11 Hikes In and Around Sault Ste. Marie

By Tourism Sault Ste. Marie

check out some of the best hiking trails in ontario

Sault Ste. Marie is the perfect place to visit if you want to enjoy some of the best hiking trail in Ontario. Incredible lookouts, magnificent waterfalls, the rugged Canadian Shield, important historical sites, and clean fresh air with just the sound of the wind in trees or waves on the shoreline… Here are eleven hikes in and around Sault Ste. Marie for you to enjoy. 

Hikes within Sault ste. Marie

If you are looking to stay within the city limits then check out these three great trails, perfect for a family hike or if you are looking for a less strenuous trail.  

1. The Hub Trail and Fort Creek
  • Length: 2km – 22.5km                          
  • Difficulty: Easy    
  • Must See: Bridges over Fort Creek Conservation Area

If you are looking for a family-friendly hike in Sault Ste. Marie, then the Hub Trail is perfect for you. The trail as a whole is 22.5km of paved path and wooden boardwalk that circles the city.

You can of course choose the section you want to hike and the Fort Creek section is a popular choice for many. The trail takes hikers over three picturesque bridges, where there are lots of opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the creek below as well as many opportunities to spot all the interesting creatures that live there. Keep an eye out for  hawks, great blue herons, and monarch butterflies. 

Visit this Hub Trail page for more information including a link to a complete map!

2. Attikamek trail and Whitefish Island
  • Length: 1km                          
  • Difficulty: Easy     
  • Must See: The St Marys River Rapids

Choose the Attikamek trail and Whitefish Island trail, part of Batchewana First Nation, for a beautiful and well paced hike within the city limits. Parking and trailhead is located at Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site and you can access the Island across the locks itself. 

Whitefish Island is a National Historic Site for Canada. It’s also a traditional territory and meeting ground of the Anishinaabe peoples of the Great Lakes due to the abundance of natural resources and fish in the St. Mary’s River. 

This site is complete with an easy to follow trail system marked with informational plaques explaining the importance and historical relevance of the island. These trails will lead you through nature preserves right to the historic fishery of the St. Marys River Rapids.  

3. The Voyageur Trail at the Hiawatha Highlands
  • Length: 20km                          
  • Difficulty: Easy to intermediate    
  • Must See: Crystal Falls

The Voyageur Trail is a public hiking trail consisting of almost 600km of wilderness style trails in Northern Ontario. The Hiawatha Loop (which goes past the stunning Crystal Falls), Odena Loop, Beaver Loop and Mabel Lake Loop make up around 20km of trails in this area.

Lots of information is available on the Voyageur Trail Association website here. With maps of the trails at Hiawatha here. In addition all the maps are available via the Ondago App.

Hikes within a one hour Drive of Sault Ste. Marie

These hikes are perfect for a day or half day of hiking and are within one hour’s drive of Sault Ste. Marie. 

4. Robertson Cliffs
  • Length: 4km – 7km                          
  • Difficulty: Intermediate    
  • Must See: Robertson Cliffs Lookout

This there-and-back trail through the beautiful maple forests of the Algoma Highlands takes you to one of best lookout hikes in Ontario. The trail begins at Robertson Cliffs Road and takes you to three incredible south and west facing lookouts. From there you can continue along and do the Robertson Cliffs Loop, passing a beautiful waterfall loop hike, or head back the way you came. 

The trails are owned and cared for by Algoma Highlands Conservancy, a not for profit organization that is run by local volunteers. To access maps of the trail system click here.

5. Eagle Ridge Lookout at Harmony Beach
  • Length: 3km                          
  • Difficulty: Intermediate    
  • Must See: Lookout over Harmony Beach

A 30 minute drive north of Sault Ste. Marie takes you to Harmony Beach, where you hike to a spectacular lookout, Eagle Ridge Lookout, overlooking Lake Superior. 

This moderate trail is part of the Voyageur Trail System, and maps are available online or as hard copies. Forest The Canoe run guided tours to the lookout, click here for more info!

6. Chippewa Falls 
  • Length: 1km-3km                          
  • Difficulty: Easy to intermediate    
  • Must See: The fall themselves

Chippewa Falls is a 35-minutes drive north of Sault Ste. Marie, parking and trailhead is right along the Trans Canada Hwy. The falls, which are visible from the highway itself, stand 25 feet high. 

The hiking trail offers an easy 2.5km hike to the upper falls, which starts in the parking area and follows the river upstream to the top of the main falls. The path continues alongside the river past the upper falls if you want to explore further.

Chippewa Falls are a stop on the Group of Seven driving tour – the falls and rapids rapids inspired A.Y Jackson’s sketch ‘Stream Bed’. Lookout for a ‘Moments of Algoma’ art easel at the trailhead with more information about the falls and the famous group of artists!

7. Rock Lake
  • Length: 5km                          
  • Difficulty: Intermediate    
  • Must See: The unusual smooth rocks overlooking the lake

An beautifully scenic drive east of the city through the Sylvan Valley, and just north of Bruce Mines, takes you to the Rock Lake trailhead. The Rock Lake trail is a offshoot from the Voyageur Trail system, and end up at a unique, smooth rock-top that feels like it should be inspiration for a Group of Seven painting. 

Theses smooth rocks face north and lookout over Rock Lake, with an array of maple forests beautifully surrounding it. 

8. Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout
  • Length: 13.5km                          
  • Difficulty: Intermediate    
  • Must See: Lookout over Pancake Bay

The Edmund Fitzgerald lookout trail is another trail with a spectacular lookout. This one overlooks Pancake Bay Provincial Park (in which the trail is situated), Lake Superior and even as far as place where the Edmund Fitzgerald ship tragically sunk in 1975.

The trail system has 3 hikes available; 6km, 10.5km and 13.5km, with the latter hikes taking you to waterfalls and the inland Tower Lakes. For further information click here.

Hikes To The Lake Superior Coast

If you are looking further afield and want to take in all that the Lake Superior coast has to offer, then consider these beautiful hikes. 

9. Agawa Rock Pictographs
  • Length: 1km                          
  • Difficulty: Difficult (slippery, steep steps)  
  • Must See: The Sacred Pictographs

At the south end of Lake Superior Provincial Park are the Agawa Rock Pictographs. A clearly marked sign on Highway 17 directs visitors to a parking area at the trail head – map coordinates here.

The Agawa Rock Pictographs is one of the most famous pictograph sites in Canada and is one of the most visited indigenous archaeological sites too. It is a sacred site where generations of Ojibwe have come to record dreams, visions and events. Please respect and preserve the pictographs by not touching the paintings.

10. Lake Superior Coastal Trail
  • Length: 65km                          
  • Difficulty: Difficult    
  • Must See: The Rugged Beauty of the Big Lake

For those seeking true adventure, consider this spectacular and rugged coastal trail. It extends from Agawa Bay in the south to Chalfant Cove just north of Warp Bay in the north and will give you a true experience of Lake Superior. Local experts recommend taking 5-6 days because many sections require climbing over rocky headlands and cobble beaches, which can be technically challenging and require a steady pace for safety.

There are various spots for beach camping along the trail; you’ll enjoy incredible coastal scenery during the day and perfectly dark starry skies from your beached-down tent at night.

11. Nokomis Trail
  • Length: 3.8km                          
  • Difficulty: Intermediate    
  • Must See: Lookout over Old Woman Bay

The Nokomis trail is a 3.8km  round-trip lookout hike to overlook Old Woman Bay, in Lake Superior Provincial Park. 

The trailhead is across the road from Old Woman Bay Beach parking, and the trail itself takes around 2 hours, with breaks to enjoy the incredible views!

Other Hikes

Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma District have countless hiking trails. Others include Gros Cap, Wishart Park and Odena Lookout, all within the Sault Ste. Marie city limits. The Ojibway Park Nature Trail in Garden River, just to the east of Sault Ste. Marie, is a beautiful ~4km trail that includes a boardwalk out to a lookout area. King Mountain is a great hike and can be reached by continuing your route past Robertson Cliffs. The Orphan Lake trail, in Lake Superior Provincial Park is popular in the summer and fall. 

Do you have any other hikes in the area that you particularly enjoy? Tag us in your social media photos #outsideofexpected or our account handles @sault.ste.marie for Instagram and @saulttourism for Facebook. Happy hiking!