Local Adventures to do in the Soo

Jeff Fera’s Local Adventure Blog

As the 2022 CIF-IFC Conference and AGM Committee Planning Chair, I want to welcome you to Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding Algoma, Ontario and Chippewa County, Michigan, areas!

Due to the uncertainty of planning an in-person conference during a pandemic, we did not plan a pre-conference or post-conference tour. Therefore, I wanted to pass on some ideas for you to create your own tourist adventure while visiting the “Soo”.

Blaq Bear Adventures has collaborated with us to offer an amazing culinary night as well as a hike up the Robertson Cliffs. These are two AMAZING adventures to do here in the Soo. A local dining experience that has lots of laughs and even more flavours, and a hike to the tops of Robertson Cliffs where you will have an amazing view of Lake Superior during the fall colours.

1.) During the conference – on break, or in the morning or in the evening

  • Walk the boardwalk: Located at the Delta Hotel
    • Turn LEFT when facing water: You can walk to the Pavilion and grab a Beaver Tail or keep going all the way to the Public Library ->Canadian Bushplane -> Heritage Museum, -> Great Lakes Forestry Centre and beyond – it is a 25 km loop. A nice walk to the library and back to the Delta hotel would be a great way to re-energize during the Conference – 2 km return.
    • Turn RIGHT when facing the water: You can walk to old St. Mary’s Paper site, now “The Mill” (a local restaurant area), or the hydro electric dam (a great bird watching site) – 2 km return. Keep going to visit one of my favorite local places to relax, the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site– 3 km return.
  • Sault Ste. Marie Historic Canal: About 1.5 km from the Delta Hotel  
    • Watch boats come through the lock, read about the history of the area, explore the grounds or simply enjoy the view and catch the breeze coming off Lake Superior.
    • Hike the White Fish Island trail: Walk across the lock gates and take a BEAUTIFUL walk on White Fish Island. Part of the Batchewana First Nation, enjoy scenic boardwalks down to the world-famous Sault Rapids, with spectacular views of the river and local wildlife. This island is a favorite spot for many migratory birds.
  • Bellevue Park:  5 km from the Delta Hotel
    • Enjoy Sault Ste. Marie’s largest and most popular park. Nestled behind the Great Lakes Forestry Centre (NRCan) and the Ontario Forest Research Institute (MNDMNRF), Bellevue Park is great place to take a walk, take the kids, or watch the freighters roll down the river.

2.) 1 – 2 Hours

  • Gros Cap – Head west on Second Line, all the way past the turn off for the airport and drive until the end. You will come to a turn around and a little beach overlooking White Fish Bay of Lake Superior.
  • Pancake Bay Provincial Park – A one hour drive north of the Soo will take you to Pancake Bay Provincial Park. Here you can enjoy a 2 km long beach of white sand on the coast of Lake Superior, a fantastic campground and many trails. I LOVE IT HERE!

3.) Day Trips

  • Agawa Canyon Tour Train: Enjoy a day on the train heading north to the Agawa Canyon. The leaves are turning and this is the right time to get on the train. People come from around the world to experience the views that the tour train has to offer.
  • Lake Superior Provincial Park: Called one of the most scenic parts of the Trans Canada Highway. If you can, camp at one of the campgrounds, do one of the many hikes, or at the very least go for a day trip and experience the rugged coast of Lake Superior!
    My favorites in this area:

    – Campground: Agawa Bay Campground
    Hiking: Orphan Lake, Nokomis, or the Pictographs

4.) Bring your Passport: Michigan has A LOT of amazing things to see and do, directly in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan or just an hour away. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Soo Lock Tours: Fun and informative 🙂
  • Mackinaw Island: only 45 minutes away by car plus a ferry ride – VOTED THE #1 ISLAND IN AMERICA.
    No cars are allowed on the island; enjoy carriage rides, fudge, history ,and a slice of Americana. I go every year 🙂 .
  • Tahquamenon Falls State Park: Great hikes and a nice get away. 
  • Traverse City: 3 hours south – Vineyards, giant sand dunes, fresh cherries….

If you have any questions please reach out!

You may also find more information at Sault Tourism: saulttourism.com


Jeff Fera
2022 Conference Planning Committee
Canadian Institute of Forestry

Register or learn more about the 2022 CIF-IFC National Conference and 114th AGM here