The Great Northern

Following US‑2 through wide-open spaces is guaranteed to bring new meaning to the expression “getting away from it all.”

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Across the busy harbor from Michigan, the “other” Sault Ste. Marie (pop. 81,000) is a much bigger, much grittier, and comparatively depressed Canadian sibling. Fortunately, the main visitor attraction offers a quick escape from all the heavy industry. From the Algoma Central Railway Terminal, well signed downtown, the Agawa Canyon Tour Trains (129 Bay St., 705/946-7300 or 800/242-9287, daily, C$90 and up) depart throughout the summer and early fall (fall color season is the prime time to come). These daylong train trips take you north through a roadless wilderness featuring narrow river canyons and spectacular views. An hour and a half stop above the canyon lets you get out and have a picnic or stretch your legs with a walk to a waterfall. There’s also an End of the Line Tour (to Hearst, Ontario), which takes around two days (and does return, despite the name).

Agawa Canyon Tour Trains (129 Bay St.)