Under the Radar - Michigan
Sault Saint Marie - continue text
Sault Saint Marie & Cheboygan
Home to Breathtaking Waterways and Rich History
FIRST STOP, SAULT SAINT MARIE (Continue text):
For art lovers, deeper into town is an art gallery, which upholds the mantra of ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. For 30 years, owner and artist, Greg Steele, has been showcasing his creative handiwork. What others discard, he turns into unconventional art. Visitors will be fascinated by his ability to take the simplest materials—such as radio dials, gears, pieces of copper, old cameras—and craft them into something new.
Sault Saint Marie’s connection to the water surrounding it is unmistakable. Nowhere is this more evident than by The Soo Locks, the busiest waterway in the world. Giant ships come from all over the world to pass through them, and more cargo goes through the Soo Locks than the Panama and Suez Canals combined. For those wanting to get a closer look, tours of the freighters, such as the 500 feet S. S. Valleycamp, are available, giving a real sense of what it was like to live on a giant freighter. On the S.S. Valleycamp, you can see the perfectly preserved upper deck and then descend into cargo bay, which has been turned into a maritime museum with cool exhibits—such as a life boat from the Edmund Fitzgerald.
History buffs have many places to visit in Sault Saint Marie. The town has its share of beautiful historic churches from the 1800s, which were built out of sandstone that came from the canal. There’s also the city courthouse, which still has its original stone and oak. Another notable site is Sault Saint Marie’s hydroplant. At a quarter of a mile in length, it holds the title of the longest hydroplant in the world. If you want to get a bird’s eye view of the entire town and the canal, head up to the Tower of History. At 210 feet in height, this observation tower grants visitors an unparalleled perspective of all Sault Saint Marie has to offer.
For a perfect way to end the day, take a twilight walking tour at the city park. Led by longtime residents, Jim Cooley and his wife, Mary, these tours act as reminders that Sault Saint Marie is a place where you can take in the smell of the cedars, hear the ships, and listen to the wind off the lakes. Discovering this town is an experience to be savored, not rushed.