Parks Canada

Every site has its own story to tell and how it shaped Canada.

If you think you've done it and seen it all at the Parks Canada sites in Algoma Country, we think you may have only scratched the surface. The Algoma region is home to Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site and Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site

Think you know everything about these sites? Keep reading to find out what types of activities you didn't know you could do at our Parks Canada sites.

Parks Canada Discovery Pass

With the Discovery Pass, you can enjoy unlimited admission to all 80 sites for 12 months in Canada. 
www.parkscanada.gc.ca/pass 
PH: 1-888-773-8888

1. Heritage Demonstrations

demonstration outdoor cooking
(Photo credit: Lortz Photo)

History comes alive with demonstrations at Fort St. Joseph. Visitors can experience Flintlock Musket Firing, 18th Century Blacksmithing and Historic Bake Oven Cooking.

Flintlock Musket Experience - Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site 
A thrilling experience! Learn about the power of this type of firearm and its significance to the British military, civilians, and Indigenous peoples. You'll learn its inner workings, maintenance and care needed for this essential tool during the fur trade.  
Saturdays throughout July and August

18th Century Blacksmithing - Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site 
Sparks fly with frontier blacksmithing at the Fort. Learn about this ancient trade from blacksmiths at work who will teach you about items needed in daily life and the fur trade like forges, hammers, bellows and anvils.  
Fridays throughout July and August.

The Historic Bakeoven - Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site 
This oven was built using locally-sourced materials. The wood-fired oven is the same style as those used in the Fort's bakehouses. Smell the freshly baked bread and other treats while learning about early 1800s tools, utensils and techniques. 
Sundays throughout July and August 

Superintendent's Tea House - Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site 
Hosted at the elegant Superintendent's Residence, enjoy afternoon tea or coffee with tasty scones and treats on the verandah. The residence overlooks the lock and you may be able to catch sight of a boat passing through the historic lock. Reservations are required

2. Host Your Special Event

If you're looking for an out-of-the-ordinary place to host an event, the Sault Ste. Marie Canal Site NHS offers a lovely Victorian backdrop: beautiful gardens and the stunning red sandstone Gothic Revival Style architecture of the Superintendent's Residence. 
Host: wedding ceremonies, engagement photos, receptions, special events, and family get-togethers 
Contact: parkscanada.gc.ca/saultstemariecanal

3. Heritage Hide-and-Seek

If you like hiking and treasure hunting, then you'll love geocaching. The Heritage Hide'n'Seek GeoTour is a series of geocaches hidden at Parks Canada sites located in Northern Ontario that tell the story of the people, places, and events that helped shape Canada. It's really simple to participate in this GeoTour. All you need is a GPS device or a GPS-enabled mobile phone.

4. Hiking and Nature Walks

Fort St. Joseph NHS: Hike Huron's Edge 
A tour at Fort St. Joseph is a time-travel tour back to the early 1800s when the fort was a vibrant frontier outpost. Once you've completed a tour of the centre and grounds of the old fort ruins, there's more to explore.

  • The Rains Point Trail is a short walk (and wheelchair accessible) through the forest and then connects to an old road that leads to the site of an early settlement founded by Major Rains where you'll see the remnants of the grapevines, rose bushes, and lilac bushes that were planted over a hundred years ago.
  • The Cemetery Trail branches off this main trail and leads to an old cemetery containing graves dating from 1796 - 1812. Nature trails can take anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes.
  • Download the Trail Map by clicking here

Sault Ste. Marie Canal NHS: The Attikamek Trail 
Located on Whitefish Island, beside the Sault Ste. Marie Canal Site, follow the boardwalk and trails that will take you through this pretty island in the St. Marys River. Whitefish Island was once a gathering place for local Ojibwe fishermen to harvest whitefish. Today, the island is home to many birds, beaverville, and beautiful foliage. 

5. Cycling the Trails

red chairs, lake and bicycle
(Photo credit: Lortz Photo)

Both the Sault Ste. Marie Canal and Fort St. Joseph have fat bike rentals that can be used on-site to enjoy the trails. Adult and youth sizes are available and are on a first-come-first-serve basis. Or bring your own bike.

Other Experiences

The Red Chair Experience 
Connect with nature and take a rest on one of the red chairs located at Parks Canada sites across Canada, then share your moment with family, friends, and others across the country. Take a photo and use #sharethechair 
The Red Chair Experience

Heritage Gourmet 
Indulge your inner foodie with tried and true Canadian recipes from heritage sites across Canada that will impress your family and friends. 
Find Recipes by clicking here

About Heather Bot

I'm a staff writer for Algoma Country and I hope my articles entice you to plan your next vacation in Algoma. Our beautiful area has everything you need for a true outdoor adventure: fishing and hunting, epic touring routes and breathtaking outdoors. We are home to many awesome places to eat, cool places to shop, museums and galleries, festivals and events. 

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