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

Head to Sault Ste. Marie and enjoy spring skiing through till April, A Maple Syrup Weekend and more!

By Sault Tourism

Sault Ste. Marie has just experienced a fantastic winter with plenty of snow meaning our ski hills and trails will be open well into April!

So come and enjoy Searchmont Resort, one of the biggest vertical downhill ski hills in Ontario, all the way through Easter! Or cross-country ski over 150km of incredible cross-country Skiing at Hiawatha Highlands and Stokely Creek Lodge. Visit on April 1st or 2nd and enjoy Hogan’s Homestead’s Maple Syrup Weekend! Or, weather and ice cover permitting, enjoy a one of a kind experience with an ice caves tour with Forest The Canoe. 

Keep reading to help plan your Spring skiing and other things adventure!

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 more snow and staying open later in the year.

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.

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!

Hogan Homestead's 'Everything Maple Festival'

On the weekend of April 1st and 2nd, Hogan’s Homestead, one of Ontario’s best maple syrup producers, hosts a Maple Weekend. The ‘Everything Maple Festival’ includes a local market, operational tours, food + drinks and maple activities. Stay tuned and visit their website here as more details become available!

Check out our incredible Ice Caves!

Lake Superior’s phenomenal ice caves are a sight to behold. Enigmatic, unpredictable, subject to nature’s whims, but wholly worth it, these incredible structures will leave you speechless. They form in mid-winter when wavy conditions followed by a deep-freeze sculpts the rugged Lake Superior coastline into caves and chasms of blue ice.

Weather and ice-cover permitting, Forest The Canoe offers guided day trips to the best ice caves, including crampon-equipped snowshoes and a snack. We do recommend you use a local guide with experience of the conditions as walking on ice can be dangerous. 

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.

 

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. 

Lots of Events this Spring!

Sault Ste. Marie is hosting a variety of events all spring, from comedy acts to conservatory music and of course the dramatic conclusion to the Soo Greyhounds season.

Stay up to date with all  the events via our Events page!

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

For a ‘hot’ new tip check out Gino’s Fired Up, one of the latest new restaurants in town. 

Getting here

Getting to Sault Ste. Marie is easy with several flights from Air Canada, Bearskin and Porter 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 all year. 

find the Perfect Places to ski in Sault Ste. Marie

By Tourism Sault Ste. Marie

Sault Ste. Marie is home to some of the best skiing east of the Rockies, including Alpine, Nordic and Backcountry. We offer a true winter experience in the beautiful backdrop of Northern Ontario wilderness. Like other outdoor adventures in Sault Ste. Marie, you can expect scenic vistas, glacier-scoured hills, ancient forests and — most importantly — truly monumental snowfall. Our stunning landscape is what makes the region so special as a place to ski in Ontario. Here’s how to get the most out your skiing trip in Sault Ste. Marie.

Hiawatha Highlands
Skiing at Hiawatha Highlands

No.1 - Searchmont Resort

Big vertical, rugged terrain, Searchmont has some of the best downhill skiing in Ontario.

On top of the 700 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.

This season Searchmont is opening up a new section of the hill complete with its own new lift, Buzzsaw. This new section is perfect for intermediate skiers just before they take on the big hill. Visit the Searchmont’s website for more information. 

Click here for a link to all trail and maps.

No.2 - Cross-Country Skiing at Stokely Creek Lodge

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Stokely Creek is world class. A short 30-minute drive from the city this stunning venue draws visitors from all over the world. This amazing Ontario cross-country ski destination garners rave reviews and ranks among the best in North America.

There are over 100 km of trails for classic and skate-skiing techniques. Stokely earns its credibility with breathtaking scenery, including frozen waterfalls, endless forests and the amazing vista from the top of King Mountain.

Backcountry cabins and rest stops are spread out along the way, enhancing the resort’s wilderness feel. You’ll appreciate warm shelter while skiing Stokely. Better yet, make it a weekend (or stay for a week): The lodge boasts Scandinavian-style accommodations and outstanding home-cooked meals..

Parking and trailhead is at Stokely Creek Lodge, in Goulais River Ontario.

Click here for a link to all trail and maps or read more about Stokely here!

No.3 - Cross-Country Skiing at Hiawatha Highlands

Hiawatha Highlands offers more than 50 km of varying levels of cross country skiing trail on professionally machine groomed trails for both classic and skate skiing. Parking and trailheads are located on Landslide Road, located just a few minutes drive of the city. Hiawatha easily ranks among the best places to go cross-country skiing in Ontario. 

There are three main skiing trail systems to explore, each with different terrain and elevation. The Pinder System features minimal hills and gentle grades which make it suitable for all skill levels. The main 4 km route has an additional 6 km of extensions including the open Mockingbird extension with picturesque views of neighbouring farms. A lighted 2 km loop near the trailhead means you can ski until around 10 pm.

The Red Pine system, a favourite of many locals, is a little more rugged with steeper hills making it more advanced and technical trail with several side extensions, creek crossings and towering red- and white pines.

Finally, the Crystal Trail system is the most challenging. Trails weave around Crystal Creek and alongside waterfalls, with steep descents and heart-pounding climbs. It’s a great test for the advanced skier. Along with a rugged 10 km backcountry ski trail to Mabel Lake, the Crystal features more than 20 km of trails to sink your teeth into.

Click here for a link to all trail and maps or read more about all that Hiawatha Highlands has to offer here!

No.4 - Backcountry Skiing at Bellevue Valley Lodge

Sault Ste. Marie is one of Ontario’s premier destinations for backcountry skiing. Your starting point is Bellevue Valley Lodge, set in the massive Canadian Shield hills of Goulais River, a 25-minute drive from the city.

Explore the extensive beauty of the area with backcountry telemark, alpine touring or nordic skiing. Ski up the impressive ridges and mountains of the Canadian Shield at 1800 ft above sea level, and explore 30 gladed powder runs with about 700 feet of vertical. With no chair lifts you’ll have to bring your climbing skins to earn your turns.

Runs include the formidably named Undertaker, Overtaker, Vortex of Pain and the Pyramid. Steep fall lines combine with incredible snowfall to make Sault Ste. Marie a fantastic place to powder ski. This is unquestionably the best backcountry skiing in Ontario!

Click here for a link to the trail maps.

By Martin Lortz

Looking for a long-distance snowmobile tour in Ontario? A new full-day tour for sledders is now open in Sault Ste. Marie. Learn more about why riding out of the Soo is the perfect way to enjoy a day on the trails.

Welcome to the Soo, aka Sault Ste. Marie. When it comes to Ontario snowmobiling, it’s all about adventure and good times. With 32,000 kilometres of groomed trail reaching far-flung corners of the province, planning the perfect snowmobiling experience can be a time-consuming challenge. Luckily, thanks to the efforts of many, we have at our disposal 36 OFSC self-guided snow tours to choose from. An impressive list to which we can now add the new Soo Highlands Loop.

Click here to continue reading

By Conor Mihell

Fat Biking, Skiing, Skating and more: Winters are hot in Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma. Learn more about one of the best places for a winter vacation in Canada. 

Sault Ste. Marie experiences winter like few other places in Ontario. Close proximity to Lake Superior produces exceptional snowfall; this, combined with a rugged Canadian Shield landscape of rolling hills, tall pines and hardwood forests, creates a winter playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Ontario’s finest nordic and alpine skiing have long been staples of Sault Ste. Marie winters; you’ll also find incredible backcountry skiing and snowshoeing, an emerging fat-bike scene, great ice fishing and unique urban ice-skating opportunities—all making “The Soo” the preeminent winter adventure town in central Canada.

Nordic Skiing

With the legendary trails, gourmet meals and luxury accommodations of Stokely Creek Lodge on hiatus for the year due to COVID-19, the 50-plus-km of diverse, impeccably groomed cross-country ski trails at Hiawatha Highlands take center stage.

Click here to continue reading…

By Craig Nicholson

Riders Can Still Count on Major Snow, Primo Trails & Great Hospitality! Sault Ste. Marie is one of the best places to go snowmobiling in Ontario.

Located in Northern Ontario, Algoma Country is a vast territory of 28,000 square miles comprised of two unique snowmobiling areas, Algoma East and Algoma North. Come winter, all of Algoma Country turns snowy white and remains that way for a long season. That makes it a perfect and convenient winter destination enjoyed by thousands of riders.

Anchored by the TOP Trail D, Algoma Country’s 2,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails typically attract numerous American visitors through its international border at Sault Ste. Marie or its TOP Trail D107 border crossing on the ice bridge from Drummond Island, MI. to St. Joseph Island, ON. Many visiting snowmobilers from Southern Ontario have also discovered Algoma Country sledding and return to experience more each winter.

Click here to continue reading