The Paddle We Have Always Wanted

Growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, the Soo Locks were something that we took for granted. We knew people drove from all over to visit and see the freighters or take a Soo Locks Boat Tour boat through the Locks. We had been through many times, but we had never been through them like we recently experienced!

When we were planning our latest adventure in Sault Ste. Marie, we knew we had to do something new and exciting. We got in touch with our friends from Bird's Eye Adventures to talk about taking our paddleboards through the Locks. They have tours that bring people through the Locks, usually with kayaks. After some discussion, we had a plan. We were going to paddleboard through the Soo Locks! 

We prepped our gear (we thought) and met up with Jordan (Jordan's Instagram) and Dave (Dave's Insatgram), who have experience going through the Locks. As we were pumping up our boards, Nick realized he forgot his paddle so we had a slight delay while we went back to get it. Soon after, we were out on the St. Mary's River starting on the "Upper River." This means we would paddle into the recreational lock and be lowered 21 feet into the "Lower River." 

St. Mary's River Paddleboarding

As paddled out, we saw there were two freighters waiting to go through as well so we knew that we would be able to get some fun shots! One of the best parts of the paddle was paddling under the International Bridge as we approached the locks. We approached the staging area and made the call that we were ready to head through. We waited for the green light and made our way in. Our first time in the in the Soo Locks on our paddlebaords was here! As the gates closed, we noticed there was a family of ducks heading through with us and the mom duck seemed pretty concerned for her babies! It took about 15 minutes to be lowered down. As the gates opened, the ducks headed out, followed by us. 

International BridgePaddling the Soo Locks

Paddling through the Soo Locks

As we exited the locks, the first freighter was also leaving as well and was getting supplies delivered by the supply boat. After watching, we headed behind the Valley Camp, which is a museum freighter located in Sault Ste. Marie. We then went past the hydroelectic plant, which is an amazing structure that was completed in 1902!


Valley Camp

Soo Hydroelectric Plant

Soon after was our place where we got out of the river to end our journey. Going through the Soo Locks had been a bucket list trip for us and it didn't disappoint! Check out our full video here and subscribe to our YouTube Channel for future adventures! 

1 comment

Jayne Macomber

In your video you stated you had a guide from Bird’s Eye. Was it necessary to have a guide to show you where the recreational lock is located and make the call etc? Looking to kayak this in a couple of weeks. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Leave a comment