Tourism Businesses Get Creative to Reclaim the Summer Season


Outfitters Partner with Sault Hotel to Promote Algoma Tourism with Adventure Contest

After months of lockdown and with borders still closed, travelers are looking for experiences closer to home. Algoma tourism operators see an opportunity to promote the amazing outdoor activities available in the region – surrounded by open spaces where physical distancing is a breeze.

To highlight Algoma’s adventure opportunities, The Water Tower Inn teamed up with outfitting and attraction partners Red Pine Tours, the Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy, the Art Gallery of Algoma and Tyler Dunn Guiding to create the Ultimate Algoma Adventure Contest.

The Water Tower Inn, a 176-room full-service inn in Sault Ste. Marie, invested in their Trailhead Adventure program, to connect travelers with local outfitters, activity and itinerary planning information. “We’ve always seen Sault Ste. Marie as a destination, not just a stop along the trans-Canada. The city is an ideal base for exploring the Great Lakes Heritage Coast and the many natural wonders in Algoma, including cycling, paddling, hiking, fishing and mountain biking. And the Sault boasts incredible cultural and dining experiences, too. We want to help travelers discover those adventure opportunities”, says Jamie Hilsinger, Marketing Manager at The Water Tower Inn.

“We’re stronger if we work together. If Algoma tourism operators can support each other, then we all have a chance at successfully exiting this challenging season. And maybe if we’re lucky, more Ontario tourists will realize that amazing and memorable experiences really do exist in their backyard.”

The Ultimate Algoma Adventure Contest runs until July 12th. The $4000 prize pack for 4 includes:

  • $1500 Water Tower Inn gift card for accommodations and meals
  • ½ day bike tour courtesy of Red Pine Tours
  • ½ day guided fishing trip courtesy of Tyler Dunn Guiding
  • Group of Seven painting session with a local Art Gallery of Algoma artist
  • 2-hour guided Canoes for Conservation trip in a voyageur-style canoe courtesy of the Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy
  • Itinerary planning with the Inn’s Adventure Host

To enter, go to


About The Water Tower Inn

The Water Tower Inn has been a Sault icon for over 45 years. The family-owned and operated full-service hotel is a BW Premier Collection property. It features four pools, fitness centre and two on-site restaurants. The proprietor of the Inn, JJ Hilsinger, has been instrumental in tourism development in Sault Ste. Marie since the 1970s, spear-heading HATS, the organization that would eventually become Tourism Sault Ste. Marie. Hilsinger developed and operated local ski area, Searchmont Resort, from 1985-2000, attracting over 85,000 annual visits to the region. The Water Tower Inn also owns the Trout Lake Preserve, dedicated to 550 acres of pristine boreal forest.


Sault Ste. Marie Information and Facts

History & Facts:

  • The Ojibwe settled here thousands of years ago – artifacts dating back to 7,000 B.C. have been found.
  • First Nations named the area “Bawatigong”, anglicized to “Bawating”, meaning “water that jumps” (rapids).
  • In 1632, Samuel Champlain drew a map of New France as explored to date and marks the Sault, making it one of the first named places on any map of the New World.
  • The Sault Ste. Marie Canal, built in 1895, was the world’s longest lock, the first to operate using electricity and the last link in an all-Canadian navigational chain from the Atlantic to Lake Superior. There are remnants of old canoe locks that date back to the 17th
  • Chippewa Falls, the midway point of the Trans-Canada highway, is located just north of the City, marked by a plaque at that point.



  • Whitefish Island, an important gathering place for the Three Fires Confederacy between the Ojibway, Potawatomi, and Odawa Peoples. Here treaties were created, trading occurred, and relations were solidified. The island on the Sault waterfront is managed by Batchewana First Nation and includes various trails and lookouts.
  • Shingwauk Hall, a former residential school located on the grounds of Algoma University, now houses the Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall exhibit. An amalgamation of a museum, interpretation centre, and memorial, the history of this site is told alongside the larger narrative of the fight for self-determinization against colonialism.


Group of Seven

  • Group of Seven Painters came to the Algoma area from 1918–1923, including Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, J.E.H. MacDonald and Arthur Lismer. They rented a boxcar and outfitted it like a cabin which was shunted to sidings near choice painting locations. From there they would go along the track on foot and by canoe throughout the wilderness. Area painting sites are marked with interpretive plaques.
  • The Art Gallery of Algoma holds Group of Seven painting classes and tours.
  • The Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site sells Group of Seven-themed picnics and is organizing interactive dinner theatre productions in the fall.

Biking – road cycling, mountain biking and fat biking

  • The Economic Development Corporation secured $500,000 in funding in Spring 2020 to develop multi-purpose mountain bike trails from just north of the city (Hiawatha Highlands) to Searchmont Ski Resort.
  • The Hub Trail is a 26km multi-purpose trail that circumnavigates the city. It connects to all major attractions, as well as local breweries, dining and shopping.
  • Hiawatha Highlands features over 60km of hiking/biking trails within city limits. The park is highly accessible to hikers of all levels. Partnered with the Sault Cycling Club, Hiawatha has developed fat biking trails for winter use.



  • Salmon, walleye, pike, bass, yellow perch and trout are common in the area.
  • The Sault rapids in the St. Mary’s River boast excellent fishing year-round, as once referenced by Ernest Hemingway.
  • Innumerable lakes, including Lake Huron and Lake Superior provide unique and varied fishing experiences.


  • Canoes for Conservation offers 2-hour guided trips in a 14-person Voyageur-style canoe from the Sault Canal to Whitefish Island and down the St. Mary’s River, along the Sault waterfront. The extensive interpretation covers the ecology, geology and history of the area.
  • The Lake Superior Water Trail encircles the greatest expanse of freshwater on Earth. Part of this ancient water route extends 1000 km (600 miles) along the Canadian coastline of Lake Superior between Gros Cap Marina Park on Whitefish Bay and Fisherman’s Park on Thunder Bay. The water trail is a significant link in the Great Trail by Trans Canada Trail, a 24 000 km (15 000 mile) trail system from ocean to ocean to ocean.



  • Stokely Creek and the Robertson Cliffs offer cliff-top vistas of Lake Superior and boreal forest, just 20 minutes north of Sault Ste. Marie.
  • Lake Superior Provincial Park, 60 minutes north of the Sault, offers a variety of hiking trails, lookouts, backcountry camping, beaches and more.