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Day Trips from the Sault

Katherine Cove in Lake Superior Provincial Park is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from Sault Ste. Marie. • Credit: Algoma Country
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Day Trips from the Sault

6 day trip ideas to help you explore Algoma Country in spring, summer, or fall



Sault Ste. Marie is not just for the weekend. Algoma Country’s largest city makes a great base for a week-long adventure because of the opportunities for both urban and outdoor activities.

When staying in Sault Ste. Marie, you’re on the doorstep of Algoma’s vast wilderness, neighbouring communities, attractions, festivals, and events. After a day of exploring, return to the city to enjoy dinner. The city is renowned for its Italian cuisine and pizza. But there are many other choices like barbecue, specialty burgers and craft beer, Asian cuisine, and just good home-style cooking. You’ll have the perfect night’s sleep at any of the branded hotels and drive-up motels. There are also cottages and camping opportunities in the city. No matter what you choose, there are amenities and price points for everyone.

We've broken down these trips by their distance from the city, so you can make a plan according to your schedule and interests.

GOING EAST OF SAULT STE. MARIE

30 Minutes

It’s just 30 minutes from the St. Joseph Island turnoff. You’ll find many things to see and do on St. Joseph Island; its two main attractions are the St. Joseph Island Museum and Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site. You’ll find many great places to eat in Hilton Beach and Richards Landing, local shops, sandy beaches, and year-round festivals and events. Touring the island takes a full day.

fort st joseph chimney

Explore the ruins of Fort St. Joseph. (Photo credit: Algoma Country)

How to Get There: Take Hwy 17 East to the St. Joseph Island turnoff sign (Hwy 548), continue to the toll-free bridge
Where to Eat: Tilt’n Hilton, Black Bear Cafe, St. Jo's Diner, The Wharf, Grannies Chip Wagon, Whiskey Rocks, and Gilbertson’s Pancake House (spring only)

45 Minutes

Tour the country roads and visit the town of Bruce Mines. Browse antique, vintage and gift shops that sell work made by local artisans. Visit the Museum or the Simpson Copper Mine Shaft. Spend a sunny afternoon at Rock Lake, or for a leg stretch do one of the nature walking trails like the Historic Mine Trail. Take a self-guided tour to local farms, and historic cemeteries, or hike parts of the Voyageur Trail. Click here for Self-Guided Tours

gazebo on bruce mines waterfront park

The gazebo has views of the waterfront and is a great place to picnic or relax with an ice cream cone, or a coffee and a butter tart. (Photo credit: Algoma Country)

How to Get to There: Take Hwy 17 East for approximately 45 minutes
Where to Eat: Bobber’s Restaurant, Red House Ice Cream (seasonal), Copper Bean Cafe, Wyz Guyz Chip Wagon (seasonal), Bucci’s Place Eatery (Echo Bay), Lucey Loo’s (Echo Bay), Ije's Place (Desbarats)
How to Get to Rock Lake: at Bruce Mines, take Hwy 17 East and turn left on Hwy 638 through Bruce Station, continue through Rydall Bank and keep heading north on 638, make a left on Rock Lake Road
You Might Like: Sylvan Circle Tour

2 hours and 30 Minutes

Aubrey Falls is a pretty, remote waterfall located in the beautiful Mississagi Valley. It’s a complicated waterfall; the Mississagi River flows over multiple drops and into the deep gorge below. It's definitely worth the drive! Click here to read an Aubrey Falls Photo Blog by photographer Sheri Minardi

aubrey falls group of seven sign

Canadian painter Tom Thomson spent two months canoeing the Mississagi River with a stop at Aubrey Falls. This sign commemorates his excursion and his influence on the Group of Seven. (Photo credit: Algoma Country)

How to Get to Aubrey Falls: Take Hwy 17 East to Thessalon, then left onto Hwy 129. Follow Hwy 129 until you see the sign for Aubrey Falls Provincial Park. Or, take Hwy 17 North to Heyden, turn right onto Hwy 556 and continue to Ranger Lake Road until you reach Hwy 129. Continue north on Hwy 129 until you see the sign for Aubrey Falls Provincial Park (2-hour drive)
Things to Do in the Area: Heritage Park Museum, Little Rapids General Store, visit the shops in Thessalon
Where to Eat: Carolyn Beach Restaurant, Sunset Beach Family Restaurant, Sinton Tavern and Restaurant, Kosmos Pizza, Robs Variety Gas, Restaurant and Smoke Shop

GOING NORTH OF SAULT STE. MARIE

30 to 60 Minutes

Swimming in Lake Superior is closer than you think! If you want to swim in this Great Lake’s waters, sunbathe on its sandy beaches, or just enjoy a picnic, below are a couple of beaches that are a short driving distance from Sault Ste. Marie.

Harmony Beach

A really nice sandy beach on Lake Superior and a favourite for Sault Ste. Marie locals.
How to Get There: Take Hwy 17 North for about 30 minutes and turn left onto Harmony Beach Road
Where to Eat: Harmony Beach Lakeview Resort, Northwinds Restaurant (Goulais River), Carmine’s Pizza (Goulais River), Heyden Restaurant, Granny's Fish and Chips, Roxie's Fry Shack, Havilland Shores Kitchen and Bar

Batchawana Bay Provincial Park

One of the area's top-rated beaches, Batchawana Bay Provincial Park is a soft sandy beach with shallow, warm water; great for families with small children. The park is day-use only (no camping), with picnic tables and restrooms.

batchawana bay beach

(Photo credit: Heather Bot)

How to Get There: Take Hwy 17 North until you see the provincial park sign
Where to Eat: Voyageur’s Lodge & Cookhouse (seasonal), Chippewa River Restaurant and Store, Agawa Fish and Chips (seasonal), Lani Kai Hotel & Resort

Side Trip - 45 minutes from Sault Ste. Marie

Stop at Chippewa Falls and enjoy the view of the waterfall from the viewing bridge, or hike up the side of the waterfall (proceed with caution). Chippewa Falls is the halfway point of Trans Canada Hwy 17.

1 Hour and 45 minutes

Visit the Agawa Rock Pictographs in Lake Superior Provincial Park. It’s a moderate hike and the trail takes about 30 minutes to an hour. The trail leads to rock paintings, recorded by generations of Ojibwe. Please do not touch the paintings; they are sacred images. It’s also important to note that the Pictographs can only be viewed when Lake Superior is calm. The Pictographs can also be viewed by water if out paddling. 

agawa rock pictographs lake superior

(Photo credit: Algoma Country)

How to Get There: Drive up Hwy 17 North until you reach the Agawa Bay Visitor Centre. Purchase your day pass for the park. Get back on Hwy 17 North and drive until you see the Agawa Rock sign, turn left.
Things to Do in the Area: Visit the Agawa Bay Visitor Centre to learn about the power of Lake Superior, area's history and wildlife, and visit the gift shop. 

Side Trip - 58 minutes from Sault Ste. Marie

Don’t want to drive as far as Agawa Bay? Try the Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout Trail. Take Hwy 17 North, go past (but not too far) Pancake Bay Provincial Park and turn right onto Lookout Trail Road. There is parking at the trailhead. From the lookout, you’ll see across to Whitefish Point, out to the “graveyard of Lake Superior” where many ships, including the Edmund Fitzgerald, sank.

2 Hours and 30 Minutes

Visit one of the most photographed landmarks in North America! The Wawa Goose Monument is a famous roadside attraction located in Wawa and is a must-stop for everyone travelling Trans-Canada Hwy 17. This trip requires you to get up extra early but it’s worth it. Visit the Goose then pop into the Visitor Centre to look at some of the exhibits or purchase a souvenir. If you’ve got some time, do some gem panning! This is a fun activity for all ages. Explore the outdoors: visit Scenic High Falls, or Sandy Beach (a favourite haunt of Group of Seven painter A.Y. Jackson). Rent Stand Up Paddleboards, kayaks, or canoes from Naturally Superior Adventures for a couple of hours to enjoy Lake Superior.

wawa goose monument

The new Wawa Goose Monument was unveiled in July 2017. (Photo credit: Algoma Country)

How to Get to There: Take Hwy 17 North and drive along the beautiful coastline of Lake Superior, through Lake Superior Provincial Park and continue until you reach the junction of Hwy 17 and Hwy 101; take Hwy 101
Where to Eat: Best Northern Motel & Restaurant, Kinniwabi Pines Restaurant, Wawa Goose Bar & Grill (Wawa Motor Inn), North of 17 Restaurant, AJ’s Pizza, The Viking, Lai’s Restaurant, Lakeview Restaurant, Bangin Burger N Chicken Shack

More to do in Algoma

Visit www.algomacountry.com for more day-trip ideas.

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