superior trails | lake superior sunset superiortrails - shovel point

Soo Locks - St. Mary's River Canal
Sault Ste. Marie Michigan

Soo Locks, Sault Saint Marie MichiganThe Soo Locks are the crown jewel of Michigan's oldest city - Sault Ste. Marie.

The St. Mary's River, which joins Lake Superior to Lake Huron, was settled by the Ojibway and their predecessor Native Americans for almost 2000 years.

In the early 1600s, the area was discovered by French explorer Etienne Brule in his search for a northwest passage. In 1668 Father Marquette established a mission here which formed the nucleaus of the first european settlement. At this time the rapids of the river, dropping 21 feet, necessitated portaging boats and goods between the lakes. In the late 1700s the first locks were built on the Canadian side. These were destroyed in the war of 1812. Primitive locks were used after that until the present locks were constructed in 1855. The locks have been managed by the Army Corps of Engineers since 1881.

Today the Soo Locks are the busiest in the world. The Locks and its adjacent park and visitor center are open to the public with no admission charge. The extensive viewing platforms allow one to almost reach out and touch the big lakers as they negotiate the locks.

blue bar

Soo Locks Visitor Center

Soo Lock Visitor Center

spacerSoo Locks EntranceSoo LocksSoo Locks Park



Above photos. The main entrance to the Locks & Park, a view of the park from the locks viewing platform, and the park fountain.

Soo Locks

Inside the Visitor Center. There are numerous educational exhibits on the history and operation of the Locks. There is also a theatre with movies about the Sault Sainte Marie region and construction of the locks.

Soo LocksThe Soo Locks Viewing Platform

There is an elevated viewing platform next to the locks that allows an excellent close-up view of the big ships being escorted through the locks. In this picture the deck hands are getting ready to secure a ship that has just arrived in the locks. The ships are secured prior to raising or lowering the level of water in the locks.

Soo LocksSoo Locks

The freighter "Canadian Transport" arrives in the locks from Lake Superior as it heads towards Lake Huron.

Watch the "Canadian Transport"
go through the Locks

Soo Locks Links

  Army Corp of Engineers Soo Locks Home Page

  Soo Locks Annual Engineers Day Open House - June 24 - 25, 2016
Also the TugBoat Rendezvous for the Great Tugboat Race


Soo Locks Boat Tours begin mid-May - Reinhold Development - 2017

Mobile-Friendly Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner

scenic fall color drive report
See when Peak Fall Color is expected to arrive along the scenic Lake Superior Circle Route and our recommended
Scenic Fall Color Drives.
bay furnace campground
Lake Superior Camping
& Campground Directory

Lake Superior Circle Tour Route.

fall color porcupine mountainsSee fantastic Fall Color in the Porkies.

miners castle pictured rocks
Pictured Rocks
National Lakeshore Park

upper peninsula camping and campgrounds
Upper Peninsula Campgrounds

miners castle on the pictured rocks cruise
Pictured Rocks Cruises

Upper Tahquamenon Falls
Michigan Upper Peninsula Waterfalls

red bar
Hotel, Motel Lodging
Ironwood, Marquette,
Houghton-Hancock, Michigan Upper Peninsula

lake superior circle tour map
Lake Superior Circle Tour Road Map & Guide to Travel Attractions around Lake Superior.
Upper Tahquamenon FallsTahquamenon Falls State Park and Waterfalls.

Identifying Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks.Lake Superior Agate?

wisconsin michigan color tour map See our
Upper Peninsula Fall Color Tour Map.

pictured rocks national park Pictured Rocks National Park - Great Scenery, Hiking, Waterfalls, Camping, Boat Cruises.

Best Rock Picking and Agate Hunting Beaches in the Upper Peninsula. grand marais beach and grand sable dunes


Wild Bluff Golf Course
Wild Bluff Golf Course
Brimley, Michigan

rainbow falls fall color black river harborBlack River Harbor
Scenic Byway - Fall Color.

Weather Reports
Snow and Weather Reports around Lake Superior

Lake Superior Golf Course Reviews
Reviews of Michigan Upper Peninsula Golf Courses around Lake Superior