5 reasons Sault Ste. Marie is your next must-visit winter destination
Escape the city and rediscover the magic of the snowiest season
Remember how much you loved winter when you were a kid? Eagerly awaiting every snowfall, playing outside in the snow for hours, and then hurrying in for supper — exhausted in the best way — before drifting off into the kind of deep, restful sleep that comes after a carefree day spent outdoors in the fresh air?
What if you could recapture that feeling, and trade slushy, sloppy city streets for pristine picture-perfect snow, boundless nature, and outdoor fun that recharges your spirit and rejuvenates your soul? In Sault Ste. Marie, you can.
A quick flight or scenic drive from Toronto, Sault Ste. Marie is Ontario’s premier winter destination — a nature and recreation paradise on the shores of Lake Superior, where you can savour the season as it should be.
Here are five reasons “the Soo” in Algoma Country makes for a fantastic winter getaway:
Let it snow
Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, if there’s a winter activity on, in or with snow, you can find it in Sault Ste. Marie. Roughly 300cm of lake-effect snow a year means bountiful fresh powder for alpine, cross-country or backcountry skiing. Hit the slopes on one of 26 runs at Searchmont Resort or head out on over 100km of world-class trails at Stokely Creek Lodge, which USA Today named one of the best Nordic-ski locations in North America. The Soo offers plenty of other awesome snow-centric sports all throughout, including snowboarding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Take to the ice
Lace up your skates to enjoy one of Sault Ste. Marie’s many outdoor rinks — including the kilometre-long Clergue Park waterfront skating trail, which lights up at night. Adventure-seekers can go ice climbing in the nearby Batchawana/Agawa area, anglers can drop in for ice fishing at Lower Island Lake and Trout Lake, and hikers can take guided tours of the stunning, otherworldly (and Instagram-worthy) ice caves that form along Lake Superior.
Discover new ways to love winter
Looking for something a little different? Hop on a fatbike to explore 20km of snowy cycling trails at Crimson Ridge, a golf course that transforms into a winter-adventure playground once the flakes start to fall. Grab your board (and hooded wetsuit) for winter surfing on Lake Superior, or wade into the St. Mary’s River for some winter fly fishing. And if you’re seeking a fresh approach to an ancient practice, you can boost your prana with “snowga” — that’s snowshoe yoga — at Hiawatha Highlands.
Find whole-family fun
Kids can do the Soo, too. Finn Hill and Garson’s Hill are prime spots for tobogganing and tubing, and Searchmont Resort offers various ski and snowboard camps for children aged four to 14. The annual Bon Soo Winter Carnival features a slew of kid-friendly activities, including snow sculpting, wagon rides and the legendary “bum slides.” Stargazers, both young and old, will be amazed at the breathtaking night skies visible at Lake Superior Provincial Park’s Dark Sky Preserve.
Warm up, eat up, rest up
Sault Ste. Marie is also home to a wide array of pubs, eateries, and accommodations to suit any taste and budget — from quaint cabins, B&Bs and rustic lodges to motels, hotels and more — where you can relax after an amazing day, warm up by a fire, enjoy a delicious meal and local beer, swap stories of your outdoor escapades with fellow guests and, of course, sleep like you haven’t slept in years.
Ready to stop dreading winter and start loving it again? Visit saulttourism.com.