Ontario Sault Ste Marie and the Algoma Region

Sault Ste. Marie's slogan brags that the city is naturally gifted and it is! The city is surrounded by a world recognized icon in the Great Lakes with waters containing more than sixty species of fish including lake trout, walleye, pike, perch and more. Fly fishing in the rapids at the city's edge is popular for salmon, whitefish and rainbow trout with catches made just in time for dinner.All this is happening under the International Bridge, which links Sault Ste.

Marie, Ontario with its twin sister, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The cities share their name and the St. Marys River's beautiful waterfront; it lends an international flavor to both sides.Sault Ste.

Marie is the "Gateway" to the scenic Algoma Region. Set along the shorelines of both Lake Superior and Lake Huron, the opportunities for outdoor vacations are endless and world class. In the summer of 2003 this region was the host to the internationally famous Eco-Challenge, North American Champioships. Many of the components that made up the course are now accessible to the public and breathtaking kayaking, canoeing, hiking and mountain biking are available.To really see this scenic wilderness, the unique ability to travel by train is a highlight when visiting Sault St.

Marie. The Agawa Canyon Tour Train leaves daily from early June unit mid-October each year. This 228 mile round trip brings visitors beside lakes, over rivers and past waterfalls with a two-hour stopover in Canyon Park. Full service dining cars provide breakfast and lunch and dome cars are available with fully-narrated CDs to enhance the experience.For those who like to see the local arts and culture, there is much to consider. To begin there is the Canadian Bushplane Center, which was voted the "Best Indoor Attraction" in Canada by Attractions Canada.

This 25,000 square foot museum offers a look at the history of flight and fire fighting in Northern Ontario. The exhibits include a flight simulator, a fire tower and a visual experience in an "Object Theatre" which gives visitors a sense of actually flying a bushplane.The Soo has many citizens of Italian heritage and its many fine restaurants reflect that in their cuisine.

There are "shop till you drop" malls and the Casino Sault Ste. Marie to test your luck. You can walk the mile long waterfront boardwalk and watch thousand foot ships lock through the world's busiest lock system or see them up close aboard the Lock Tours Canada Boat Cruise.There are many local festivals and events such as the RotaryFest in July marking its 80th year in 2006; the Algoma Fall Festival in October timed to allow visitors to enjoy the magnificent fall foliage; and the Ontario Winter Carnival Bon Soo in January billed as the "Greatest Snow on Earth!" There is a Film Festival in February showcasing the best in international, independent and Canadian documentary films.

Stopping at the center of the waterfront will find you in Roberta Bondar Park, named after the city's most famous hometown citizen and Canada's first woman astronaut, Dr. Roberta Bondar. This area was historically known as Bawating or "meeting place" by the Algonquin Nation that settled here.One of the city's newest features is the Crimson Ridge 18 Hole Championship Golf Course. Waterfalls, creeks, numerous elevation changes and mature hardwood forests create spectacular views.

Crimson Ridge was named one of the best new golf courses in Ontario and named as two of the top ten signature holes in Canada.Nearby is the Searchmont Resort which is THE ski destination of the entire area and offers fantastic downhill and cross-country skiing. There are 18 runs and 3 chairlifts, with a full service main lodge and plenty of villas and chalets for accommodations. Both in the city and the immediate region, there are hundreds of kilometers of cross country ski trails and thousands of kilometers of snowmobile trails.

.Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Canada Vacation.

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By: Michael Russell

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