Sault Ste. Marie is an awesome place to cycle hard-top, whether you want a long-haul or a leisurely pedal. The city is studded with green areas and has a long stretch of waterfront along the St. Mary’s River. In a northern Ontario city of 75,000, the traffic is not a grid-lock issue, and there are plenty of quiet roadways and paved trails. Beyond the city, there are islands, parks and backroads to explore. The region is rich with lakes and waterways, forests and 2.5 billion year-old rock faces. There are neat little villages, and historic and cultural sites to delight you. Our Trailhead Adventure Hosts have the maps and the guideposts to make your ride remarkable, and can outfit you with a rental bike from the Inn.
The Hub Trail is restricted to walking and other self-propelled activities such as cycling. It connects historical, cultural and natural points in Sault Ste. Marie, and engages the user with its mix of urban areas, waterfront boardwalk, nature-significant sites, and wetlands with their native flora and fauna. The Hub Trail incorporates a paved trail combined with a few short stretches of designated street cycling. The entire distance is 25 km./15,5mi., but you can do it in sections. The north and east sections are directly accessible from Algoma’s Water Tower Inn & Suites. Perfect for road or mountain bikes. Relatively flat, although there are two sharper inclines along the way. Users can snack in picnic areas or enjoy a rest on park benches. In its more urban neighbourhoods like the downtown waterfront, you can access restaurants, bars, and destinations like the Bushplane Museum or the Art Gallery of Algoma, among others. The Inn’s Trailhead Adventure Hosts can give you a map and recommend highlights along your route. There is a bicycle shop directly across the street from the Inn should you need gear or repairs. You can also rent town bicycles from the Inn.
This cycling route is approximately 9 km. in length, with varying terrain and one long hill. It incorporates 2 sections of the Hub Trail. You can pedal it in either direction. However, we advise heading west first. Your ride will be a mix of urban and wild, road and trail. You can start directly from the Inn. One of our Trailhead Adventure Hosts will provide you with a map.
Road cyclists can ride directly from Algoma's Water Tower Inn & Suites to the Hiawatha Highlands Conservation Area. The hill just before you reach your destination can be a bit challenging, but it’s short, and respite is quick. At the park, there are picnic shelters and an ice-cream stop. You can also ride to the bottom of the hill down to Crystal creek and take the stairway up to the impressive Crystal Falls. If you have a mountain bike, you could continue on to cycle the huge network of off-road trails at Hiawatha. Ask our Trailhead Adventure Hosts for the 5th Line Loop cycling map. Distance is 21km./13mi. return from the Inn.
This incredible cape of land overlooks the St. Mary’s River where it issues from the southern end of Lake Superior. It’s a 21 km. ride straight from the Inn, and you can return the same way for a 42 km. ride. However, a looped ride will take you through prettier, less trafficky terrain, though the loop will add to your distance, making it approximately 60 kilometres. Our Trailhead Adventure Hosts can go over the route with you, give you the distance and rideability factors, then you can choose. The ride to Gros Cap starts and ends at the Inn. The route is paved, with some bicycle lanes. You will be pedalling directly west along Hwy. 550 (2nd Line), which can be busy (but the road is wide) for about 10 km., then becomes quite tranquil. You can double back to the Inn, or, depending on your distance durability, you can avoid this by taking our suggested loop route, which is somewhat longer but nicer.
Beautiful St. Joseph’s Island lies 63 km. southeast of Algoma’s Water Tower Inn & Suites in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario., and offers many kilometres of varied riding routes. Load up your bike and drive eastward on Highway 17 E. (the TransCanada Highway), then cross the short Bert Gilbertson Bridge to get onto the island. There are many routes to choose from, depending on your energy and timeline. Once you’ve arrived on St. Joseph’s Island, you’ll be instantly charmed by the small-town/rural flavour of the place. Paved Highway 548 circles the island (an 80 km. ride), and will take you through the two largest communities; Hilton Beach and Richard’s Landing, both on the waterfront, as their names imply. There are many attractions to visit, if that is your bent, and the scenery is absolutely beautiful with an abundance of panoramic views over Lake Huron. Terrain is rolling. Consult with our Trailhead Adventure Hosts to plan your itinerary.
This is a fantastic road trip, whether you start from the Inn, or drive to the turn-off, park and pedal from there. The Searchmont Highway travels true wilderness, through deep forest, rugged rockscapes, and scenic glimpses of the Goulais River, which it parallels. This is not a ride for novices, since the terrain is twisty, rolling, sometimes hilly, but worth every heartbeat. There are two routes you can follow. Riding north on the TransCanada Highway (there is a wide shoulder, if not a bike lane) for 13.63 km., turn right on Hwy. 556 at Heyden. Travel another 29.3 km to the village of Searchmont, for a total of 42.6 km. Retrace your route to return to the Inn, a total ride of 85.2 km. Or you can drive your bike to Heyden, park and make your ride shorter. You can also do the Bellevue loop off Hwy. 556, which is also a great trip but will add hills and kilometres. Ask our Trailhead Adventure Hosts for details and map.
The Inn is a perfect family hang-out. The kids love Club Cabana’s hot tubs and pools (we go swimming at least once a day), and there’s always something tasty on Casey’s Kid’s menu. For me, I love that there’s a fridge in every room, and that I can request a microwave...it makes small family meals a cinch.
- Captain Dave Conrad