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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