Soo Locks - St. Mary's River Canal
Sault Ste. Marie Michigan
The 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.
Sault Saint Marie
2013 Summer & Fall Events & Activities
The Great Tugboat Race - June 27 - 29th
Soo Locks Open House - June 28th
International Bridge Walk - June 29th
Rendezvous in the Sault - July 27 - 28
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.