Like the outdoors? We’ve got you covered! Visit the finest beaches and campgrounds in Northern Ontario, or play a few rounds at one of Ontario’s highest ranked golf courses, it’s all here for you within 20 minutes of campus. Sault Ste. Marie is also known for sailing, kayaking, or canoeing during the summer months, plus skiing alpine or cross-country and snowboarding when the snow falls. We encourage our students to get outside and enjoy beautiful Sault Ste. Marie.
The great outdoors surrounding Sault Ste. Marie is a world unto itself, a place where adventure is just around the corner. There are many things to do, many places to go and many ways to explore. See the fall colours in all their glory on a driving tour or on foot at one of the Provincial Parks in the area. Just head north of Sault Ste. Marie on highway 17 (which is the TransCanada highway) and have your breath taken away once you round the bend atop the mile hill and see Lake Superior to your left and Robertson’s Cliffs to your right). Watch for moose.
It’s all up to you and whatever your interests are. There are many places to explore and some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Call: 1.800.461.6020 or visit www.saulttourism.com/outdoors or http://www.algomacountry.com/ to learn more. In the meantime, consider visiting these places:
Hiawatha Park and Conservation Area – Whether you plan to cross-country ski in the winter or walk, hike or mountain bike in the spring, summer and fall, this is the place to do it. Not far from town, and has 40 kilometres of Nordic trails across the stunning 3,000-acre Hiawatha Highlands wilderness preserve. Has marked, groomed and track-set trails for intermediate to advanced skiers, including one lit trail that’s breath-taking to travel along at night in the winter. The park is open for skiing daily from December to March, and also open in all the other seasons for walks, hikes, and bikes. You’ll need to buy a pass for skiing to help maintain the trails, but won’t need one at other times of the year.
Call 705.256.7258 or visit www.hiawathahighlands.com for ski conditions.
Ice-Skating – Begin at the Art Jennings Skating Oval – It’s free-of-charge to ice-skate here, and you’ll sometimes see folks training. An outdoor rink that’s well-visited and lit for evening skates. Near the John Rhodes, along the bus route from Sault College. Many other rinks in town are inside and are available for hockey and ice-skating. Some Sault College students and staff get together to form a league or just have a couple of hours to partake in this truly Canadian past-time. Many elementary schools also have well-maintained ice rinks that are open to the public, just be respectful of the guidelines they have posted and bring any garbage with you when you’re done.
Searchmont Resort – As the only Midwest downhill ski resort actually located on a mountain, Searchmont is proud to say that they have the most diverse terrain, the longest runs (18 in total, 8 of which are over a kilometre long) and the greatest vertical at around 750 feet! Searchmont’s lifts are one quad, one triple, one double and one surface lift from the Learning Centre. Very little line-ups, so you get in a lot of runs, and a warm and beautiful lodge to warm up and celebrate the day with friends. Rentals are inexpensive and are follow the newest trends in both boarding and skiing. 40 minute stunning drive north of Sault Ste. Marie, with some of the best views in this area. Student season passes offered at a discount with busses leaving for day and night skiing from the main/downtown bus terminal. Lockers available for your stuff, and gift shop and ski repair place there as well. Rent a cabin very inexpensively right off the slopes, if you feel like getting away from it all and spending the night.
Call: 705.781.2340 or toll-free at 1.800.663.2546 or visit: www.searchmont.com.
Snowmobiling – A popular past-time for Northerners, snowmobiling is fun and adventurous. The Sault Trailblazers Snowmobile Club prepares and maintains over 400 kilometres of trails in the Sault Ste. Marie area. You can get almost everywhere you need to in the region by snowmobile during the winter months. Some of the best trails in the province are found in this area, made possible through many volunteers, who make sure trails are brushed, marked and signed, and bridges are repaired or replaced as required. The club also plans riding events for snowmobile enthusiasts and their families if you’d like to meet others who share your passion for trail-riding. You’ll need to buy a trail pass, and note the speed and alcohol-limit on trails, as they are strictly enforced, and for a reason.
Stokely Creek – Lying along the rolling hills of the Canadian Shield, Stokely Creek offers cross-country skiers and snowshoers the opportunity to explore a winter’s paradise. Over 130 kilometres of well-marked trails expand through 8,400 acres of privately-held land, plus 3,000 acres of land owned by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, making Stokely Creek one of the four largest cross-country ski resorts in North America. Trails tie into the Voyageur trail system and receive over 200 inches of lake effect snow per year guaranteeing snow every winter. A must-visit when you are in Northern Ontario. Has visitors from all over North America and from around the globe visit and stay here (cabins and rooms in the beautiful main lodge on-site) – Olympians and other champions are known to train here.
Call: 705-649-3421 or 1-866-786-5359 or visit: www.stokelycreek.com.
Treetop Adventures – The attraction offers year-round, outdoor adventures that are sure to exhilarate all ages. Come experience a guided tour up in the trees by crossing wobbly bridges, swinging logs, wooden beams, tires and manoeuvring obstacles. At the end of your journey you will venture over to the 400 foot BIG Zip Line which crosses a scenic ravine, or if you’re feeling real adventurous try the MEGA Zip Line, it’s 3x faster! Treetop Adventures also offers paintball in the Joseph’s Homestead Forest – an adrenaline adventure for anyone 10 years old and over. Laugh, unite, exercise and create a lasting memory at Treetop Adventures.
Call 705.649.5455 or visit: www.treetopadventures.ca to plan your next visit.
Parks and Beaches
Pointe des Chenes - This beach is located just 20 minutes west of Sault Ste. Marie where the St Mary's River begins at Lake Superior. Pointe Des Chenes has great swimming conditions with its sandy beaches and is a popular choice for sunbathers and wind surfers who want to stay relatively close to town.
Harmony Beach – just minutes from Sault Ste. Marie, Harmony beach is where the “locals” go. On a sunny day, pack a picnic, beach towel and sunscreen and head out to enjoy some fun in the sun.
Pancake Provincial Park - This 3.5 km long sandy beach is a wonderful place to walk, hike, build sand castles or simply relax and soak up the sun. Enjoy the waters of Lake Superior in this protected bay, warm enough for enjoyable swimming throughout July and August. From a viewing platform you can see the lake and the spot where the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a fierce November gale in 1975. Voyageurs used to stop here, with just enough flour left to make pancakes before restocking supplies in nearby Sault Ste. Marie. Facilities include electricity at campsites, washrooms, showers, and even laundry! Distance from Sault Ste. Marie is 1 hour.
Batchawana Bay Provincial Park - P Beautiful Batchawana Bay has a 1.6 km long beach for day-use swimming and picnicking. With hotels, restaurants, picnic areas and gift shops nearby, Batchewana is a perfect beach for a day trip or an overnight stay. Put on your bathing suit, pack a picnic and take the family to this popular sandy beach on Lake Superior just north of Sault Ste. Marie. Distance from Sault Ste. Marie 45 minutes.
Lake Superior Provincial Park – A little further from the Sault is Lake Superior Provincial Park. From Lake Superior’s rugged coast, this park moves inland over mist-shrouded hills and deep canyons whose breathtaking beauty and rich autumn colours inspired Canada’s Group of Seven artists. The Coastal Trail and part of Highway 17 hug Lake Superior’s rugged, rocky coast through this park, offering spectacular, unimpeded views of the legendary moody blue waters. Along the parks eastern border the Algoma Central Railway snakes through Agawa Canyon, thrilling sightseers and dropping off hiking and canoeing adventurers along the way. Don’t miss the pictographs at Agawa Rock, and the park’s new Visitor Centre.
Bellevue Park Greenhouse Complex
The combination of tropical flowers in full bloom, thriving lemon, banana, figs, sugar cane and many other varieties of plants that would never survive outdoors here, a large waterfall with fish, warm, humid air and the sweet smells of growing areas far to the south of us are irresistible in the middle of winter. For more information call 705.759.5226