US Army Corps of Engineers
Detroit District

Soo Locks Visitor Center

People have been coming to Sault Sainte Marie since the 1850s to watch boats passing through the locks.  By the 1880s a public park ran alongside the canal and lock with strolling paths, a fountain and places to sit and watch the boats passing.

In 1966, as the second Poe Lock neared completion a Visitor Center was constructed in the Upper Canal Park to serve visitors coming to watch the construction and the boats passing through.  This center expanded in 1995 with the addition of a theater and more exhibit space. 

Open from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. from Mothers Day until mid October every year, exhibits in the center help visitors learn more about how the locks work, the boats that pass through and the role of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the Great Lakes.  Front desk staff post estimated boat schedules in the Visitor Center and maintain a ‘boat schedule hotline’ at 906-253-9290.  Join us on the last Friday in June every year for Engineers Day - the one day each year the public is allowed to visit the lock grounds.

Although the Visitor Center is open seasonally, the park is open year round, from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. in the summer months, 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. in May, September and October and from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. during the winter.

Within the park an observation platform stands alongside the MacArthur Lock providing great views of boats in the locks.  This platform features glassed in areas to protect visitors from inclement weather and a ramp allows access for wheelchairs and strollers.

Boat Schedule Hotline

906-253-9290

The boat schedule hotline is updated periodically through the day from 9:30 a.m. until 9 p.m when the Visitor Center is open.

The Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Call the boat schedule hotline for estimated arrival times at 906-253-9290.

The park and observation platform are open daily from 9 a.m. until  9 p.m.

Soo Locks Main Entrance
Music in the Park
Fountain in Lower Canal Park
Soo Locks Visitor Center
Best View in the Soo
Winter maintenance on the MacArthur Lock
Repairing the Owen M. Frederick
Cleaning the locks
2012 shipping season comes to an end
Final upbound ship of the 2012 shipping season
Preparing a tug for repairs
Snowy day on the St. Marys River