Plan To Visit Sault Ste Marie For Waterfalls
When we headed into Northern Ontario, we definitely planned to visit Sault Ste Marie for waterfalls. On our travel north, we detoured and found even more along the way. While we did not see all the waterfalls in this area, we saw a variety. And got the most amazing fall colours show.
We always enjoyed the sight of waterfalls. Living in Toronto, Niagara Falls was an easy day trip for us. Short trips into the U.S. let us enjoy the waterfalls at Watkins Glen. On our travels through the Norway fjords, there were stunning waterfall views in so many places. And of course, waterfalls were a key draw on our travels around Iceland. So it was great when we explored a new area for waterfalls.
The First Waterfall Stop In Chutes National Park
We had a great stay on Lake Rosseau in the fall. The trees had started their colour show. But during our stay we checked weather and leaf conditions a bit further north. Everything looked great so we extended our trip and headed to Sault Ste Marie.
Whenever we took a road trip in Ontario, we travelled on smaller roads. And checked out the detours along the way. On our drive up to Sault Ste Marie for waterfalls, our first planned detour took us to Chutes Provincial Park.
Chutes Provincial Park was located near the small town of Massey on Hwy 17 between Sudbury and Sault Ste Marie. The park was quite large with camping, hiking, fishing and a large sandy beach. But we were there to check out the waterfall.
We wandered through the park and enjoyed the great fall colour show on display. We followed the river past the rapids.
When we came around the bend we saw the water as it crashed down over the rocks of the Canadian Shield. There was a path around the park to a viewing platform over the waterfall. But on this visit, we enjoyed this view of the waterfall from afar.
We were delighted with our first stop at Chutes Provincial Park. It was a relaxing spot to stop for a break. But offered so much more for a longer return visit.
A Detour In Iron Bridge
As we drove north to Sault Ste Marie, our eyes continually scanned the road for picturesque sites. We slowed down when we entered the small town of Iron Bridge. And sure enough, we saw an iron bridge over the Mississagi River.
When we looked up the river, we saw great fall colours. And we wondered what views we might find if we went further upstream. The Great Canadian Chip Truck looked like the perfect local spot to get some insight into other things in the area. And for lunch too! We were amused with the sign that said the truck was closed when it rained or when the fish were biting!
We were told to follow Road 546 by the river to the “falls”. But first we stopped and got a closer look at the iron bridge that was the Veteran’s Bridge. And the small memorial for World War I and II.
Following The Road To Red Rock Falls
As we followed this small road, we got the most amazing view of fall colours. The 5 minute detour we expected took much longer. But we did stop a lot for the beautiful scenery before us.
We finally saw the sign for the Red Rock Falls Generating Station. The 100 foot high dam and concrete spillway was nestled into a lovely spot. This was the last generating station before the Mississagi River went into Lake Huron. Locals fished downstream.
We followed the road a little further and saw the reservoir above the dam. The waters were still and offered amazing reflections of the fall colour.
We were happy we took the detour in Iron Bridge on our trip north to visit Sault Ste Marie for waterfalls. This was certainly another view of “falls”.
Planning A Trip Along Lake Superior For Waterfall Views
Through our travels in the summer and fall of Covid-19, we explored the Great Lakes in Ontario. We started with a day trip to Lake Erie. And then did several trips along the southern shore of Lake Huron. We lived on Lake Ontario and on a lovely visit explored more of Lake Ontario and the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River. This trip north to Sault Ste Marie let us discover Lake Superior.
When we researched the area around Sault Ste Marie we identified three waterfalls to visit. On this trip we only visited Crystal Falls and Chippewa Falls. The third waterfall area was much further north. There were actually a series of three waterfalls on the Magpie River in Wawa – High Falls, Middle Silver Falls and Lower Silver Falls. Magpie River was about 2.5 hours from Sault Ste Marie. With the slow pace we travelled, we figured that Magpie River needed its own day trip on a return visit.
The final area we were sad we missed was Agawa Canyon Wilderness Park. There was an amazing train trip that went through this area. Both Black Beaver Falls & Bridal Veil Falls were also in the park. But unfortunately, Agawa Canyon was closed this year due to Covid-19.
With our waterfall stops marked on our offline maps, we headed north of Sault Ste Marie in search of waterfalls.
Walking Up Beside Crystal Falls
Crystal Falls was located in Kinsmen Park in the heart of the Hiawatha Highlands Conservation Area just a short drive north of Sault Ste Marie. We wandered around the park and marvelled at the fall colours.
After we crossed the small bridge, we started along the path. Much of the lower path was along an elevated wooden path. We stopped at the first platform for a view up to the Crystal Falls. And watched as the water tumbled down over the rocks.
We continue up the path and stairs to the upper platform. This gave us a much closer view of the falls.
When we looked up we saw a bridge high over the top of the waterfall. The path from here was much rougher over ground and wet rocks. For this visit, we never went higher along the Voyageur Trail. But we were so glad we detoured and saw Crystal Falls on this visit to Sault Ste Marie for waterfalls.
See Chippewa Falls From The Rocks
We continued north on Hwy 17 along the shores of Lake Superior. When we found the bridge over the Chippewa River, we pulled into the parking lot. We walked back to the bridge and saw the Chippewa Falls off in the distance surrounded with lovely fall colours. From this vantage point, we had a good view of the river as it raced over the rocks.
We headed back and started along the path up to the waterfall. It was a dirt path and in some places we navigated rocky sections. We stopped closer to the falls for another view.
As we climbed we came to the rocks that jutted out into the river. The rocks were dry so we carefully moved out onto the rocks. David was a bit more nimble and wanted a better view. From here we looked back towards the bridge. And saw the fisherman at the bottom of the falls.
When we got back to the parking lot, we stopped to look at the plaque for the Trans-Canada Highway. This marked the halfway point of the highway that ran for 4,860 miles from St Johns, Newfoundland to Victoria on Vancouver Island. When we looked at the map of Canada, it was amazing when we realized that over 1,453 miles of this highway ran in Ontario!
We were glad we did a day trip from Sault Ste Marie to see Chippewa Falls.
Fall Colours On Lake Superior
We headed north of Sault Ste Marie in Ontario in search of waterfalls. But even if we never found a waterfall, the drive in autumn was stunning. We watched the GPS for roads that brought us closer to Lake Superior. When we wandered off of Highway 17, these small roads provided a pallet of fall colours.
Even with the grey skies, the hills were a patchwork of colour. In many places, Hwy 17 ran right at the water. The fall colours often drew us to stop on the side of the road or pull off in park areas. We gazed out at this Great Lake framed in colour.
Our visit to Sault Ste Marie for waterfalls in the fall proved to be perfect timing. Everywhere we looked Mother Nature put on a show.
Some Great Options When We Visited Sault Ste Marie For Waterfalls
On our travel north to Sault Ste Marie, we were glad we detoured regularly and found waterfalls. There was much to do in the city. But a trip out of town for waterfalls was definitely worth it. Both Crystal Falls and Chippewa Falls were an easy day trip from Sault Ste Marie.
We were sorry we did not get further north to see the waterfalls at Magpie River. And the train trip through Agawa Canyon would have been amazing. But we liked to save something that drew us back to visit Sault Ste Marie for waterfalls.
Have you visited Sault Ste Marie For Waterfalls? Are there more waterfalls we missed?
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Your photos are amazing. You really captured the vibrance of the fall foliage. Also the waterfalls were so crisp I almost felt like I could hear the rush of the water.
Donna, Thanks for the feedback on our photos. It was the perfect time of year to get awesome shotes. Glad to share the waterfalls with you. Linda
I am curious about the bears with the ice cream. Was there any significance to them or were they just a unique sight that you spotted along the road?
Donna, The bears were just one of the funky things we found on the side of the road. As you can imagine, we stopped a lot on this trip. Linda
These waterfalls in and around Lake Superior and Sault Ste Marie are beautiful especially with the fall colors behind them. The Chute falls in Chutes Provincial Park remind me of some chute waterfalls that we used to slide down in Mississippi when we were kids. I think Darcee would love sitting on the banks by the Crystal Falls cause they look amazing too.
Eric, We were so happy we got to see so many different waterfalls on this trip to Salt Set Marie. It was our first trip this far north. But we will go back again. Linda
I always love waterfalls. But all the waterfalls that I’ve visited have been in India. It would be quite interesting to see a waterfalls where Autumn colors play magic. The walk to reach crystal falls is so beautiful. The waterfall itself is absolutely gorgeous. I really need to plan a Canadian road-trip.
Bhushavali, I am happy to share some of our Ontario waterfalls with you. I hope one day you will get to do a Canadian road trip. So much to discover. Linda
I often realize from your article, that you take a lot of detours, which in a way is good. I am truly bewitched by the splash of colors on Lake Superior. As mentioned by you the drive is definitely stunning and breathtaking. The photos taken by you clearly conveys the beauty of the place.
Ramya, We do love to wander when we do road trips. And travelling around Ontario was so beautiful in the fall it was easy to get distracted. Linda
Wow just look at those colours. I am visiting New Brunswick in July and looking at heading over to Ontario. Just looks like a dream, so much green space.
Nicole, You will find so much to see and do in New Brunswick. I hope you do get to Ontario on your visit. Lots of the blog here to help you with planning. Linda
Ok, you have sold it to me. I need to check out the parks for the wonderful nature, waterfalls, riverside walks. I really wished I knew about this area when I was in Niagara/Toronto area last time I was there. I would definalety take the time out to check this area out. The waterfalls look really nice, and even nicer which the changes of the colours of the leafs in the fall. Fingers crossed I can do this next time when I am in the area (as I have now found family in the area also..so gives me another reason to come).
Danik, There is so much in the north of Ontario that many people miss when they visit the Toronto area. It was the first time we made it this far north. Definitely worth some time to explore. Hope you get to visit. Linda
The waterfalls themselves are just beautiful, but the colors of the trees are equally as breathtaking. I know all too well the feeling of chasing waterfalls on trips, we love the thrill of jumping into some of the freezing cold waters! Thanks for sharing.
Chloe, It was indeed a perfect time of year to go chasing waterfalls. But I was not jumping in the water. I am far too wimpy for fall swimming. Linda
Red Rock Falls looks so gorgeous! And you were fortunate to go in the fall – your photos are filled with so much color. I always enjoy finding waterfalls were I go. They are just peaceful and beautiful to look at while traveling.
Jennifer, We loved each stop we made on our waterfall travels. It made the drives long but it was so worth it. Linda
The waterfalls are certainly lovely, but it’s the fall colours that got to me. So beautiful!
Alison, We were amazed at how beautiful the fall colours were this year. A great treat when staying at home this year. Linda
Yes, same here.
The autumn colors at Lake Superior are simply mesmerizing. I think I would really enjoy walking around the area and simply being near the waterfalls, listening to their roars. Even if I only get to see one waterfall on that trip, it would already be worth it.
Ummi, The fall certainly was the perfect time to visit. We were so happy we saw so many waterfalls, even if we did not see all we planned on. Linda
The Sault Ste Marie waterfalls are beautiful in themselves, but visiting them during the Fall Colors certainly raise the bars in terms of real treat! Would love to explore the area around Lake Superior, that’s definitely our type of scenery and day trips!
Patricia, We were certainly happy we headed north during the fall colour change. A great time to explore Lake Superior. Linda
Wow, I live those Fall colors around all those pretty waterfalls in Northern Ontario!
Carol, Thanks. It was indeed a pretty time to visit Northern Ontario. Linda
I am a huge fan of waterfalls. I love to photograph them and get blurry water. Therefore I would love to see Sault Ste Marie For Waterfalls on my visit to Ontario. I need a longer road trip because more interesting places I added to my Ontario road trip list. Veteran’s Bridge looks fabulous in the fall scenery.
Agnes, When you head outside the cities in Ontario there is so much great outdoors to find. You will certainly need a long trip to take it all in. Linda
Waterfalls always amaze me. Combined with fall colors, they look even amazing! The Crystal Falls and Chippewa Falls are so beautiful! You must go back in the spring, and see how the plants turn their magic toward the waterfalls.
Umiko, We definitely want to head back in the spring when the waters will be really flowing from the winter thaw. Linda
Waterfalls in Fall, love those vibrant photos. Since we moved to Washington, we have been making a list of places to visit in Canada. I will be adding Sault Ste Marie to the list as well. I am sure in summer also these waterfalls will be beautiful. My favorite one is Crystal Falls, so pretty. For now, hope for the best and wait for the borders to open again.
Binny, I am glad to hear you are building your Canada list. There are so many great spots across the country once the borders open. Linda
What gorgeous countryside! From your photos and descriptions, seems like the waterfalls were just the icing on the cake, those stunning fall colors would’ve been worth the trip even without them. 😉
Emese, Even with the clouds, we had some of the best fall colour views. And the waterfalls were indeed the icing. Can’t wait to go back and explore more. Linda
Wow! The scenery is really beautiful. With the fall colors present, it definitely made me admire it more. Thank you for sharing these stunning photos. We would love visit someday and hopefully at the same time of year.
Clarice, Fall is definitely a great time to visit Ontario. And this year was spectacular! Linda
Those autumn Colors are fabulous. Rich deep burgundy and red and that burnt orange make me want to run for my water colors and start painting. Isn’t nature amazing pity My painting skills couldn’t do them justice.
Jay, My painting skills surely would not have done this justice! But we were so glad we got so many great views to tide us through the winter. Linda
I don’t know about the waterfalls but those colors – WOW! I totally get it when you say you had a colors show. I so want to experience this for myself. Every place that you have showcased here appears stunning because of those fall colors (and your photography too ;-)) I think the best part was capturing the reflections in the water!
Ami, We sure were glad we went north at the right time to catch the full colours. Every stop was great. Definitely the time to visit. Linda
I love this part of our province too. I have been several times throughout my lifetime, but itching to return. For all the times we’ve been, we still haven’t managed to squeeze in the Algoma train experience. It would be lovely to do in the fall.
Renee, We had been meaning to go for years so glad we got to do it this year of staying at home. We too will definitely go back. Linda
Wow, these autumn colours are stunning. When life is a bit more normal and hopefully by next autumn it will be, I would love to take a road trip here. My partner and I have been talking about doing this for ages. I didn’t even realise there were waterfalls in Ontario, so this would make for such a great trip.
Sarah, I do hope you get to visit Canada and experience the wide diversity that is available in Ontario. We sure have loved discovering more of our province this year. Linda
I love a waterfall & the colours on the trees are amazing! You can’t beat a road trip & the best part is just detouring & stopping when you spot something that looks interesting & worth exploring further. This looks like a great trip for immersing yourself in nature!
Sue, We always plan for long travel days. Sometimes we have an idea of places to stop and sometimes we see a sign and just follow it. Makes the journey much more fun. Especially in the fall when each view was stunning. Linda
Wow, what a beautiful place to visit and especially in the Autumn. I just love that red barn too, the colours really compliment it. You can see why they called it Lake Superior for sure!
Nic, We were so delighted with our trip to Northern Ontario this fall. Definitely some superior views! Linda
Ah autumn glory! I can’t stop looking at those beautiful fall colors you’ve captured in these photos. Just a few months back we drove from Thunder Bay to Toronto and had stopped by Sault Ste Marie for an overnight stay. Looking at your post, I can’t help wishing we had stayed for a day longer in the region and explored Chutes Provincial Park too. I’ll surely be referring to your guide for trip planning the next time we plan another Ontario road trip.
Aditi, It was our first time and we sure squeezed a lot in. I hope you get to go back again and see more. We sure will. Linda
Autumn colours and waterfalls are such a nice combination and so exotic for me. We have waterfalls in Australia but they are often quite dry… I love the chip truck, these small, unpretentious places can have great food… I’m sure that a serve of hot chips is perfect after a long drive through those gorgeous forests…
Delphine, I never knew that the waterfalls in Australia were often dry. In Ontario they are strongest in the spring right after the thaw but pretty good most of the year. The hot chips were great as we explored in the area. Linda
I love waterfalls and so visiting Sault Ste Marie for waterfalls would be my choice too. Chippewa Falls surrounded with lovely fall colours is really photogenic spot. Though skies are grey but the lovely fall colors all around make the place vibrant and worth visiting. Great Lake with all shades or orange, red and brown is also another photogenic spot. This whole trip is worth doing for nature lovers.
Yukti, We too were surprised at how great the colours were even with blue skies. We sure got there at peak time! Linda
Hi Linda! Very interested to do the Agawa tour train. Do you have any information on how to reserve or they’re closed because of COVID? Would you know when they will open? Really excited to do this train ride. I heard this is a great Canadian signature experience. Thanks for your post and for always taking us on adventures!
Trisha, Sadly the Agawa Canyon Tour is closed for Covid and no information is available on when they will re-open. We would definitely want to do this too one day. Hopefully next year things will be better. Linda
You are such a great Ambassador to Canada: Since you are publishing all those wonderful posts, I’m slowly planning to visit Canada after the pandemic is over. Especially this region looks so beautiful with the lush trees in many colors – the epitome of Canada 🙂 Already looking forward to your next inspiration 😉
Renata, I am so glad to hear I am teasing you with views of Canada. I do hope you get to visit when travel starts again. Linda
Swoon! I’m from Wisconsin and have yet to see Lake Superior during fall when the leaves are changing, but your photos are incredible, those colors and the waterfalls! Lovely, thanks for sharing.
Megs, I am glad I got to show you Lake Superior in all of its fall splendour. It was an amazing time to visit. Sure glad we got there while we were at home and travelling local. Linda
What a fun route getting to see some gorgeous waterfalls! I’d love to sit in those chairs looking out at Middle Silver Falls as it looks so relaxing. Aguasabon Gorge and Falls is incredible! So nice they have a viewing platform to get great shots. Stopping at Wawa looks fun too with those totem poles!
We did indeed love the great road trip stops from Toronto to Thunder Bay.