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How do I get there? Where do we meet to start the experience?

SSM Canal National Historic Site (Parks Canada)

 

Located at 1 Canal Dr, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 6W4, this is where our St. Marys River tours begin. To access Canal Dr. drive South on Huron St. in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, past the International bridge and over the train tracks. Take a left on Canal Drive and drive past the Mill Market, past the Clergue Hydroelectric, and enter the large, lower Parks Canada parking lot. Our tour group will be meeting here.

 

Bobbi Bennett Memorial Park

 

Located at 4817 Second Line W, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 6K4, this is where our Gros Cap tours begin. The entrance is on the left side of the road when travelling West, and there is a brown arrow accompanied by a blue marina launch sign on the right side of the road before the entrance. Park anywhere along the right side of the parking lot and the tour group will meet here. If leaving from Sault Ste Marie, plan for a drive approximately 30 minutes long.

 

Batchawana River and Bay 

 

The meeting point for this trip is located at Sunset Shores Resort 10243 Hwy 17N, Batchawana Bay. The entrance is south of the Batchawana River bridge. Other nearby attractions just to the north include Batchawana and Pancake Prov Parks and the Chippewa River.  

How do I get there?
Do I need to have any paddling experience to take part in a canoe tour?

No experience necessary. We start all of our adventures with a concise and practical paddling instruction, as well as a canoe safety discussion. We will make sure you are prepared for the tour, so that you can best enjoy it. Even those who have been in a canoe before are unlikely to have paddled in a canoe with a dozen others. This makes the perfect environment for the group to learn and paddle as a team. It is a new experience that we have designed to be accessible to a greater community, and not just for those who have held a paddle before.

 

All participants should be in good health and without medical conditions that could affect a person’s ability to stay upright in the canoe. We are able to accommodate to abilities of participants and not all passengers are required to paddle. Please give us a call ahead of time and we are enthusiastic to work together and get you out on the water. Likewise, if you are unsure about how your health or ability may affect your tour experience, feel free to give us a call.

Paddlin Experience
What is my tour route?
What weather should I expect?

Typically we get weather that ranges from:

May 

June 

July

August 

September 

5'C to 16'C

10'C to 21'C

13'C to 24'C

14'C to 23'C

9'C to 17'C

(41'F - 61'F)

(50'F - 70'F)

(55'F - 75'F)

(57'F - 73'F)

(48'F - 62'F)

Weather
What should I wear on the tour?

As a rule of thumb, it feels about 5 degrees cooler on the water than in the city. Plan for a bit cooler weather and the possibility of increased wind. We recommend dressing in layers, as you can always take a layer off. Bring a raincoat and a sweater.

 

May, June, September & October:

  • Pants

  • A jacket that is water repellent

  • Sweater

  • A warm base layer

  • A hat for sun protection

 

July & August:

  • Shorts in the afternoons

  • T-shirt, but still bring along a raincoat

  • A hat for sun protection

 

Although we have to dress a bit warmer, our unique location and climate often creates impressive weather phenomena due to the differences in water and air temperature.

What should I Wear?
What should I bring on the tour?
  • Cameras & binoculars - Consider a waterproof case, memory card, and batteries.

  • Phones are great to have along. For the enjoyment of all we ask that they be turned off.

  • Sunscreen and sunglasses 

  • Binoculars 

  • Water bottle (reusable) 

  • Insect repellent (not needed on the canoe tour but in the  

What should I bring
Pets, PFDs, Paddles ETC.

Pets

Service animals are welcome as long as they are registered and they are comfortable with you on the water.

 

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs / lifejackets)

We have a set that are comfortable, sized to fit all, are specifically designed for the experience and meet the necessary safety requirements.  You are required to wear a PFD at all times whiile on the water.

 

Paddles

We have a beautiful set of Grey Owl Paddle's traditional cherry wood paddles.

 

Valuables 

We don’t want to see anyone’s valuables lost overboard.  We strongly suggest a bag or pack to put your belongings in so they don't get wet or dropped overboard.

 

Food

We provide cedar tea and a small snack. Feel free to bring along any other snacks and definitely a water bottle.

 

First Aid Kits

The guides are trained in first aid and CPR, and have basic first aid supplies on board the canoe. Any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.   

 

Smoking is not permitted while in the canoe and any signs of intoxication, as assessed by your guide, will prohibit you from taking part in the tour.

What should I not bring?
Can I sit with a friend?

Our guides will assign seats for everyone as we load canoe so that our watercraft is balanced and everyone has room to paddle. Guides will do their best to seat friends and family beside each other, or in the next row of seats. Feel free to ask our guides if you would like to sit in a particular position in the canoe, or with a friend or family member. 

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MAIN 36 foot Canoe Graphic.png
MAIN 26 foot Canoe Graphic.png
Can I sit with a friend?
Do most people come with a paddling partner or family?

We encourage group bookings of family members, friends and co-workers. Booking as singles or couples requires that more paddlers register to fill the canoe to its minimum capacity. Email us with your preferred dates and group size and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Do most people come with a partner?
What are the guides like?

Our guides are fun, experienced outdoor enthusiasts that are equipped to deliver a safe and educational tour. They have backgrounds in environmental sciences, outdoor education and experiential learning, while also feeding a passion for our local stories. Guides will be sharing their knowledge about our local ecology, culture, and heritage. Although not experts themselves, our guides have many experiences interacting with primary sources of local ecology, culture and heritage. They are outdoor professionals that will help develop participants’ paddling skills, local knowledge and enjoyment and appreciation for the health of our waterways.

 

They are certified with the Ontario Recreational Canoe and Kayak Association to operate large Voyageur-style canoes, and are also trained in First Aid, CPR and the operation of VHF radios. Our guides are well qualified for the safety of this experience so that you can fully enjoy the tour.

 

Check out the guide profiles here.

What are the guides like?
How far away from shore will we be?

Canoe tours will always be in sightline with the shore and rarely be further than 10 m away. Most of the ecology and culture we will be interpreting will be most visible while near shore and it's this near-the-water perspective that offers our participants the most intimate viewing of local features. Our guides will also offer views with binoculars to see distant land features. Lastly, being closer to shore allows for quick exit of the waterway should the weather turn for the worse, or in any other safety related scenario where we need to get onto shore quickly.

How far away from shore?
When will I be able to use the washroom?

For your comfort and well-being, we ask that you arrive early and use the washroom facilities before the tour begins. At the Sault Locks Parks Canada site, there are public washrooms up the hill from the parking lot near the locks. At Gros Cap Marina Park, there is a public washroom just on your left as you drive in. There are public washrooms at Batchawana Prov Park just north of the Batchawana River tour, and at Sinclair Cove Lake Superior Prov. Park for the Pictographs Lake Superiortour. Again, please arrive early to locate the washrooms or ask your guides before the tour begins.  

Washrooms?
Children age 5 and over 

We love to have children learning more about our local ecology, culture and heritage. Therefore we offer specific tours and pricing to make the experience more accessible and catered to youth. We require that children are at least 4 and/or greater than 30 lbs/14 kg so that they are properly fitted with our children's PFDs. Children who aren’t able to paddle are welcome to sit in one of the middle seats.

Childrn 4 - 14 only
Seniors Price
Meals
What do you do with garbage on the tour?

We try to be waste free. If you do have garbage, please ensure it doesn't end up in the waterway.

Garbage?
Tell us more about the Big Canoe!

Canoes have attracted many naturalists and conservationists because of their direct connection with our environment. Bark canoes in our region were sustainably created from niche components of our forests. Big canoes further exemplify this innovative and environmentally sustainable design, by expanding the carrying capacity and seaworthiness of the canoe. Many people ask us about our big canoe in admiration of its construction that is also deeply rooted in the history of our region. Few modes of travel so ancient still exist and are still used in the same way. For comparison, archaeological evidence suggests that the canoe was invented 5000 years prior to the invention of the wheel!

Our 26-foot canoe was constructed by Ralph Frese, from Chicagoland Canoe Base.  It was built on a design documented by Edwin Tappan Adney and most resembles a birchbark canoe.

 

Our 36-foot canoe was constructed by Glen Fallis in Millbrook, Ontario. The canoe design is based off designs used during the fur trade, and were suited to carrying 1000s of pounds. This canoe is the one most used on our tours. It feels very stable especially for those paddling a canoe for the first time.

More about the canoe
Am I able to pay in person?

Our online booking system accounts for the seating available in the canoe. We appreciate etransfers sent to: info@superiorconservancy.org. Payments can be made through PayPal or a major credit card.  We can also make arrangements if you prefer to pay in person in cash prior to the tour.

Pay in person?
Do you bring a radio?

Portable radio communication is limited along the Superior coast, but guides carry a hand-held VHF marine radio. 

Do you bring a radio?
Do I tip My Guide?

Thank you, Merci, Miigwetch. If you think that your guide did a good job then you are more than welcome to reward them with a thank you, some positive feedback, or a tip. Feedback is the most important from our perspective at the LSWC as we want to know how we can best serve our clients with an exceptional experience. However, our guides do work as professionals and would absolutely appreciate a tip. Between 5-15% is a safe range depending on the length of the trip and how much you enjoyed it!

Do I tip my guide?
What happens if my tour gets cancelled? How will I be notified?

You will receive an email in the inbox of the address you provided in the booking process. If you see a forecast of heavy rain, high winds, or lightning on your tour day, please check your email to see whether your tour is cancelled. Also, we will notify you by phone. If we can arrange a rescheduled time, we will. If not, you will receive a full refund.

What if it's cancelled?
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