Hiking the Attikamek Trail

I’m co-hosting the Wellness Wednesday November 13th link up with my blogger friend, Leslie. The optional prompt is Healthy Holidays so in this post I’m sharing a hike that my family and I did during our mini-vacation in Sault Ste. Marie, a city on the shore of the St Marys River connecting Lake Huron and Lake Superior.

Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (green marker)

About the Attikamek Trail

The Attikamek Trail is located at the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site of Canada, easily reached from the city centre. It’s 2.2 km long (1.4 miles) on flat terrain. Attikamek means white fish.

Hiking the Attikamek Trail

We started from the Sault Ste. Marie Canal gate, crossed the lock, and followed an accessible pathway onto south St. Marys Island. The weather was overcast, cool, and calm without any wind so it felt quite comfortable for an outdoor hike.

Looking towards the International Bridge
The Attikamek trail is on the left in this photo.

We soon entered the packed gravel trail path, surrounded by autumn foliage, from green to various shades of yellow and red. Part of the trail let us walk under the International Bridge, built in 1962.

Attikamek Trail

The Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge spans the St. Marys River between the United States and Canada, connecting the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

International Bridge in Sault Ste. Marie

We stopped by St. Marys Rapids to listen to the sounds of the water and watched a few dedicated fishermen patiently waiting for a good catch. The packed gravel and leaf-laden trail then turned into a wide wooden boardwalk with lovely views on both sides.

Boardwalk

A flock of small birds happily greeted us at the boardwalk. They had light yellow and some black feathers. I think they’re warblers. Can you see a bird blended in with the berries in the centre of the photo below?

We enjoyed the calm reflection of autumn foliage, woods, and wetlands in the river. A family of ducks lazily swam along while other ducks were just watching us.

Autumn reflections
Ducks

Further along the trail, we found a few beaver dams but no beaver in sight since they usually work at night. What looks like a heap of branches is protection against their predators and gives them access to food during winter.

A beaver dam
A beaver dam

At the end of the Attikamek trail we reached the Sault Ste. Marie lock and walked around to examine how it works. The lock operation to raise or lower vessels that go from Lake Huron to Lake Superior is fascinating and deserves a separate blog post.

Looking towards the Locks
The lock is behind the white bridge at the end of the photo.

It was a nice short hike on a calm afternoon in Sault Ste. Marie. Altogether we walked about 3 km (1.8 miles) and experienced the wonder of quiet woods and wetlands. Happy trails!

Click here to join the Wellness Wednesday link-up and share your health goal updates or healthy holiday ideas.

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37 thoughts on “Hiking the Attikamek Trail

  1. Jo November 13, 2019 / 6:07 am

    Thanks for the reminder to link up. I’ll duck over and do it now. It’s been fun heading on this hike with you.

    Like

    • Natalie November 13, 2019 / 10:06 am

      Thank you, Jo, for joining me on this hike virtually and linking up. Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Laurie November 13, 2019 / 7:35 am

    What a beautiful place to take a hike! I loved your photos of the bridge. Thank you for hosting!

    Like

    • Natalie November 13, 2019 / 10:07 am

      Thank you, Laurie, for joining us. This trail is easy to do and very pretty in the Fall.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Joanne Sisco November 13, 2019 / 7:57 am

    This looks like a very pretty walk, especially in the fall. I tried to find out whether this section of trail was part of the TransCanada but I couldn’t find any definitive answer. Did you happen to notice any “Great Trail” signs?

    Like

    • Natalie November 13, 2019 / 10:26 am

      This trail is very close to the TransCanada Trail, just across the lock. I saw the TransCanada Trail pavilion on the waterfront in Clergue Park and the Great Trail signs. I also saw the Trail Triad sign. The Trail Triad includes the Voyageur Hiking Trail, the HUB Trail, and TransCanada Trail so there are amazing hiking opportunities in and around the Soo.

      Like

      • Joanne Sisco November 14, 2019 / 7:39 am

        hmmm – I may have to put the Sault on my must-do list for next year.

        Like

        • Natalie November 14, 2019 / 9:35 am

          The area near Lake Superior is incredibly beautiful. I think it stays so pristine due to its remote location and small human population.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Alice DeForest November 13, 2019 / 11:23 am

    Enjoyed the hike, good place to take in the change of season

    Like

    • Natalie November 13, 2019 / 11:57 am

      Thank you, Alice, for your comment. Yes, this is an easy and pretty hike by a National Historic Site so there are many interesting things to explore.

      Like

  5. Lydia C. Lee November 13, 2019 / 5:50 pm

    The beaver dam is cool! (I guess cos we don’t get them!)

    Like

    • Natalie November 13, 2019 / 5:56 pm

      I knew some of my blog readers haven’t seen a beaver dam so I included it in this blog post.

      Like

  6. Min Write of the Middle November 13, 2019 / 5:52 pm

    What a gorgeous hike! Beautiful photo’s Natalie, and do you know – I’d never seen a beaver’s dam before so that’s something new I’ve experienced now thanks to you! 🙂 xo #TeamLovinLife

    Like

    • Natalie November 13, 2019 / 5:58 pm

      Thank you, Min, for your kind comment. Beavers are prolific dam builders. I know some of my blog readers haven’t seen a beaver dam so I included a photo in this blog post. That’s one of the many great things about blogging. We can share what’s unique in our city or country.

      Like

    • Natalie November 13, 2019 / 6:57 pm

      Thank you, Donna. I like that photo, too. The weather was very calm that day and we enjoyed the hike.

      Like

  7. Lisa Dorenfest ~ One Ocean At A Time November 14, 2019 / 9:51 am

    Your images are calling me home! It has been quite some time since I’ve traveled in these parts but they are forever etched in my mind and I’ve enjoyed visiting here again on your pages today. The autumnal tones are especially inviting as I don’t see much of those in the tropics.

    Like

    • Natalie November 14, 2019 / 10:01 am

      Great to hear from you Lisa. Hope your stay in Panama is going well. Autumn was spectacular in October up north. Once the leaves shed and the temperature dips here, the tropics are more appealing.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Natalie November 14, 2019 / 10:21 am

          We had our first and record-breaking snow storm at the start of this week. It will “warm up” and be back to normal but I’ve thought about visiting Panama or somewhere sunny and warmer 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Erica/Erika November 14, 2019 / 8:49 pm

    Hi Natalie, I love the extra information you add to your posts. Otherwise I would be googling additional information. Example: the meaning behind the name Attikamek. Again, your photos are gorgeous! It is almost as if you have a theme of trails and perspective in this post. I especially like the photo of the boardwalk. A lot of variety in this 3km walk🙂

    Like

    • Natalie November 15, 2019 / 10:49 am

      Thank you, Erica/ Erika, for your kind words. You’re right about a lot of variety in this 3 km walk. It felt like a very nice treasure hunt where pleasant surprises appeared to us as we followed the trail.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Deborah November 15, 2019 / 1:07 am

    Ohhhh… 2.2km I could do that. Not up a mountain of course but it’s certainly doable. I always think of hikes as being treacherous but realise that’s not the case. I like that you got to commune with nature but still look pretty close to civilisation.

    Like

    • Natalie November 15, 2019 / 10:55 am

      Great to hear from you Deb. You’re right about the positives of this hike. It’s on flat terrain, not too long to do, close to the city centre, and offers nature and a variety of points of interest.

      Like

    • Natalie November 15, 2019 / 7:27 pm

      Thank you, John and Susan, for your comment. I greatly appreciate your stopping by.

      Like

  10. OnceUponaTimeHappilyEverAfter.com November 15, 2019 / 10:03 pm

    Interesting to see a real beaver dam. Thinking I have never seen one before. What a scenic place to hike/walk. The photograph of the bridge and its reflection in the water is so peaceful. Would make a lovely painting.

    Like

    • Natalie November 16, 2019 / 10:38 am

      This is a nice hiking trail and would you believe that it’s on a small island? The scenery would be inspirational source for painters. We lucked out that it was very calm on the day of our visit.

      Like

  11. 3sistersabroad November 18, 2019 / 2:58 pm

    I felt that I walked along with you. That beaver dam wow…So do they hide in their during the day? and work at night? What a beautiful place to walk and so serene. thank you. #SeniSal

    Like

    • Natalie November 18, 2019 / 5:41 pm

      The beavers live in their “lodges” protected by the dam they build. They’re very smart nocturnal rodents and prolific builders. Their social structure is very interesting, almost like humans. If you have a chance to look up beaver on the web, I think you’ll find it an informational read.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 3sistersabroad November 19, 2019 / 2:32 pm

        I think our platypus is a relation and does the same. 🙂

        Like

    • Natalie November 20, 2019 / 5:10 pm

      Thank you for your visit and comment. I appreciate it.

      Like

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