The Soo Locks Visitor Center will give you a start in understanding how the locks, which are 150 years old and still working, function to allow for ships to travel between Lake Superior and the rest of the Great Lakes. These locks are more accessible than the Panama Canal.
All of the attractions at the Soo Locks are free of charge. There are the observations platforms to watch the 1,000 foot freighters and other ships of the Great Lakes go from one lake to the other. There is the Visitor Center with informational displays and video presentations along with vessel arrival information (and really important there are CLEAN restrooms!) You can enjoy the shaded park land with their benches, beautiful gardens, additional informative displays and during the summer enjoy the free concerts every week.
Watch the water fountain multi-colored light display. Just relax in the peaceful setting and wait for the ships to come in.
The Soo Locks are the busiest locks in the world, and include the largest lock in the Western Hemisphere which was completed in 1968.
The St. Mary’s River is the only water connecting Lake Superior with the other Great Lakes. The river has one are known as the St. Mary’s Rapids that has a water falls of about 21 feet from the level of Lake Superior to the level of the lower lakes. Because of this natural barrier between the lakes created the necessity of building the locks project known as the St. Mary’s Falls Canal.
There are tours that you can take to experience going through the locks system. You can ride with the lake freighters on a boat that will travel along the international shoreline of the lower harbor. You can call 800-432-6301 to book your tickets. You can also take a Lighthouse Cruise and ride through the Soo Locks and explore the waterway as you see the variety of navigation markers leading ships to the Soo Locks from Lake Superior. Or perhaps you would prefer to take a dinner cruise and enjoy a relaxing narrated cruise while seeing Sugar Island North Channel and enjoy the buffet dinner onboard. The narrator will explain all the interesting sights you will see along the two water waterfronts of Sault Ste Marie, Michigan and Ontario, Canada.