Sault Ste. Marie Canal Trails (10-28-09)
This hike was a pleasant surprise. I was originally planning on heading out to Gros Cap but time constraints warranted something closer. I had noticed trails running along and under the International Bridge on previous crossings and had been curious about what there was to see along them. Ii had never been down to see the famed St. Mary's Rapids up close and so I quickly decided that this day would be a good a day as any to give into my curiosity.
What I didn't know was that the trails are adjacent to the Sault Sainte Marie Canal National Historic Site, a site I didn't know existed! A hike with some history mixed in!! How could I go wrong?! The 2 mile loop began and ended at the old canal which was opened in 1897. Though no longer open to commercial shipping it does serve Canadian pleasure craft during the warmer months. I was not able to get inside any of the buildings but the park has numerous informational kiosks that help explain the history of the site. After filling myself up with a helping of history I set out around the adjacent islands to see what I could see...
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 46.513406, -84.350627
Route Type: Loop Difficulty: EASY (w/out spur to river); MODERATE (as presented)
Hike Length: 2.0 miles Hike Duration: 1:30
Trailhead Temp: 55'F Trail Traffic: 25-50 people
Min. Elevation: 590' Max. Elevation: 620'
Total Vertical Gain: 100' Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 50'