

Immerse yourself In Indigenous Culture

Traditionally known as Bawating (“the place of the rapids”), Sault Ste. Marie is a place of cultural importance. Follow this long weekend itinerary to experience and learn about Anishinaabe culture in our city. 

Thrive Tours offer interpretive eco-tours offering a guided experience of vibrant celebrations of Indigenous life. Metis Tours offer walking and paddling tours that connects historic and community points of interest between the Sault Ste. Marie and and the St. Marys River. Walk Among The Trees specializes in simple, 3 hour walking tours Through an Anishinaabe cultural lens, participants will learn about the natural and cultural history, experience ceremony, storytelling, teachings and cuisine for creating important long-lasting memories

Visit our Indigenous Tourism page for more info. 

Relax, Dine and Drink

After a day of adventuring you’ll want to refuel and recharge, and we have some great restaurants serving some fantastic food for any taste. From Syrian Shawarma to spicy Indian, delicious Italian or sizzling steak, the Sault has so many great restaurants

We also brew our own beer! Northern Superior and Outspoken offer craft beers with names including ‘Rabbit’s Foot’, ‘Maglia Rosa’ and ‘Gitche Gumee’. Great beers, great atmosphere equals great times. 

Take a Daytrip to some of the most beautiful and relaxing sandy beaches in Ontario

Sault Ste. Marie has some of the best sandy beaches in Ontario. Our beaches are incredible! All around our city you’ll find perfectly beautiful, long sandy beaches with crystal clear water that are perfect for a swim, a play in the sand or just to relax and soak up the sun. Great beaches are just one reason Sault Ste. Marie is the perfect place for a summer vacation.

Check out this list of 6 of the best sandy beaches in Ontario, all just a short drive from Sault Ste. Marie. And check out our Summer in the Soo video too!

No.1 – Pancake Bay Provincial Park and beach

A leisurely 45 minute drive north on the Trans-Canada Highway along the stunning Lake Superior coast is Pancake Bay Provincial Park Beach – one of the best sandy beaches in Ontario.

This beautiful area is known for its more than 3 km of golden sand beach and crystal clear, Caribbean blue water. The Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout hiking trail gives an incredible panoramic view of the lake if you are looking for some exercise before relaxing on the sand.  

The Park is one of the area’s most popular camping destinations with excellent and comprehensive facilities.

No.2 – Batchewana Bay Provincial Park and beach

Just south of Pancake Bay lies lies Batchawana Bay Provincial Park, another great Ontario beach on Lake Superior. Batchewana Bay’s sun-soaked, 5 km beach is the perfect place to spend a summer’s day with the family. The water here is shallow, warm and perfect for swimming! Facilities include picnic tables and bathrooms.

Passes for this day-use provincial park can be made online or at the visitor center located on Highway 17. 

To complete the day visit Agawa Crafts and the Canadian Carver and eat at the Voyageurs Lodge and Cookhouse

No.3 – Agawa Bay Beach

At the southern end of Lake Superior Provincial Park lies Agawa Bay Beach, a stunning 3km long sandy beach. The water at Agawa Bay can be a little chillier than the more sheltered beaches further south, even at the height of the summer, but this doesn’t impact the natural beauty of shore where stunning hills and cliffs of the Canadian Shield frame the beach on either end. 

There are plenty of options for recreational water activities be it paddling, body surfing or swimming. There is also a fantastic visitor centre, featuring stories from Lake Superior and information on local wildlife. Just to north of the Bay is the Agawa Rock Pictographs, one of the most famous Indigenous pictograph sites in Canada. 

Agawa Bay is part of Lake Superior Provincial Park, which is one of the largest provincial parks in Ontario. The park boundaries extend north all the way to Wawa, bisected by the Trans Canada Highway. Agawa Bay also has a fully equipped campsite, in case you want to extend your stay. If a daytrip suits you better, then a beautiful 90 minute trip up the Superior coast is a great way to beat the crowds and explore the beauty of Northern Ontario. 

No.4 – Harmony Beach

Harmony Beach in Haviland Bay is the first beach you will encounter when travelling north on the Trans Canada Highway along the Superior coast from Sault Ste. Marie. This public beach is a local’s favourite, only a half-hour drive from Sault Ste. Marie and featuring 3.2 km of stunning sand and great swimming.

It’s also close to the Haviland Bay Voyageur Trail with stunning views that look out over the lake. So after your hike, take a swim!

No.5 – Point des Chênes Park and beach

Pointe des Chênes is a family-friendly sandy beach in Sault Ste. Marie city limits. This slice of paradise is only a short drive from downtown. It’s the perfect spot for building sandcastles and swimming. Located on Lake Superior at the mouth of the St. Marys River, this great Ontario beach is also an awesome spot to watch the big Great Lakes ships go by.

No.6 – St. Joseph Island Beaches

Peaceful St. Joseph island lies just to the east of Sault Ste. Marie on Lake Huron’s North Channel, off of the Trans Canada Highway. It’s a must-see for visitors, featuring many great Ontario sand beaches. The communities of Hilton Beach and Richards Landing have marinas for boaters, as well as restaurants and shops making it a perfect day trip. Best of all, the island’s wonderful beaches are uncrowded and pristine. 

Hilton Beach is home to Forbes Beach and Community Park. This sandy beach features numerous picnic tables, a buoyed swimming area and a raft that swimmers can jump off. Public washrooms, change rooms and playground equipment make this a pleasant destination for an afternoon getaway. The Hilton Beach boardwalk connects the beach to the picturesque marina.

The community of Richards Landing is located on the west side of St. Joseph Island. Women’s Institute Park has a sandy public beach, safe swimming, playground equipment, picnic pavilions and a tennis court. The area is also home to amazing mountain biking and road cycling. Rentals are available at the Richards Landing Marina for those wishing to explore the numerous groomed trails and natural beauty of the island’s forests.

By Gabriela (


Take a day trip from the Soo to some incredible Sandy Lake Superior beaches

We are crossing Canada this summer and we had to include Sault Ste. Marie in our itinerary. We were impressed with the city when we visited Northern Ontario last year (see details here). But this time we decided to do something different: we explored the beaches around the city. Sault Ste. Marie is a super green city and full of parks and beautiful beaches around it, so this time we decided to visit some of these places and in this post. I will bring a list of 3 beaches that we visited in the region and that we recommend for everyone.

I think it’s important to highlight that not all the beaches you visit here in Canada are the way we are used to in Brazil: with sand, shallow water and easy access. Some beaches have rocks instead of sand (i.e. it is very difficult to walk), others have very rough water and some have difficult access… Some of those beaches are not suitable for families with children. The 3 beaches we visited in Sault Ste. Marie are family friendly, so it’s worth highlighting this here before writing about them below.

Harmony Beach

Harmony Beach is located in the Haviland Bay, and is the first beach you will come across when traveling north from Sault Ste. Marie via the Trans Canada Highway along the shore of Lake Superior. This public beach is the favorite of people that live in the region (and was crowded when visited). The place is just a half hour drive from Sault Ste. Marie, so if you’re in town and want to get a taste of Lake Superior beaches this might be an option. The beach has 3.2 km of sand and is considered a great place for swimming.

Batchawana Bay Provincial Park

This provincial park is a day use park only, which means it does not have camping sites and you cannot spend the night there (click here for more details). Even so, it is VERY worth the visit, being only 50 minutes north of Sault Ste Marie. The park has several picnic tables on the beach and also restrooms, so I liked the fact that it had this structure (which helps a lot when visiting with children) but looks very remote. The sandy beach is 5km long and the water in this bay is shallow, which makes it warmer.

Pancake Bay Provincial Park

This provincial park is just 1 hour north of Sault Ste Marie and 10 minutes from Batchawana Bay Provincial Park (the drive is beautiful so you won’t even notice that 1 hour go by). This park is super popular with its 3km beach, a beautiful 3.5km trail (Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout hiking trail where you can have a panoramic view of the entire region), the super blue Caribbean style water and 476 campsites. By the way, the camping sites are close to the beach so if you camp this would be a very special place to spend the weekend. Click here to learn more about the location.

The coastal Drive to or From Sault Ste Marie

The beaches are just one stop of many on the beautiful Lake Superior coastal drive.

The Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout Trail in Pancake Bay Provincial Park offers a beautiful view across a luscious maple forest all the way to the big lake. You may also see the final resting place of the Edmund Fitzgerald ship.

A little further north of Pancake Bay is the Lake Superior Provincial Park, which includes the Agawa Bay visitor centre. Read all about this area here!

Beautiful souvenirs and ice-cream treats are available at Agawa Crafts and the Canadian Carver further south and The Voyageur Lodge also has some great souvenirs and food options. Chippewa Falls, the famed halfway point on the trans-Canada highway is a great spot for a break. The falls are right beside parking lot, just off the highway. Check out another Group of Seven art easel while you are there.  

Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout Trail
Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout Trail
Lake Superior Visitor Cen
Lake Superior Visitor Centre
Agawa Crafts
Agawa Crafts and the Canadian Carver
Voyageurs' Lodge and Cookhouse
Voyageur Lodge
Chippewa Falls
Chippewa Falls

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you can, visit this region of Ontario: beautiful and relatively close to Toronto. For more information about Sault Ste Marie visit the Sault Ste. Marie Tourism website.