Strategically situated on the St. Mary River between Lakes Superior and Huron, the "Soo" is one the oldest communities in the upper midwest. Whitefish Island, in the St. Mary's channel, was an Ojibwa settlement more than 2000 years ago. Early missionary explorers established outposts here along the portage route around the St. Mary's rapids. The first mission by Father Jacques Marquette was founded in 1668.
There are many visitor attractions among them: the riverside boardwalk & Bondar Pavilion, Sault Ste. Marie Canal and Locks, St. Mary's Island, Boat Cruises, and the Algoma Central Railway tour trips. In 2005, we also discovered an impressive waterfall within the city limits in Hiawatha Park.
On our first visit we were surprised to find ourselves in the midst of an Italian community and so treated ourselves to some of the finest Italian food we've had outside of Chicago. Seated not too far from us were Grandpa and Grandma with some little ones, speaking not English or French . . . but Italian!
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("click" on the small images for a larger view)
Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario
Historic Canal & Locks
There is a small lake below the falls with a nice sandy swimming beach. But the pavillion is in disrepair and other evidence in the park indicate it no longer receives the use and attention it once did. Which was fine by us because on July 1st, Canadian Independence Day, we had no problem finding a good parking place and had the trails largely to ourselves.
There are two privately operated campgrounds at the north end of town off Highway 17N. During our 2010 UP Michigan Color Tour, we had a chance to stay at the Sault Ste, Marie KOA campground. Unfortunately heavy rains caused us to shorten our stay but from our first and brief visit we found the campground quite satisfactory - semi-wooded, level sites, clean facilities, and friendly hosts.
The camping park we usually stay at is several miles west of town off highway 550: Pointe Des Chenes Family Campground, operated by the Lions Club. It is on Whitefish Bay at the mouth of the river. Great sand beach with a good view of the Lakers (huge freight ships that run on the Great Lakes) as they approach and leave the locks area. Lots of room for kids to play and run around, but also well regulated to avoid the nuisance that older kids can present.
Go Here for Provenical Parks & Camping info along the Eastern North Shore of Lake Superior
Sault Ste. Marie Tourism Website
Ontario Golf Course Reviews of courses around Lake Superior