Sault Ste. Marieview website
300 W Portage Ave
Sault Sainte Marie, MI 49783
Soo Locks Description
The St. Mary's River sits between Sault Ste. Marie, MI and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. A series of treacherous rapids once made navigation of the river impossible, but the locks in Sault Ste. Marie, dubbed the "Soo Locks," effectively raise and lower the water levels so boats don't tumble down the rapids. The locks, built in the late 1880s, enable ships to pass from Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes, and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Start at the Visitor's Center for a detailed explanation of how the locks work. Next, go up into the enclosed viewing deck and watch a freighter pass through the locks. Finish your visit with a stroll through the beautifully landscaped park, featuring a lighted fountain that "dances" to music.
Babies: The area is handicap-accessible, so you should be fine with a stroller.
Toddlers & Pre-K: Keep your hands close to their ears (babies, too). Freighters often blast their horns as they come through the locks, which can scare little ones, especially when you're standing very close.
School-Age Kids: They'll be transfixed watching the enormous freighters passing through the locks.
Pre-Teens & Teens: Kids who are fascinated by engineering or ships will probably love this attraction; others may find it boring.
- Dine alfresco. If the weather is nice, grab some fudge or a meal from a nearby restaurant and have a picnic in the park while watching freighters go by.
Just the Facts
Hours: 7 a.m.-11 p.m., mid-May through November 1.
Recommended Time: 1 to 2 hours