French Jesuits established a mission here in 1688, naming the settlement Sault (translated rapids) Ste. Marie. First nations people called the rapids Bawating (water flows over rocks), and met here for the annual whitefish harvest. The International Bridge arcs over the rapids, connecting to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
To accommodate Great Lakes shipping, the rapids are bypassed by the renowned Soo Locks canal system. From the boardwalk and cycle path along the river, you can see the remnants of the mighty rapids that at one time were said to be 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) long and 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) wide, and during the spring runoff roared so loudly that it was difficult to carry on a conversation.
You can visit one of the many heritage sites along the St. Mary’s River to take in the history of the area. Algoma's Water Tower Inn & Suites' Trailhead Hosts can provide cycling, jogging or sightseeing information.
The Agawa Canyon Tour Train departs from the Algoma Central Railway Station located adjacent to the Station Mall on the Sault Ste. Marie waterfront. On departure day, make sure you have located your coach and preferred seat no later than 7:30 AM.
A 2.1 km cycle path is found along the City's waterfront. Cyclists can extend the route by biking to the end of Canal Road in Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site.
The Sault Ste. Marie Waterfront can be explored between the City's Civic Centre and the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site using the boardwalk. View the lake boats and the "salties". See the rapids and watch the sport fishermen. At the eastern end of the trail, you will find the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre. At the western end, explore the Soo Locks and White Fish point.
Wade into the rapids and fish for salmon, or just cast a line from the boardwalk. Simple family fun.
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