Getting Loopy in the Soo

A new day loop is now open for riders. Learn more about why riding out of the Soo is the perfect way to enjoy a day on the trails.

Welcome to the Soo, aka Sault Ste. Marie. When it comes to Ontario snowmobiling, it's all about adventure and good times. With 32,000 kilometres of groomed trail reaching far-flung corners of the province, planning the perfect snowmobiling experience can be a time-consuming challenge. Luckily, thanks to the efforts of many, we have at our disposal 36 OFSC self-guided snow tours to choose from. An impressive list to which we can now add the new Soo Highlands Loop.

A snowmobiler's approach to a day on the trails is often to get the most out of that day, from dawn to dusk, and long miles in the saddle is not uncommon. The Soo Highland Loop at 169 kilometres is not about that—instead, it's about finding the balance between snowmobiling, life, and good times. Think of it as an adventure with benefits, the perks being all the comforts and amenities of Sault Ste. Marie at your fingertips. 

Photo- Virgil Knapp / Sault Tourism

Choosing an Ontario snowmobiling destination for your next adventure is often dependent on attributes offered by both person and nature and Sault Ste. Marie is no exception.

Why choose the Soo for your next snowmobiling adventure? 

The nature side of things is hard to control. That said, nearby Lake Superior is well documented for dumping up to 300 to 350 cm (12 -14 feet) of snow on Algoma's 28,000 square mile landscape annually, allowing for one of the longest and dependable snowmobile seasons in Ontario.

Photo- Virgil Knapp / Sault Tourism

What can be controlled is your experience both on and off your snowmobile. The Sault Ste. Marie area's trails are always at their best, thanks to the Sault Trailblazers Snowmobile Club's efforts, and you will find the latest trail condition updates on their website.

Within Sault Ste. Marie city limits, you will find accommodations, parking for truck and trailer and easy trail access. Be sure to check the Sault Tourism website for the latest in stay and ride package deals.  

Photo- Virgil Knapp / Sault Tourism

Getting here couldn't be easier: from Southern Ontario, travel north along the Trans Canada Hwy 17. From the USA, visitors can access the Soo Highlands Loop via the international border or the border crossing on the ice bridge connecting Drummond Island, MI. to St. Joseph Island, ON. Of course, there is always the option of arriving by snowmobile from all directions along Ontario's groomed snowmobile trail network.

What to expect on the Soo Highlands Loop 

Once you've enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at your chosen Soo accomodations, you'll be ready to hit the trail for a day of riding. Follow trail D130 north until you reach the D trail. 

Whether you choose left or right, the destination is the same; lunch in Searchmont at the end of a pleasant, no-rush morning ride. The local preference is to make a right at the D trail, take in the Lake Superior view at Goulais River, and perhaps even take the short detour to the lake's shore.

More grand views welcome you in Searchmont, where you can enjoy lunch at the Searchmont ski resort or, on weekends, some home cooking at the Searchmont Community Centre.

Photo- Virgil Knapp / Sault Tourism

After lunch, continue south along the SMM 5 trail and back on to the D trail. The path widens and meanders through a pristine landscape of frozen lakes on the way back to Sault Ste. Marie.

Back at the hotel, enjoy a relaxing spa, a delicious meal and perhaps a night on the town.

Photo- Martin Lortz / Algoma Tourism

Yes, there is plenty of snowmobiling adventure to be had along Algoma's 3200 kms (2000 miles) of groomed snowmobile trails, and dawn to dusk and long miles in the saddle is always an option. The Soo Highland Loop offers a different experience. The opportunity for good times on the trail and off, balanced nicely with the comforts and amenities of Sault Ste. Marie at your fingertips.

About Martin Lortz

Martin Lortz is a freelance photographer/writer specializing in the outdoor lifestyle. Whether he is covering adventure motorcycling, kayak fishing or family oriented outdoor pursuits, his passion for capturing the beauty of nature and the people that partake in it, is evident in his work. His photos and articles have appeared in magazines such as Ski Canada, Explore, Bike, Mountain Life, Couloir, Kayak Angler and Family Camping, as well as in calendars, catalogs and brochures.

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