Amazing Outdoor Experiences Just Minutes Away

Whitefish Island is a rich cultural site in downtown Sault Ste. Marie

Editor's Note: When visiting, please do not feed the birds and animals that make their home on Whitefish Island. Thank You! 

A very rich cultural island teeming with history, flora and fauna lies within Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario just below the International Bridge with the St. Marys River rapids flowing through it. This island is Whitefish Island which is a short walk across the Sault Ste. Marie Locks. It is a historical and cultural site, formed more than 2,000 years ago as an Indigenous settlement. Trading was done on the island and was a major source of food due to the abundance of whitefish. In 1997, the island was returned to Batchewana First Nation.

(Photo credit: Sheri Minardi Photography)
WhitefishIsland settlement
(Photo credit: Sheri Minardi Photography)

The Attikamek & Whitefish Island Trails are a wonderful area to explore. At the crossing to the island, you cross and large bridge that leads to the Batchewana First Nation sign that welcomes visitors to the island. As you explore the island, you walk along well-kept trails and will even pass the frames of a wigwam and tepee. For more history of the 22-acre Island, Active History has a wonderful article about the island.

Whitefish Island is well used for hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, jogging, family outings, and many Indigenous ceremonies, one being their fireworks each year on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

(Photo credit: Sheri Minardi Photography)
WhitefishIsland 15
(Photo credit: Sheri Minardi Photography)
WhitefishIsland ssm fireworks
(Photo credit: Sheri Minardi Photography)

The island is rich with migratory birds, water foul, fox, beaver, muskrat, fish, reptiles, eagles, owls, herons, and osprey.

WhitefishIsland fox
(Photo credit: Sheri Minardi Photography)
WhitefishIsland beaver
(Photo credit: Sheri Minardi Photography)
WhitefishIsland owl
(Photo credit: Sheri Minardi Photography)
WhitefishIsland canadagoose
(Photo credit: Sheri Minardi Photography)

If fishing is what you want to do, Whitefish Island falls into the Ministry's Zone 10 regulations. Photographers and bird watchers are often spotted on Whitefish Island, and every season brings new flora and fauna to observe.

WhitefishIsland flyfishing
(Photo credit: Sheri Minardi Photography)
WhitefishIsland bird
(Photo credit: Sheri Minardi Photography)
WhitefishIsland bird3
(Photo credit: Sheri Minardi Photography)
WhitefishIsland bird2
(Photo credit: Sheri Minardi Photography)

Come to Whitefish Island and take in the beauty of the island, learn the rich cultural history, smell the fresh blooming flowers, and listen to the calming waters running in the rapids, watch the animals in their habitats and the birds, but take nothing from the island except an amazing outdoor experience.

WhitefishIsland birdwithcatch
(Photo credit: Sheri Minardi Photography)

About Sheri Minardi

Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Sheri Minardi is a retired teacher from the Algoma District School Board. Along with a love of teaching, Sheri has a passion for photography. Sheri Minardi Photography captures the magnificent Algoma region through her lens. She loves to set out on adventures to capture wildlife, landscape and still life images. She also does commercial and lifestyle photography. She is a member of the Arts Council of Sault Ste. Marie, the Art Gallery of Algoma, a committee member of the Sylvan Circle Tour, and the admin of Photographers of Northern Ontario and Trading Post for Photographers on Facebook. Sheri is a freelance photographer and writer. To see more of her work, visit Sheri is also on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, 500px, ViewBug, Flickr, Google+, and Wordpress.

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