The St. Marys River stretches for almost 75 miles, connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron but there is one area in particular that is a go-to for us when we are in Sault Ste. Marie. This few mile stretch is where our "St. Marys Grand Slam" takes place and it consists of paddling, hiking, fishing and finding a freighter.
We start off the grand slam by paddling. The spot to launch for this area is from Rotary Park. There is a really nice launch that leads to endless paddling opportunities through the islands in the area and is one of our all-time favorite places to paddle. This is the spot to get amazing views of freighters passing by, calm paddling between islands and the opportunity to see wildlife like bald eagles.
To complete our St. Marys River Grand Slam, a freighter needs to be seen and there is a bonus if it is a 1,000 footer. While paddling, we were able to see the Philip R. Clarke pass by. While not a 1,000 footer, it is a beautiful class style freighter. At this point we had paddled and during the paddle, spotted a freighter. 2 of the 4 parts of the Grand Slam were completed!
@mi_playground Freighter talk with Nick #miplayground #saultstemarie #greatlakessailor #boatnerd ♬ original sound - mi_playground
There is a unique opportunity for hiking in this area and it takes place on Voyager Island Voyager Island has hiking trails built throughout it and is only accessible by paddled vessels such as kayaks, canoes and paddleboards. The landing area for Voyager island is a short paddle from the Rotary Park launch. Our recommendation is to do a longer paddle either before or after going to hike Voyager Island. There is the opportunity to hike all of the island then paddle around it, which leads to a cool experience from both land and water.
@mi_playground Voyager Island in Sault Ste. Marie #miplayground #saultstemarie #stmarysriver ♬ original sound - mi_playground
Our favorite part of Voyager Island is Freighter Trail. The name says it all. It is a great spot to see freighters. As we were hiking we realized we had the opportunity to see another freighter. This time it was a 1,000 footer, the Edwin H. Gott. This freighter has been a special one for us this year as we got to board the Gott as it was waiting to be the first freighter through the Soo Locks for the 2023 shipping season.
@mi_playground Its our friend Eddy Gott #miplayground #saultstemarie #soolocks #edwinhgott ♬ original sound - mi_playground
After returning from Voyager Island and paddling, we were back at Rotary Park. Right there is a drive-in hamburger restaurant called Clyde's. Clyde's is an iconic place in Sault Ste. Marie. We decided to go big with their 3/4 lb Big "C" burger. Our recommendation is to get your Clyde's and watch the freighters or the Sugar Island Ferry go by.
@mi_playground Cylde’s vs West Pier #miplayground #saultstemarie #thesoo ♬ original sound - mi_playground
The last thing we accomplished as part of our St. Marys River Grand Slam was to catch a fish. For this part, we called in the support and went fishing with our dad and completed the challenge with a nice smallmouth bass and a walleye. As for fishing in the Soo, there are multiple boat launches along the river and also a kids fishing area right at Rotary Park.
@mi_playground Possibly the most challenging part of the St. Marys River Grand Slam, catching a fish. #stmarysriver #saultstemarie #fishing #smallmouthbass #walleye ♬ original sound - mi_playground
Overall, the St. Marys River Grand Slam was a success! If you complete the grand slam, let us know!