5 Amazing Day Trips from Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

I visited some incredible places on my Northwestern Ontario road trip. And there’s one charming little city perched on the edge of Canada’s border that doesn’t get enough attention. That city is Sault Ste. Marie. While there is a wealth of things to do in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario it’s also a great base to explore the surrounding area. Day trips from Sault Ste Marie range from idyllic islands to epic train rides.

Travelling north of Sudbury, Ontario takes on a completely different feel. Everything seems grander! Views are epic. Waterfalls are majestic. And there’s a lake with the size and power of the sea. All of the following places near Sault Ste. Marie have something special, from incredible natural wonders to charming small towns, and even an island that will have you stepping back in time.

Top 5 Day Trips from Sault Ste Marie

Lake Superior Provincial Park

Pinquisibi trail waterfalls

Just north of Sault Ste. Marie is one of Ontario’s largest provincial parks, Lake Superior Provincial Park. Hugging the shores of Lake Superior, the world’s largest lake, this day trip from Sault Ste. Marie Ontario is a must. The park is home to a wealth of natural beauty, from waterfalls to epic views, and can easily be enjoyed in a day.

During your day trip to Lake Superior Provincial Park, especially if it’s your first visit, I recommend doing the following. Your first stop in the park should be the visitor centre, where you’ll learn about the history and significance of the park, pay for your day pass, and pick up a map. Next up is the historic Agawa Rock Pictographs. After a short hike, you’ll arrive at the edge of Lake Superior where you’ll be met with a massive large cliff face. Here you’ll find 35 ancient rock paintings along the cliff face. These are one of only a few pictograph sites in Ontario that are accessible by foot.

Old Woman Bay

Another stop to make is at Old Woman Bay for sweeping views of Lake Superior and the large cliff face that is said to be in the form of an old woman. Two must hike trails in Lake Superior Provincial Park are the Pinguisibi Trail and the Nokomis Trail. The Pinguisibi Trail is 6 kilometres and takes between 1.5 and 3 hours. You don’t have to hike it all but even with a short trek along it you’ll find gushing waterfalls, tranquil forested trails, and beautiful orchids. The Nokomis Trail is a 5 kilometre loop trail that takes 2 to 3 hours and takes you through the Boreal Forest and up to an epic view over Lake Superior.

Distance from Sault Ste. Marie – 140 KM
Time to reach destination – 1.5 Hours
Recommended time spent – Full Day

Agawa Canyon

One of the most epic day trips from Sault Ste Marie Ontario is to Agawa Canyon. Touted as being one of the top things to do in Ontario, the Agawa Canyon can be accessed by a remarkable train journey from Sault Ste. Marie. This ten hour adventure takes you north through rich forests, across Canadian Shield, and over a towering trestle bridge. Sit and watch the beautiful Canadian wilderness as it plays out of your window.

On your Agawa Canyon train trip you’ll learn about the area’s history, various points of interest, and Ojibway stories through the running commentary. But the main attraction is when the train descends into the Agawa Canyon where it stops for about an hour and a half. Here, you can step out and explore the wonders of the Canyon, like the waterfalls and a hike that will take you to a stunning lookout.

(Tour is 10 hours)

Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula

On my last trip to Sault Ste. Marie, I took a magical day trip to Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula. It was early November but it was a winter wonderland! While there’s much to see and do on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, from charming small towns to lighthouses, I recommend two main stops, especially if you’ve only got a few hours.

After a drive through Paradise, (yes, you read that right, Paradise is in Michigan, well, at least a charming little town called Paradise), you’ll first stop at Whitefish Point. It’s known for many things, its sweeping views of Lake Superior, the lighthouse, and it’s a designated Important Bird Area. But Whitefish Point is famous for being one of the most dangerous areas for shipping in the Great Lakes. It’s even dubbed the graveyard of the Great Lakes. While there has been a lighthouse shining bright here for almost 150 years, it was not casting its light one faithful night, the night the Edmund Fitzgerald went down. But nowadays you can visit the lighthouse and museum, from May through October. Or watch the mighty Lake Superior thunder ashore in the winter.

Your next stop should be to Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Michigan’s second-largest state park. There are around 64 kilometres of trails in the park. And you can visit any time of year. But the main draw is the beautiful Tahquamenon Falls. There are actually two falls, the upper and the lower. The Tahquamenon Falls is the second most voluminous waterfall, after Niagara Falls, east of the Mississippi River in the United States.

Distance from Sault Ste. Marie – 120 KM
Time to reach destination – 1.5 Hours
Recommended time spent – Half Day to Full Day

Mackinac Island

One of the most enchanting Sault Ste. Marie day trips is to Mackinac Island. Located in Lake Huron, a short ferry ride from St. Ignace, Michigan, Mackinac Island is something special. I haven’t been in years but still vividly remember this carless, walkable, beautiful island that has something for everyone’s interests. There’s a reason it was voted as one of the best islands in the US.

Mackinac Island is home to a host of things to do, from hiking trails to epic views, stunning natural scenery, history, and a relaxing charm that’s hard to find. There are no cars on the island and with a circumference of roughly 13 kilometres you can easily walk to most of the sights, or rent a bike.

A few must-see attractions on Mackinac Island are the historic Fort Mackinac, the Little Stone Church, and Arch Rock – a natural rock formation that creates an arch where you can see the blue waters through it. Even the quaint downtown, full of fun shops, restaurants, and other notables is a must to wander as it screams old town USA. And before you leave, don’t forget to pick up some of their world-famous Mackinac Island fudge.

Distance from Sault Ste. Marie – 88 KM
Time to reach destination – 1 Hour
Recommended time spent – Half Day to Full Day

Bruce Mines

If you’re looking for a charming small town in Ontario to visit on a Sault Ste Marie day trip then consider Bruce Mines. Set on the northern shore of Lake Huron, Bruce Mines is full of charm. If you’re into hiking you can enjoy part of the Voyageur Trail, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, or you can opt for one of the nature trails like the Historic Mine Trail.

You can also enjoy a browse through their lovely shops ranging from antiques to gift shops with pieces made by local artisans. Grab a coffee and bite to eat at the Copper Bean Café before visiting the museum, which is located in an old church. And don’t forget to visit the Simpson Copper Mine Shaft that pays homage to Canadian mining history.

Distance from Sault Ste Marie – 70 KM
Time to reach destination – 50 mins.
Recommended time spent – Half Day

Which of these day trips from Sault Ste Marie would you choose?



I'm a Canadian gal with a passion for travel, the great outdoors as well as coffee and books. I hope to inspire others to feel the same way! Traveling mostly solo, I love to explore my own backyard of Ontario as well as exotic cities around the world.

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