Trailhead Room

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Searchmont / Ranger Lake

SnowboardingAccess to Searchmont can be obtained by taking highway 17 to Heyden and then following Highway 556 approximately 30 kilometres (19 miles) to the community.

Visitors motoring to Searchmont will enjoy one of the most scenic drives in the area, especially during the fall colour season. At any time of the year, from Highway 556, you will gain an appreciation of the rugged upland topography associated with this area of the Canadian Shield.

Visitors will also see waterfalls and have scenic views of the Goulais River where it flows adjacent to the highway. Those keen on a one day backcountry excursion may be interested in extending their trip by following Highway 556 through to Highway 129 and then following that highway south to Highway 17 to return to the Inn. If you are touring the entire loop or only the link to Searchmont, you'll be exposed to an intense menu of nature's biodiversity and geographical wonders. Be sure to talk to the staff at Algoma's Water Tower Inn & Suites before taking your trip. They can advise you on attractions in the area.

Mountain Biking

An extensive mountain bike trail system has been developed by the Searchmont Resort. Over 250 km of trails range from recreational and easy to gnarly and challenging. Beyond you may wish to explore other locations including the Achigan area - try out the Achigan "Canon Ball" route. Other locations require a good topographic map and an explorer's interest in discovery.

Road Biking

Road cyclists who are in good shape might wish to travel to Searchmont using Highway 556. The trip back to Heyden (Highway 17) becomes more challenging with the uphill climbs. During the fall colour period, this cycling trip is one of the best ways to fully experience the magnificence of this very attractive landscape. At the same time, the narrow highway shoulders require road cyclists to be particularly careful. This is an annual trip for the Sault Cycling Club.

Motor Touring

A drive to Searchmont using Highway 17 and Highway 556 provides excellent vistas of the rugged inland area. This route is especially attractive during the fall colour period. For those who are interested in a longer tour using resource access gravel roads, continue along the Ranger Lake Road to Highway 129. Here the tour continues south along Highway 129, which is paved, through the spectacular Mississagi River Valley and on to Highway 17 in the Thessalon area. At Thessalon, return to Algoma's Water Tower Inn & Suites via Highway 17.


The Goulais and Garden Rivers, and the smaller deep inland lakes are great locations to angle for brook trout. Deep cold water lakes like Garden, Ranger, Saymo, Tujak and Mashagama Lakes offer lake trout fishing opportunities. Stream fishermen can discover many opportunities. The Mississagi River, further beyond, provides a variety of fishing options and fish species include brook and rainbow trout, northern pike, and smallmouth bass depending upon the sections of river angled.


Here, the Goulais River canoe route can be accessed either upstream or downstream from Searchmont. The Garden and the Aubindong Routes are also favourites. Further beyond, the Mississagi River is another popular canoe route. Inland lakes like Ranger and Saymo, as well as the smaller lakes also provide canoeing opportunities associated with fishing or wildlife viewing. Be sure to have topographic maps and an understanding of the water regime to ensure that you properly plan your route and the timing of your trip.


Here resource access roads can be used by ATVers to explore this back-country area. Good topographic maps and ATV guides might be considered.


Tour through this area using the TOPS D trail. A snowmobile permit is required. Here the landscape is rugged forested backcountry. Sections of the scenic Goulais River will be encountered north of Searchmont if you are extending your trip on to Wawa. For those wishing to travel a circle tour on a day trip, the north and south Tops D trails to Searchmont and back to the Sault may be exactly to your liking.

Downhill Skiing

Searchmont Resort features a 228 metre (750 foot) vertical elevation with 18 fully groomed downhill ski slopes. Facilities include poma, double, triple and quad chair lifts. You will be skiing the Mountains of the Midwest!


Snowshoe trails are available at the Searchmont Resort. Beyond you might wish to explore the backcountry using abandoned Crown land access roads. Here you will need a set of good topographic maps and an explorer's interest in making new discoveries.

Special Offers

Agawa Canyon Tour Train Package

Agawa Canyon Tour Train Package

Explore Algoma on this popular train excursion!

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Bed & Breakfast Package

Bed & Breakfast Package

A delicious "Breakfast Club Combo" from our Starbucks Cafe after your great sleep at the Inn.

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Your staff were fantastic. Christmas is a challenging time of year to work, people like you make it worth it. I look forward to my next opportunity to stay at your lovely hotel.

- Robert Fraser - Air Canada Express Pilot

Visiting for Medical Care? Local snow and trail conditions

Quick Find

  • Mailing Address:
  • 360 Great Northern Road
  • Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario,
  • Canada P6B 4Z7
Algoma's Water Tower Inn
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