Are you ready to hear about 4 things that we are looking forward to this winter in Sault Ste. Marie? Well, we are ready to share! The conditions are right for a winter adventure in the Soo.
1. Hockey and Ice Skating
There is a rink every few miles in Sault Ste. Marie and that leads to opportunities to watch hockey or have fun skating or playing some hockey yourself. First off, you can go to Lake Superior State University and watch an NCAA division 1 ice hockey team. The Lakers have won national championships in their past and the Taffy Abel Arena is a great venue for watching a game.
There is also a Junior A hockey team, the Soo Eagles. They play their home games at another one of the ice arenas, the historic Pullar Stadium. The Eagles games are a lot of fun themselves but the fact that their games are at the Pullar just add to the experience. Beyond the action on the ice, the Pullar also has another amazing burger option in Sault Ste. Marie, the Pullar Burger!
The Soo High hockey team calls the Big Bear Arena their home rink and are always a competitive team competing for top spots in the state of Michigan. Beyond that, if you are a fan of hockey, you can find games most nights at one of these rinks.
If you are looking to do some ice skating yourself, there are open skate times available and the Pullar is even offering curling, which is something we really want to try!
There is one more very unique spot and that is Kaine's Rink. This is an indoor ice rink that is naturally frozen when the conditions cooperate. This can be rented by the public and used for ice skating and hockey. Grab a group of friends or family and reserve a time for an amazing experience. Again, Kaine's rink is essentially an outdoor rink that is indoors so the temperatures need to be right for it to be open.
Here is a day trip idea. Start off by grabbing a coffee in Sault Ste. Marie and take the road trip out to Tahquamenon Falls. For the most scenic route, take the Curley Lewis Memorial Highway. You may also see the name Tahquamenon Scenic Byway. While visiting Tahquamenon Falls during the winter there are a couple of options to consider. The Upper Falls is the big waterfall that most people think of when they think of Tahquamenon Falls. During winter, the upper falls is typically easy to access and plowed. There is also the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub for a spot for great food and drinks during a visit.
The Lower Falls lead to an entire different experience. There is a parking lot but not the same one that would typically be parked in during other times of the year. This leads to more snowshoeing and hiking and if you are up for it, it is an amazing spot to snowshoe! Plan on spending multiple hours outside for the Lower Falls so the right gear, water and snacks are important. It has been a few years now since the bridge to the island at the Lower Falls has been in place so make sure to head to the island to experience the entire Lower Falls.
Snowshoeing, hiking, cross country skiing and, of course, snowmobiling. The Soo and surrounding area are full of trail options. Snowmobile trails are weaved into the city itself to allow access to hotels and restaurants in the area for making Sault Ste. Marie a great home base for snowmobiling. There are snowshoeing and hiking trails that currently exist and new ones being built at this time. A great resource for finding a trail or renting snowshoes would be to stop at Birdseye Outfitters. The staff there is knowledgeable on the trails and you can also learn more about O.U.T. House Consortium, a local non-profit that plays a big part in the non-motorized trails in the area. (You can check out the website here)
4. The Soo I-500 Snowmobile Race
Last but certainly not least is the Soo I-500 snowmobile race. This is a big event that takes place on the first Saturday in February. This year, that is Saturday February 3rd. There are events taking place all of race week that concludes with the main race all day on Saturday. 500 laps on a 1-mile ice oval that tests the drivers skills, the snowmobiles and the entire team. From a spectators standpoint, this event is one of a kind. Find a spot on the hill to watch the action, walk through the vendor tents and warm up with food and drinks. To learn more about what to expect for this event is to watch the video below! We hope to see you there!