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5 reasons why Sault Ste. Marie is one of the best winter destinations in Ontario

Visitors and residents alike can find all the excitement and fun of the winter months in the welcoming city of Sault Ste. Marie in Northern Ontario.  

Canadian winters are renowned around the world for beautiful landscapes and exhilarating outdoor activities. Visitors and residents alike can find all the excitement and fun of the winter months in the welcoming city of Sault Ste. Marie in Northern Ontario.  

While freezing temperatures can be daunting for newcomers to the cold, there are ways to stay warm and cozy while enjoying the beauty of a northern winter. Sault Ste. Marie is a city that is prepared for the winter with well-ploughed roads and pathways, cozy restaurants, and indoor malls (Station Mall and Cambrian Mall)  with plenty of shops stocked with warm outerwear.  

Winter Activities for Everyone

There are many things to do in and around Sault Ste. Marie during the winter months which makes it a prime destination for people from all over the world. Check out these top five outdoor activities that you can take advantage of in beautiful Sault Ste. Marie:  

1. World-class Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing 



Sault Ste. Marie is home to some of the best cross-country skiing in North America. Hiawatha Highlands, located just a few minutes from downtown, is home to over 50 kilometres of groomed ski trails, 14 kilometres of snowshoeing trails, and exhilarating fat biking trails, all through a draw-dropping pine forest. This family-friendly destination offers convenient equipment rentals and even has guided evening snowshoe tours.  

Travel just 30 minutes from downtown and you’ll find yourself in one of the top cross-country ski resorts in North America. Stokely Creek Lodge boasts over 100 kilometres of scenic ski trails carved through 12,000 acres of the Algoma Highlands. Or choose to take in the beauty of the region on snowshoes where you’ll walk along creeks, to the foot of frozen waterfalls or to one of the highest points in the region, King Mountain. 

2. Downhill Skiing at Searchmont  


If you’re looking for more speed, you might want to try downhill skiing at Searchmont Resort. Stay slopeside at Searchmont’s own ski-in chalets and villas for the most convenient access to the mountain. The resort also has a new Buzzsaw area with a triple chair lift up to the beginner ski area. Rentals, lessons, and cozy restaurants are all conveniently located at the base of the resort.   

3. Skating Trails Just Like in the Movies 


Recreate the romance of outdoor ice skating at one of the free rinks or skating trails in Sault Ste. Marie. Clergue Park Skating Trail is a 1-kilometre trail that runs along the waterfront with views of St. Mary’s River. Or experience the thrill of ice skating in the heart of the city at the Sault’s new downtown plaza. The Downtown Plaza is surrounded by a vibrant shopping district and is home to lighting displays, a play zone for kids and is host to outdoor entertainment throughout the year.  

Pick up a pair of skates at Source for Sports on Queen Street East or Northern Sports Excellence on Trunk Road.  

4. Celebrate  



Sault Ste. Marie is also home to many family-friendly winter festivals and events. From performances of The Nutcracker and the Classical Spectacular performed by the Sault Symphony Orchestra to high energy concert acts from The Sheepdogs, Brent Kissel and more, there are endless opportunities to celebrate with family, friends and loved ones.  

The Bon Soo Winter Carnival is one of the highlights of the winter season. From February 2nd through 10th, join the community in celebrating the fun of winter in Northern Ontario. Brace yourself for a polar bear dip, play a game of snow soccer, check out the snowmobile races, and experience an authentic dog sled ride.  

5. More Indoor Fun 


Come inside for some warmer entertainment options. You can find live theatre at Sault Community Theatre Centre and experience live musical performances at The Loft. Or become immersed in local history at the Bushplane Museum and Sault Ste. Marie Museum.  

Discover the best of local growers and makers at the newly opened Soo Market. Located next to the Downtown Plaza, the local farmer’s market offers locally grown produce, handmade items and artisanal goods. 

If you’re looking for fun after dark, Sault Ste. Marie has plenty of fantastic restaurants, bars, and live music venues. Visit downtown for cozy restaurants like Broers Jansen, Ernie’s Coffee Shop or Peace Restuarant, play a round of indoor golf at Up & Down Lounge, enjoy live music at Loplops Gallery and Lounge, or test out your video game skills at Soo Blaster


Sault Ste. Marie really does have everything you could want for a thrilling outdoor winter adventure or cozy indoor entertainment. Start planning your ultimate winter adventure getaway today. 

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