Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

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St. Joseph Island

Head east from Sault Ste. Marie and discover scenic St. Joseph Island. The island is a world unto itself and on this tour you'll visit the communities of Richard’s Landing and Hilton Beach as well as historic Fort St. Joseph. You will find beaches, quaint restaurants and miles of scenic country roads as you criss-cross the Island, but don’t forget to drive a bit slower as deer are frequently seen traveling the same roads as you!Distance From SSM: 30-45 minutes

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Heading east from Sault Ste. Marie you will discover scenic St. Joseph’s Island. The island is located at the mouth of the St. Mary's River between Lakes Superior and Huron. Although St. Joseph Island is the closest driving tour to Sault Ste. Marie, it offers much in the way of scenic views, places to visit and of course it’s famous Maple Syrup.St. Joseph Island is a world unto itself, and is home to two small communities (Richard’s Landing and Hilton Beach) as well as several sparsely populated rural areas. Be sure to visit the many attractions offered throughout the year; cross country skiing, snowmobiling, historical and natural attractions, sandy public beaches, a museum school, and several community parks.Circling St. Joseph Island is Highway 548, providing visitors with scenic views of the St. Marys River as well as rolling inland areas. This 72 kilometre (45 mile) highway constitutes most of the driving tour, and is quite easy to follow.This driving tour will also take you to Fort St. Joseph, once the most westerly outpost of British North America, past beaches, and quaint restaurants. But don’t forget to drive a bit slower however, as deer are frequently seen travelling the same roads you will be.Leave Sault Ste. Marie and head east on the Trans Canada Highway (Highway 17 East). Drive for approximately 45 minutes and you will see signs for St. Joseph Island that will lead you to turn right off Highway 17 onto Highway 548, taking you across a bridge and onto St. Joseph Island.About two kilometres after crossing the bridge you will come to an intersection. There is a general store here where you can buy gas and any other supplies you might need for your drive. Turn left at this intersection and make your way down 548 to Hilton Beach.The culturally vibrant village of Hilton Beach is located on the Northeast shore of St. Joseph Island. The community has been a popular tourist destination for over a century, famed for its array of cultural events and its marina (one of the largest in the North Channel).Highway 548 will take you south from Hilton Beach along the southern tip of the island and Fort St. Joseph. Remote and relatively undisturbed, Fort St. Joseph (once the most westerly outpost of British North America) was an important military base. The fort was burned in following the War of 1812, but today, Parks Canada maintains and interprets this unique 374 hectare historic site.Head back north once you’ve visited the Fort and you will head into Jocelyn Township and then up to Richards Landing. The village of Richards Landing is the economic centre of St Joseph Island. Here you will find amenities and accommodations. Enjoy the quiet country atmosphere, and perhaps dinner before heading back to Sault Ste. Marie.

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