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Algoma’s Running Rapids and Waterfalls

Updated: By Sheri Minardi

I find nothing is more calming and therapeutic for your body and soul than waterfalls.  We are fortunate in Algoma Country to have quite a few both large and small.

Water is a natural resource we need to survive.  We have an abundance of it here in Algoma with the largest freshwater lakes in the world surrounding us. Lake Superior and Lake Huron are a sight to behold.  Once you move inland, you will find the most beautiful rapids and falls meandering along the inland waterways.

Here are a few of my favourite falls or rapids to visit.  Depending on the time of year you are exploring the falls, the water levels may be really high or quite low. Early spring may have thundering cascades of water or in late summer or autumn, the falls might be a trickle. There are many more beautiful falls that may be more remote or smaller that you can enjoy. Some of the falls listed may be accessed by car and the others require some hiking to access falls.

Before you go exploring waterfalls, be prepared with proper hiking footwear, layered clothing, a hat, bug spray, a water bottle and always hike with a buddy. Remember to respect all areas by staying on the trails and not leave any garbage behind.

SAULT STE. MARIE

St.  Mary’s River Rapids

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The historic St. Mary’s River Rapids is situated in downtown Sault Ste. Marie between the “Twin Saults” along the Hub Trail and Whitefish Island.  This is the ultimate “has it all” location in Algoma for running rapids, birding, fishing, hiking, and biking.  The famous Sault Ste. Marie Canal Historic National Site is also located here.  You will enjoy watching watercraft move through the canal.

Crystal Falls and Minnehaha Fall

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These beautiful falls are located in The Hiawatha Highlands Conservation Area.

Kinsmen Park is 97 hectares of land operated by the Kinsmen Club and the falls are on this property. You can also bike and hike the 35 km of trails in the summer and ski and snowshoe the trails all winter.  It is 13 km or an 18-minute drive from downtown Sault Ste. Marie.

Crystal Falls is gorgeous through all of the seasons.  There is a nice long boardwalk to the falls and then stairs to climb up the falls.  Crystal falls is a very popular location just north of the Sault.  Crystal Falls flows into a small lake in Kinsmen Park.  The water flows out of this lake to Minnehaha Falls. These falls are a lot harder to see but you can walk across the top of them on the dam bridge.  Your view will be from the top of the falls.

NORTH OF SAULT STE. MARIE

Robertson Cliff Falls

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Robertson Cliff Falls is along the very popular hiking trail Robertson Cliffs. If you take the trail counter-clockwise, the falls are only about a 15-minute walk in.  They are absolutely stunning in the fall.

Stokely Creek Falls

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Stokely Creek Falls is beside the Stokely Creek Lodge.  Stokely Creek Lodge is a very popular summer hiking and winter skiing and snowshoeing destination.

Chippewa Falls

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Chippewa Falls is along HWY 17 N.  You can see the falls right from the highway.  There is a hiking trail that takes you to the top of the falls.  These falls are beautiful in any of our four seasons.  It is worth the hike to the top of the falls.

Lake Superior Provincial Park

Park Passes are needed to park and hike.

Pinguisibi – Sand River Falls

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Pinguisibi is the Ojibwe name for the Sand River (pingui – :fine white sand”; sibi – “river”.   The Pinguisibi Trail is a trail that follows the cascading Sand River Falls.  It is a scenic river that runs through the park from the northeast corner to Lake Superior. The scenery changes from lowland forest and wetlands to hardwood hills and cliffs. As the river drops about 185 m (600 feet) in elevation from Sand Lake to Lake Superior, there are stretches of fast water, boulder rapids and scenic waterfalls. Water levels vary greatly from month to month and from year to year, depending on the precipitation.

Baldhead River Falls – Orphan Lake

To get to these falls, you need to hike the Orphan Trail. This hike is challenging in many places but worth the trip.

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Gargantua River Falls

To get to these falls, you need to hike the Gargantua Trail. This is another spectacular hike in Lake Superior Provincial Park.

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Wawa

Scenic High Falls (Magpie Falls)

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Scenic High Falls is also known as Magpie Falls.  Traveling from Sault Ste. Marie, the falls are 3 KM before Wawa on HWY 17.  Follow the road signs clearly marking the falls.  You will be turning left onto a dirt road for approximately 4.5 km.  Scenic High Falls is located at the end of the road.

Silver Falls

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Silver Falls is 5 km before Wawa. Traveling from Sault Ste. Marie up HWY 17 North towards Wawa, turn left onto the Michipicoten River Village turn off.  Make a right turn at the intersection and cross the Bailey Bridge.  Travel to the end of the block and make a left turn.  Follow the road and Silver Falls is approximately 1.5 km down.  There is also a Silver Falls Trail that is an easy walk for families. Camping is not permitted here.

EAST OF SAULT STE. MARIE

Little Rapids Falls

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Little Rapids is located 93 km east of Sault Ste. Marie in Thessalon.  It is about a 65-minute drive from Sault Ste. Marie.  It is a very pretty little waterfall just below the Little Rapids Dam.

A must-visit is the iconic Little Rapids General Store!

Chutes Provincial Park Falls

Chutes Falls are in the Chutes Provincial Park.

Chutes Falls is located just north of the town of Massey on the Aux Sables River. It is 213 km or a 2-hour 23-minute drive from Sault  Ste. Marie. There is a nice 6 km hiking trail to follow along the river.

NORTH OF THESSALON

Aubrey Falls

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Aubrey Falls is two hours and 24 minutes or 140 km from Sault Ste. Marie.   It is quite the long drive to Aubrey Falls but it is sure worth it.  Pack a good lunch and make a day trip of it!  Aubrey Falls is my favourite waterfall in Algoma.  It is steeped in history and has the most beautiful vistas as you hike the falls area.  It is the largest waterfall in the Lake Huron watershed.

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Potholes Provincial Nature Reserve Falls

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This is an easy hike in to see the very unique rock formations appropriately named Potholes and the running water has cut through the rock making beautiful holes to look through to see the falls.

There are many other beautiful falls in Algoma to find and enjoy.  The ones listed are some of my favourites.  Get out and enjoy discovering which falls are your favourites!  Check out these links to find more waterfalls in Algoma:

Helpful Links

Outdoors-hike-CTA-travel-guides

About Sheri Minardi

Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Sheri Minardi is a retired teacher from the Algoma District School Board. Along with the love of teaching, Sheri has a passion for photography. Sheri Minardi Photography captures the magnificent Algoma region through her lens. She loves to set out on adventures to capture Wildlife, Landscape and Still Life.

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