SUP, Sip, and Snack In and Around The Soo

5 fun paddling adventures for foodies visiting Sault Ste. Marie.

If you’re adventurous with paddling and food, this article is for you! As a stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) adventurer and foodie, finding travel destinations that combine my love for the great outdoors and good food (and drinks!) is the icing on the cake 😉

On a recent trip to Algoma Country, home of the Anishinaabe since time immemorial, I finally got to spend some quality time in and around Sault Ste. Marie (SSM), also known as The Soo, and traditionally known as Baawaating to the Ojibwe. In previous trips, I’d beeline to Lake Superior Provincial Park or Pukaskwa National Park (two of my favourite parks in Ontario), passing right through SSM. This time, I made it to my home base, unlocked some paddling spots, met local outfitters (new paddling friends!) and discovered some foodie-approved places in and around town.

Whether you’re travelling through Sault Ste. Marie, or a local, here are a few ideas on combining a paddling adventure with some delicious stops along the way.

Before heading out on your adventure:

  • Check the weather, water levels and conditions, or go with one of the recommended certified guides or outfitters mentioned in this article.
  • Wear the right gear according to the weather and water you’re playing in.
  • Always wear a lifejacket and a SUP leash if you’re on a paddleboard.
  • Review Transport Canada’s Safe Boating Guide (which includes info for human-powered watercraft). 

1. SUP & Sip Cedar Tea with Thrive Tours

thrive-tours-paddling
Photo Credit: Diana Lee

Go on an Indigenous-guided paddling experience that will open your mind and palate! Thrive Tours is an Indigenous-owned and operated eco-tourism company offering customizable outdoor recreation excursions combined with local Indigenous practices and philosophies. Participants learn about traditional knowledge and stories on the water and by the campfire during fireside chats with Indigenous food-sharing experiences. 

thrive-tours-kayaking
Photo Credit: Diana Lee

Paddling ability: All levels, no paddling experience required. Thrive Tours also offers guided hiking adventures.

2. SUP (or Hike) Fish & Chips with Forest The Canoe 

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Photo Credit: Diana Lee

Discover an in-land lake, hike to breathtaking lookouts, and fuel up at food stops along the way! Forest The Canoe’s trained interpretive guides offer half-day or full-day adventures like the Friends of the Fall Colours Tour, where transportation, canoe rental, lunch and post-paddle treats are all included.

Paddling Ability: All levels, no paddling experience required.

grannys-fish grannys-fish2
Enjoy the catch of the day (pickerel, fresh caught from Lake Superior that morning!) at Granny’s Fish & Chips in Goulais River, one of the many locals-know stops along our tour.

3. SUP & SIP the City  

waterfront-centre
Photo Credit: Diana Lee

Whether you’ve got your own boat or board, or you’re looking to rent a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard, Sault College’s Waterfront Adventure Centre (WAC) is a beautiful community space that welcomes you to the water. Situated right along St. Mary's River, you can launch your watercraft from the pebble beach, dock, or accessible boat launch. Enjoy a latte from the Ziibi café (River Café) inside the WAC or soak in the views from the cute little patio.

Looking for recommendations to go after your paddle? Freshen up using their inclusive facilities (with showers!) on-site, then head over to:

peace
Photo Credit: Diana Lee

You can also rent out the WAC for your own paddle party!

Paddling Ability: Paddling experience is required. Check the WAC’s website (and Thrive Tours’ website, as they share the space with the WAC) for workshops and social events. 

4. SUP, Shawarma & Beach 

Looking for a quiet paddling and picnic spot? Just 25 minutes out of downtown Sault Ste. Marie is Point Des Chenes Park, which has a sandy beach and open access to Lake Superior. Before heading out of downtown SSM, stop by Georgie’s Shawarma, an authentic Syrian restaurant, and buy everything (seriously, the food is so good here! You can’t go wrong 😊). I bought a traditional shawarma wrap for my afternoon on the beach and wished I had bought more of their pita chips and hummus for the road back to Toronto. 

lunch
Photo Credit: Diana Lee

Read about Georgie’s story from Syria to the Sault here.

Paddling Ability: Paddling experience is required.

Not into paddling? There is also a Disc Golf Course, and green grassy picnic spots to enjoy an afternoon by the water. 

5. SUP Retreat & Picnics at Northern Skies Resort 

sunset-northern skies
Photo Credit: Diana Lee

Looking to get out of town for a more remote adventure? Pack your bags, paddling gear, and food, and immerse yourself in the peaceful wilderness at Northern Skies Resort. Paddle on Chub Lake or explore one of the area's many nearby lakes (or hikes). Enjoy starry skies every night from the comfort of your cozy, lakeside drive-up cottage or backcountry cabin.

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Photo Credit: Diana Lee

Northern Skies Resort is the perfect choose-your-own picnic and paddling adventure and retreat! I stayed in the Pine Cabin, which has a private dock and sandy beach for you to watch all the misty sunrises and stunning sunsets during your stay. Prep your food in the spacious cabin (complete with an open kitchen and gas stove), bring it down to the beach, or paddle to spots across the lake for a different change of view.

ojibway-park
Photo Credit: Diana Lee

Looking for a retreat closer to Sault Ste. Marie? Ojibway Park, located in Garden River First Nation (GRFN), has waterfront cabins, campsites, and shower facilities/comfort stations available.

About Diana Lee

Diana Lee lives for adventure, the great outdoors and SUP! She is a certified ISA and WPA SUP Instructor, a librarian, and a reporter for Get Out There Magazine. Find out what she’SUP to @only1phoenixx on Instagram and Twitter.

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