Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Where history and nature meet.
This historic city is a testament to the origins and evolution of Canada. It is one of the oldest french settlements in North America. It was at the crossroads of the 3,000-mile fur trade route, which stretched from Montreal to Sault Ste. Marie and to the North country above Lake Superior.
The word sault is pronounced [so] in French, and /suː/ in the English pronunciation, but is commonly called “The Soo”. Residents of the city are called Saultites.
Across the border there is a United States’ city of the same name that used to be the same city until 1812.
Ernest Hemingway used to fish in the Rapids of Sault Ste Marie. He said the trout fishing was best in the St. Marys Rapids of the Canadian Soo. All along the St. Marys Rapids and under the International Bridge, you’ll find trout and Atlantic salmon.
Wayne Gretzky played for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds hockey team when he was 16 years old. The team won the Memorial Cup in 1985 along with many other great victories.
You can visit the The Roberta Bondar Park and Tent Pavilion, a beautiful space dedicated to our first female astronaut, Sault Ste. Marie’s Dr. Roberta Bondar who was the first Canadian woman in space. She orbited the earth for eight days aboard the U.S. Space Shuttle Discovery in 1992.
The city hosts a large snowmobile trail system that criss-crosses the province of Ontario.
A new non-motorized HUB trail is being created around the city (20 km) so that walkers, runners, rollerbladers and cyclists (snowshoeing and cross country skiing in winter) can enjoy the beautiful and convenient circle tour around town.
The Voyageur Hiking Trail, a long-distance trail that will eventually span from Sudbury to Thunder Bay, originated in Sault Ste. Marie in 1973.
Nearby parks include Pancake Bay Provincial Park, Batchawana Bay Provincial Park and Lake Superior Provincial Park.
With 300 campsites and a 3-km beach with Caribbean-style blue waters, Pancake Bay Provincial Park is a must experience.
Considered to be one of the more popular hikes in Lake Superior Provincial Park, the Pinguisibi or Sand River hiking trail runs for about 6 km along a beautiful series of cascading waterfalls and river rapids that stretch as far as the eye can see. The Ojibwe, who have lived here for over 2,000 years, call this river Pinguisibi for its fine white sand (pingui – “fine white sand”; sibi – “river”). The entire river is a designated canoe route.
As you can see the Soo is a great place for running, fishing and learning about history.
Next Stop - Thunder Bay, ON