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Sault Ste. Marie

Make Sault Ste. Marie Your Snowmobiling Sanctuary

By Sault Ste. Marie Chamber

With nearly endless groomed trails available right from downtown Sault Ste. Marie, it’s no wonder the Soo continues to be a premiere snowmobiling destination. Situated on the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula, Sault Ste. Marie, with its average of 120 inches of snow annually, offers ideal conditions for all snowmobiles.

Although most snowmobile enthusiasts associate the Soo with the International 500 Snowmobile Race, a closer look will show it’s a haven of snowmobiling fun for riders of all experience levels. From casual Sunday cruises to endless expeditions into the heart of the Upper Peninsula, it’s all possible from the snowmobile-friendly city of Sault Ste. Marie.

Getting to the trails from within city limits has never been easier as snowmobiles are allowed on most Sault Ste. Marie streets. In the Soo, you’ll be able to cruise throughout town, gas up the sleds and stop into one the locally owned coffee shops to fill up the caffeine reserves and grab a quick bite to eat. The city trails provide access to the main regional trail system via the 12- by 12-foot “Soo Tunnel” that runs underneath I-75. In fact, the city is so snowmobile friendly that you’ll be able to take your sled right from your hotel room to the trailhead.

Sault Ste. Marie

Once you’ve hit the trails, you’ll notice that a labyrinth of routes connects a variety of small communities, national forests, state forest lands, snow-covered hills and plains across the region. Touring the Eastern Upper Peninsula by snowmobile is both exhilarating and awe-inspiring. Some believe it’s the optimal way to take in the UP during the winter. You’ll be able to see wildlife throughout your drive as well as find some great places to eat at tucked-away restaurants and taverns.

Once you venture deeper into the trail system by heading west on the ever-popular Trail #8 toward Brimley, be prepared for a spectacular view! This popular trail leads you through the Hiawatha National Forest and includes the Mission Hill Overlook. Here you can enjoy a quick pit stop to really appreciate the beauty of Monocle Lake and, just beyond that, Lake Superior. Just a bit further west past Bay Mills will bring you to the Point Iroquois Lighthouse, a staple of the area that everyone should visit.

Not enough can be said about Trail #8. It really is a must-ride for all snowmobilers looking to take in the Upper Peninsula’s unparalleled beauty. It leads straight to Paradise, Michigan, right along Lake Superior. Nearby Whitefish Point is just ahead. Although the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is closed during the winter, this is still a stop all riders should make to see the Big Lake itself.

You’ll be able to take your sled right up to one of Michigan’s most famous locations, Tahquamenon Falls State Park. The two waterfalls at the state park are the epitome of what makes the Upper Peninsula so spectacular. The Upper Falls is one of the most powerful waterfalls east of the Mississippi and should be on everyone’s bucket list. Plus, the area has the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub that has dine-in and takeout food available that’ll make even the coldest rides worth it.

Sault Ste. Marie

Throughout your adventure westward from the Soo, you’ll come across tons of small towns and villages. Bay Mills, Raco, Newberry and Paradise are just some of the areas you’ll be able to swing through to fuel up the sled. Whether you look to continue even further west into the heart of the Upper Peninsula and onwards towards Wisconsin or circle back to the Soo, these mostly flat trails and numerous locations to stop at make it all possible.

Sault Ste. Marie prides itself on the quality of its snowmobile trails. Riders will surely notice the hard work and dedication put into making these trails into some of the best in the whole Midwest. The Sault Ste. Marie Snowmobile Association is a collective of volunteers who help build and maintain the trails. They groom a dozen trails in the area that provide more than 100 miles of trails.
Each fall they check the area to make sure proper signage is in place and cut any branches or brush that protrude onto the trail. Then, as soon as snowfall begins, they start the grooming process. They are a must-have reference for planning your snowmobiling trip to the Soo and they help provide plenty of updates on the trail systems. Likewise, they offer a ton of information on regulations for snowmobilers operating within city limits.

While Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding area are famous throughout the Midwest for having some of the highest yearly snow yields in the country, it’s always a great idea to scout ahead. Along with the Sault Ste. Marie Snowmobile Association, the Sault Ste. Marie Convention & Visitors Bureau can provide updates on the trails and weather conditions in the area. On top of that, you’ll want to make sure you get the perfect hotel room and map out your treks. Visit for more information on booking your next snowmobile getaway.

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