When it’s warm…
A visit to the Upper Peninsula is synonymous with getting back to nature, making the eastern U.P. a not-to-be-missed destination. Known as the Great Waters region, the EUP offers nature lovers and adventure seekers endless opportunities to explore picturesque locales with a full range of hands-on excitement. Whether one craves a quiet walk through a forest or the rush of wind on the face while taking flight on a mountain bike, Great Waters offers the right mix of serenity and adventure.
If the adrenaline rush of exploration is what you crave from your next vacation, carve out several days for your Sault-based adventures.
With a beautiful park, Soo Locks Visitor Center, observation platforms overlooking 1,000-foot freighters, and a mesmerizing fountain, there is much to do and see and every last inch of it is free of charge
Start with an inside-out approach and spend your first day deep in the heart of the city of Sault Ste Marie. Soo Locks Boat Tours don’t just view the Soo Locks – live them! Climb aboard and let the friendly staff explain the history and function of the Locks. Ride alongside massive freighters and enjoy a snack or dinner on the water. Museum Ship Valley Camp a retired cargo freighter, complete with exhibits on Great Lakes shipping, fishing, shipwrecks and more. Tower of History at 210 feet above the twin Saults, the Tower affords the perfect panoramic view of the St. Mary’s River, Soo Locks, and Canada River of History Museum explore this expertly-arranged museum to learn more about Native Americans, French fur traders and others who settled the region from the “voice” of the River. Portage Avenue & Ashmun Street shopping, restaurants, sweet shops and more line these main thoroughfares. With a busy day of sightseeing, look no further than downtown Sault Ste. Marie for the sustenance you need to explore again tomorrow!
Nearby, you can enjoy the power and beauty of Tahquamenon Falls, the mystery of ancient paintings and the unique rock formations on Lake Superior’s cliffs, the oldest active lighthouse on Lake Superior and the unique Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point, or explore the back roads of the Hiawatha National Forest.
Just over the bridge, take the train ride into Canada’s Laurentian wilderness area into Agawa Canyon. Summer and Fall, you’ll be enchanted by the pristine lakes, granite mounts and rushing rivers that greet you at every turn of this popular railroad tour.
Adventure southbound and be transported back in time to the days of horse carriages and afternoon tea. Mackinac Island, accessible from St. Ignace by pedestrian ferry, is the perfect way to spend a day before returning to Sault Ste. Marie.
Challenge yourself on one of our many golf courses and you’ll find out why we’re rapidly becoming the Upper Peninsula’s most popular destination for golfers. (Click here for a map of area golf courses.) Our courses may vary in degree of difficulty from novice to professional, but since all have been crafted from the woodlands and fields native to the Soo area, all share our unique natural beauty.
If land adventure is more your speed, hiking trails abound and bicycles are a welcome mode of transport. Great Waters is also a place of great contrasts. Nationally-renowned sites, like Tahquamenon Falls, are featured alongside lesser known treasures, like Crisp Point Lighthouse. While one is sure to find fine dining and first class accommodations in some areas of Great Waters, others are more aptly enjoyed with a tent and campfire.
If you’re ready to experience the wondrous sights of the Sault area, you’ve a wide range of options and opportunities! From rough trails to several groomed off-road driving areas, you can enjoy a brisk morning walk before breakfast, a leisurely drive through beautiful forests and along spectacular waterfronts, or pack up your tent and hike for days in the impressive countryside. Threading its way across our landscape, the North Country National Scenic Trail links outstanding scenic, natural, recreational, historic, and cultural areas in seven of our northern States, from New York to North Dakota.
Being located on a peninsula surrounded on three sides by water offers many advantages. One of the best is the boating our waters provide. Residents and visitors can sail, motor, row or paddle during most of the year on their choice of lakes, rivers and our neighboring freshwater seas, the Great Lakes. Surrounded by boats, from small canoes to gigantic ore carriers, you’ll quickly discover why Sault Ste. Marie residents are such boating enthusiasts.
The Great Waters is the place where three of the Great Lakes converge – Michigan, Huron, and Superior. These inland seas undergo awe-inspiring mood changes, showcasing tumultuous whitecaps one day and glassy calm the next, much to the delight of visitors who take to the water atop kayaks, canoes, tour boats, and fishing vessels.
Check out our Birding Blog.
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a place truly prosperous in bird life. Enthusiasts will fall in love with the serene backdrops of the area. The Northern temperatures create the perfect place to find many unique species, such as the Gyrfalcon, Snowy Owl and Hawk Owl.
The Whitefish Point Bird Observatory offers a delightful birding experience with Paradise, Michigan situated on the northeastern tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula approximately 70 miles west of the Sault. Flocks of songbirds, waterfowl, birds of prey and owls migrate here every spring and fall. Follow the link to Whitefish Point Bird Observatory for more information.
Birdwatchers will also enjoy the Cedarville Waterfront Park located in Cedarville, Michigan approximately 30 miles south of the Sault. This is one of the best places in the region to observe black terns, red-winged balckbirds, American bittern, common snipe, American coot, ring-billed gulls and blue winged treal. Bald Eagles and osprey are occasionally seen in this area as well.
Carp River Point provides a scenic view of the Carp River and an exceptional location for viewing waterbirds, especially during migration. The Carp River is between St. Ignace and Sault Ste. Marie.
The St. Mary’s River is another great location for bird watching, with a variety of at least 23 species of waterfowl including diving ducks, puddle ducks, mergansers and geese are all represented.
In the spring, thousands of Common Loons pass over the area heading in a northwesterly direction (towards Lake Superior). In the fall well over 10,000 Red-necked Grebes fly by in the opposite direction, heading from Lake Superior to northern Lake Huron.