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Pure Paddling in Sault Ste. Marie

Ever wonder where the perfect place is for your dream adventure? Book your stay in Sault Ste. Marie today and find unlimited exploration options along specially tailored water trails and Voyageur Island. The island is a hidden gem on the St. Marys River that takes you to a place where you will feel like you are on your own private estate. You will have a front-row seat to passing freighters and have the chorus of birds as your soundtrack. The beauty of this retreat is that it is only a 30-minute kayak paddle from Rotary Park in the Soo!

There is something to be said about experiencing the St. Marys River from land and from the water. The ability to quietly paddle through its crystal clear water brings you so close to nature and the true spirit of Sault Ste. Marie. Take a few moments to gaze at the reflection of the sky on the surface of the water as you float along the river. You’ll find the stress from the hustle and bustle of everyday life melt away. Before 2016, Voyageur Island was a lost wilderness of overrun hiking paths. With the direction of Dennis Dougherty and a team of 70 volunteers, what was once a dream became a reality of well-maintained trails and newly-built paddling docks. Voyageur Island is now a free destination for all to explore.

a hidden gem

Voyageur Island Park is a “water trail” paddling destination. Paddlers may launch at Rotary Park or the Charles T. Harvey Marina.


Voyageur Island Park is supported by the Sault Tribe Partnership to Improve Community Health Project, made possible with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; City of Sault Ste. Marie, MI; EUP Regional Planning and Development Commission; and the Island Trail Volunteer Group.

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a hidden gem

There’s a spot on the St. Marys River that takes you to a place where you will feel like you are on your own private island. You will have a front row seat to the passing freighters and have the chorus of birds as your soundtrack. The beauty of this retreat is that it is only a 30 minute kayak paddle from Rotary Park in the Soo!

There are even two launch points to choose from to begin your kayak excursion! Head eastward on Portage Avenue (which becomes Riverside Drive) to Rotary Park and launch your vessel from the dock there. Or, keep heading east on Riverside Drive and launch from the Harvey Marina.

Once you reach the dock on Voyageur Island, take this opportunity on the secluded and serene island to slow down.

walk the path

The path will vary from boardwalk to rustic walking trails, but that is the charm that makes the island so special. As you traverse the semi-wilderness take a moment to look more closely at the trail. You may see deer tracks or even moose tracks!

There are a few featured comforts on the island to help you feel at home. There is a compost restroom and many benches to rest and get the perfect photo of passing freighters and wildlife on the river.

watch the freighters

Follow the easy to read trail maps along the way to find the various wildlife viewing platforms and the best sites to get amazing views of the passing freighters on the St. Marys River. Watching a freighter pass the island is definitely an experience to remember.

a nature getaway

There is something to be said about experiencing the St. Marys River from land and from the water. The ability to quietly paddle through its crystal clear water brings you so close to nature and the true spirit of Sault Ste. Marie. Take a few moments to gaze at the reflection of the sky on the surface of the water as you float along the river. You’ll find the stress from the hustle and bustle of everyday life melt away.

The wild nature of the Upper Peninsula is encompassed in these waters and islands along the St. Marys. Make your trip Up North a memorable one with a day trip by kayak (or paddle board!) to Voyageur Island.

Don’t forget to tag your photographs with #ilovethesoo on your social media so we can share in the fun! For more photos of Voyageur Island and beyond follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

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