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 first 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” 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.

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. 

7 ways to enjoy the Soo with Kids

Whether you’re road-tripping through Northern Ontario or looking for somewhere to get away for the day, Sault Ste. Marie is the perfect place for family adventure! There are so many exciting things to do in Sault Ste. Marie, from biking and boating to eating delicious treats and enjoying local artwork! With all these great places to visit in Sault Ste. Marie (nicknamed “the Soo”), this will be a day that everyone in the family will love!

Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site

Start your day off with some coffee from The Machine Shop and then head over to the Soo Canal. When the lock was built here in 1895, it was the longest in all of Canada. Today, pleasure watercraft are transported up and down the river through the lock to bypass the St. Marys River Rapids. Here you can enjoy watching the boats lock through as you walk along the canal.

Next, grab your bicycles and get ready to explore the Sault Ste. Marie waterfront. Bikes can be rented at the canal or from the Roberta Bonda marina in town during summer months. 

Whitefish Island

Take one of the bridges across the canal lock gates to get over to Whitefish Island. Bike or hike along trails and boardwalks as you take in views of the rapids along St. Marys River. You can learn about the island’s culture and history by reading the information signs along the trail. Make sure you also keep a lookout for the fairy doors painted around the island!

The main loop will take a family with young kids around 45 minutes to complete by bike or an hour hiking. Side trails are available if you want to extend your adventure – like going under the international bridge! There are plenty of trail maps to keep you on track. 

The Hub Trail

After exploring Whitefish Island, you can continue your bike ride or stroll along the John Rowswell Hub trail. This beautiful trail & boardwalk provides you with amazing views of the St. Marys River as you pass significant landmarks along the waterfront. Stop to eat a sweet treat at BeaverTails located right on the boardwalk and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

The whole loop is 22.5km and a great ride for the adventurous family, but equally, you can divide and conquer smaller sections too. The Fort Creek section is a beautiful 6km there-and-back trail with three awesome bridges that take you high over the ravine below. Parking is available at the south end. 

Bellevue Park

Next, head into town to get some lunch or continue along the Hub Trail to Bellevue Park to enjoy a picnic. With 7 separate playground structures, Bellevue Park is a kid’s dream come true. Along with its impressive playgrounds, the park also includes a splash pad, beautiful paths along the waterfront and picnic areas.

Bellevue Marina Kayak / Canoe Launch Dock

Now it’s time to experience Sault Ste. Marie from the St. Marys River! You can launch your canoe or kayaks from the accessible boat launch located at Bellevue Marina, making it easy for you to get in the water and explore the river. Don’t have your own boat? No problem! Canoes and kayaks can be rented from the Waterfront Adventure Centre or from Thrive Tours who operate from the same building. 

City Murals and Incredible Ice creams

After enjoying your time on the water, head downtown to see the incredible mural artwork around Sault Ste. Marie. These murals have been painted by local and visiting artists, adding vibrant character to the city! If you are visiting during the month of June, you can watch new murals being painted as part of the Summer Moon Festival.

While you’re downtown, be sure to stop by Elliot’s Ice Cream for a treat that not only tastes delicious but also looks like a work of art!

Crystal Falls

Crystal Falls is located in Kinsmen Park at the North edge of Sault Ste. Marie. The falls are a short walk from the parking lot and can be accessed by walking along a wooden boardwalk. The amazing views keep coming as you walk up a series of steps to viewing platforms and experience the many layers of this waterfall.

If you have time, you can continue your hike along some of the many great trails nearby into the Hiawatha Highlands and the Voyageur trail system.

Now 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 for family adventure.

Check out more Adventures From The Hills here on Instagram and here on web!

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 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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