Friday, August 19, 2011

Soo Locks

We recently drove to Sault Ste Marie to visit the Soo Locks. Arriving in town we had lunch at The Antlers which is decorated with you guessed it, antlers and also some stuffed animals like lions, bears, etc. We had grouper and Gouda sandwiches that were great.

The Soo Locks was created to aid large ships and freighters to navigate from Lake Superior to Lake Huron. The St. Marys Rivers is the only water connection from Lake Superior to Lake Huron but a series of rapids are the result of the 21 foot difference between the lake levels. Before the locks a large ship was laid on planks and then slowly moved across the rapids taking 3 months to move from lake to lake. Even smaller ships and boats had to portage around the rapids. The first locks were built in 1797 on the Canadian side and in the 1850's on the US side. To this day the locks operate toll free for any ships or boats and takes about 15 minutes to change levels.

We took the Soo Locks Boat Tour which is a two hour tour taking you first through the American locks, then explore the Canadaian side, and then back through the Canadian locks. It really was interesting and a great time seeing the locks operating firsthand.

Photos from this day have been uploaded to the St. Ignace set on

Here we are entering the locks from Lake Huron, 21 feet below Lake Superior.

The Lake Huron gates closing behind us.

Water flowing from Lake Superior to the locks raising the level.

Water rising raising the tour boat.

Gates open at Lake Superior level.

Another great day on the UP.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

1 comment:

  1. Great tour of the locks. Always enjoy watching the ships go through them. I have had a chance to go through the locks a number of times on Great Lakes freighters.