Trip Planner:   USA  /  Michigan  /  Upper Peninsula  /  Sault Ste. Marie  /  Soo Locks

Soo Locks, Sault Ste. Marie

Must see · Landmark · Tourist Spot
Create an itinerary including Soo Locks
See how 10,000 ships travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes every year at Soo Locks. Historically significant, the first versions of these locks were built in 1855 to accommodate a 6.4 m (21 ft) drop between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, and they still are noted for their engineering prowess. Today vessels traveling through the lock system here transport more than 86 million tons of cargo. The locks are named for the two cities on either side of the St. Marys River, one in Michigan and one in Canada. Both cities are names Sault Ste. Marie, with Sault pronounced as "Soo." The locks now make up 2.6 km (1.6 mi) of a canal that is run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Plan your Soo Locks visit and explore what else you can see and do in Sault Ste. Marie using our Sault Ste. Marie travel route planner.
Improve this listing »
Create a full itinerary - for free!

Soo Locks reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,696 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We made a quick stop here. We happened to see one ship being lowered and one being raised at the same time! Worth the stop! 
    We made a quick stop here. We happened to see one ship being lowered and one being raised at the same time! Worth the stop!  more »
  • Great experience. Good viewing platform Make sure you call to find out when & how many ships are expected. We enjoyed it. 
    Great experience. Good viewing platform Make sure you call to find out when & how many ships are expected. We enjoyed it.  more »
  • This was so cool-- a 1000 foot tanker was coming through the locks as we were visiting. It was fascinating to see it being raised by the water! 
    This was so cool-- a 1000 foot tanker was coming through the locks as we were visiting. It was fascinating to see it being raised by the water!  more »
Google
  • Soo Locks A man-made marvel and the busiest lock system in the world, by cargo tonnage, yes the Soo Locks! On average, between seven and ten thousand ships come through the locks during the shipping season each year. Built in 1855, these locks connect Lake Superior to Lake Huron and beyond. Fantastic to go through it Looks identical to the Panama Canal.. Less tech Soo much development happening.. will be great in the years to come .. A Must Visit
  • We passed through Soo Locks on a Viking Great Lakes Cruise. The process was really cool. Once in the Lock we rose 21 feet to enter Lake Superior. We saw lots of your boats while waiting. The tour is definitely worth it.
  • This is a boat tour you do not want to pass on. $30 when booking online vs $33 in person. We spent 2 hours out on the water and learned a lot. Spectacular views and up close experience of the engineering marvel that it is. So cool!
  • When in the area - stop by for sure. Entrance is free. Watch the process of ships entering or coming from Lake Superior. It’s a nice show. The town is also nice, small with many shops, some restaurants and ice cream shops. I always enjoy it.
  • If you can’t visit Panama Canal then this is the closest you can get. Tens of Thousands of ships pass through the canal per year shipping iron ore, steel. The ferry experience was amazing to witness the lowering and lifting by opening and closing under water valves after closing gates. Truly an engineering marvel. The ferry passes by Algoma Steel explaining the steel industry. The rail bridge structure was quite phenomenal as well. Overall, this is a great few hours ferry trip on a good sunny day.

Plan your trip to Sault Ste. Marie

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.