From stunning Sandy Beaches to some of the best mountain biking in Ontario, Sault Ste. Marie is the perfect Summer Destination

By Sault Tourism

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.  

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 40km of trails including 12km of newly built world-class trails — 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. Visit out new Mountain Bike page for more info.

Experience Lake Superior

The Edmund Fitzgerald lookout trail, in Pancake Bay Provincial Park, is the perfect day trip activity from Sault Ste. Marie, and the perfect way to experience Lake Superior.

Just an hour north of the city, it’s one of best lookout hikes in all of Ontario. A beautiful woodland walk through towering maple trees leads you to spectacular views of Lake Superior, as far out as the resting position of the Edmund Fitzgerald ship

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. 

New to 2022, Thrive Tours will be offering a ‘Learn to Powwow‘ tour; a guided experience of vibrant celebrations of Indigenous life. Or if you are visiting in June, experience the Summer Moon Festival featuring real-time creation of large-scale public art. 

Visit our Indigenous Tourism page for more info. 

Take a bucket-list train ride

The Agawa Canyon Tour Train is one of north America’s iconic train rides and a Destination Canada signature experience. See the boreal forests, rivers, and waterfalls that inspired Canada’s most iconic artists – the Group of Seven, and 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 is tentatively planned for Aug. 1 through Oct. 10. More details on pricing and purchasing tickets will be available soon at the Agawa train website.

Enjoy so many unique events

Fun things are happening again! From Powwow tours with Thrive Tours, to the Summer Moon Festival and Rotary Fest, Sault Ste. Marie has so many fun and interesting events lined up for 2022. 

For the outdoor adventure enthusiast we have Crank The Shield, UT Stokely and the Superior Rocket

Stay up to date by visiting our Events page here!

Enjoy our Beautiful Outdoors

Nestled between Great Lakes Superior and Huron, Sault Ste. Marie is the perfect jumping off point to discover wild rivers, majestic channels, hidden coves, stunning waterfalls and more freshwater lakes than you could ever count. This is what makes us one of Canada’s top outdoor adventure destinations.

Take a tour with Canoes for Conservation, Blaq Bear Eco Adventures, Forest the Canoe and Thrive Tours or do it yourself. Our website will give you all you need to begin your adventure, as well as some Travel Inspiration stories to inspire you!

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. 

By Sault Tourism

learn about our City's connection to this famous group of Canadian painters

The city of Sault Ste. Marie played an important role in bringing together Canada’s greatest art collective, the Group of Seven. Smitten by the beauty of this region, the Group of Seven, traveled to the city many times, capturing the landscapes with their beautiful brush strokes. Their explorations always resulted in beautiful sketches and paintings. Some of which are indeed their most famous. Visit Sault Ste. Marie and learn more about this special group of artists.

Agawa Canyon Tour Train

Book your seat on the narrated, one-day, round trip Agawa Canyon Tour Train and you’ll pass several sites captured by the Group of Seven while marvelling at the rugged beauty of the Canadian landscape.

View scenes that inspired some of the most famous works of art from the Group of Seven including The Solemn Land (based on Montreal River Harbour) and Algoma Waterfall (based on Bridal Veil Falls), by J.E.H MacDonald. The original sketch of The Solemn Land, painted after MacDonald first visited the area in 1918, is part of the permanent collection at the Art Gallery of Algoma

When the train stops within the Agawa Canyon, hike towards Bridal Veil Falls where you’ll see the cascading tiers of water which inspired multiple sketches and paintings by members of the Group of Seven including Lawren Harris and the aforementioned J.E.H. MacDonald.

Group of Seven BoxCar

The” Soo”, as it’s known to locals, has embraced the regions “colourful” Group of Seven history, not only through the art in the gallery, but also embracing their rail history as well. For the artists and for you, Sault Ste. Marie will be the send off into the region. One hundred and one years ago, with no highways going north, the group utilized the railway, catching the train in Sault Ste. Marie.  Along this rail line they camped and paddled through the remote areas allowing them a feeling of peace and tranquility they could not find in the larger cities in southern Ontario. They came here to heal from the war and to try to make sense of the untimely death of their friend Tom Thomson.  But they did much more than heal, they found themselves, and their inspiration through the landscapes of this beautiful region. Much like the tourists of today, once the Group of Seven visited the first time, they came again and again.  

If you are riding the rails into Algoma on the Agawa Canyon Tour Train, your departure will be the beautiful new train station.  But whether you are riding the train or not, the brand-new train station, as well as the rail car #10557, are a must do stop!  The bright red boxcar was recreated for the documentary, A Painted Land, In Search of the Group of Seven, and remains on display outside the train station.  It is a perfect replica of the rail car that the Group called home many times through their travels in Algoma.  It’s a perfect photo op for the true Group of Seven fan. 

Art Gallery of Algoma

As you travel through Algoma Country, in search of the Group of Seven’s inspirations, you would be remiss if you did not start your trip by visiting the Art Gallery of Algoma. Located on the St. Marys River, the Art Gallery of Algoma is home to a diverse permanent collection of artwork – including original pieces by members of the Group of Seven. Find an interpretive panel in the Elsie Savoie Sculpture Park near the boardwalk. 

The Art Gallery of Algoma’s permanent collection includes numerous Group of Seven site specific sketches and studies. Shop for Group of Seven related books, gifts, calendars and memorabilia in the gift shop. Be sure to visit the Gallery’s website for ongoing and rotating Group of Seven exhibits

Embark on the Group of Seven Driving Tour

You can experience their travels on the rail, and travel along the coastline of Lake Superior by vehicle on Highway 17 North. Starting just outside of Sault Ste. Marie at Chippewa Falls, and continuing along Ontario’s most beautiful coast to Nipigon/Red Rock you will find many sites and interpretive panels that will tell more of the story of the Group of Seven in this region.  Don’t travel fast but rather enjoy, explore, and pause.  You will gain a better understanding of why this area was a favourite of the Group of Seven.

You will discover that today, this region remains rich in beautiful forests, crystal clear lakes, and rivers still filled with plentiful fish and game. This area is so lucky that so many vistas painted by the Group remain untouched today.  There is a sense of beauty and serenity here that one must truly experience, much like the Group of Seven did just over a hundred years ago. 

Remember, memories are made through a gathering of great moments, seven men captured their moments in Algoma, it is time to capture yours. Learn more about the discovery route here

Drive north of the city along highway 17 and you’ll reach Chippewa Falls, the halfway point of Trans Canada Hwy 17. Visit this waterfall along the Lake Superior Circle Tour where painter A.Y. Jackson sketched the rapids which became “Streambed, Lake Superior Country”. Chippewa Falls also inspired J.E.H. MacDonald to paint ‘Batchewana Rapid‘.

The falls can be seen from the viewing bridge near the parking lot. To hike alongside the waterfall, please proceed with caution as trails can be challenging beside this fast moving water. 

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.

 

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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 Curiocity Staff

Remember the good old days of travelling? When a simple day or a weekend trip somewhere in Ontario was just a casual thing to do? We miss those days. Like, a lot. But instead of looking back, we’re choosing to look forward. There are brighter days ahead, when we’ll be able to travel once again. We’re crossing our fingers and doing our part to ensure that day is sooner than later. But in the meantime, while we’re stuck at home, we’re dreaming up our perfect post-pandemic vacation.

Here are 13 Ontario places we wish we could visit right now.

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By Stephen Johnson

Trains, Trails, and Ancient Art

Driving cross-country and thinking of skipping Ontario? Here’s why you shouldn’t. This family found some fascinating roads into Canada’s past, and its rich natural beauty.

We recently took a family trip by car from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan to our home in Ottawa. At first, I was nervous that the trip would be punctuated by continuous demands of “Are we there yet?” and hour after hour of uninspiring scenery.   

I could not have been more wrong. The scenery all along the route was quite beautiful. Things got jaw-droppingly gorgeous once we hit Rossport, Ontario. We were treated to kilometre after kilometre of landscapes that were straight out of a Group of Seven painting. Still more beauty awaited us in the Sault Ste. Marie area.

Our first stop of the day was at Aguasabon Falls and Gorge. We followed the trail and could hear the waterfalls before we saw them.
 
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By Greg Smart

Ride the rails with the Agawa Canyon Tour Train

No visit to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is complete without a ride on the legendary Agawa Canyon Tour Train. It’s one of the most popular attractions in the region, and rightly so; it’s a conduit to one of the most beautiful and pristine natural wonderlands that you’ll find in Ontario, a vast wilderness that inspired countless masterpieces by the Group of Seven.

Your one-day adventure begins at the train station at 129 Bay Street in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, just steps from the Holiday Inn and Delta Hotel. Every day between Tuesday, June 20, and Sunday, October 15, 2017, the train departs from the station at 8 am and returns to the Sault at 6 pm.

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By Greg Smart

It will take your breath away…

There are many ways to explore Northern Ontario. But one of the most unique (and fun) ways is certainly hopping aboard the fabled Agawa Canyon Tour Train.

This one-day rail excursion takes 114 miles north of Sault Ste. Marie into the heart of the Canadian wilderness — pristine lakes, rugged forests and granite rock formations unfold right outside your window. Many of these ancient landscapes inspired the works of Canada’s most celebrated artists, the Group of Seven.

The experience is enhanced with a GPS triggered tour narration available in English, French, German, Japanese and Mandarin, locomotive mounted cameras and flat screen monitors in all the coaches. A highlight of the tour is definitely the 90-minute stopover in Agawa Canyon Park.
 
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