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Soo Locks visitor center now open to public, COVID-19 guidelines in place

Exhibits are spaced to help visitors observe social distancing while learning more about the Soo Locks and hand sanitizer is available near popular hands-on exhibits.
The Soo Locks Visitor Center in Canal Park  reopened to the public May 9, 2021.
The Soo Locks Visitor Center in Canal Park reopened to the public May 9, 2021.(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District)
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 1:01 PM EDT
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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Detroit District’s Soo Area Office reopened the Soo Locks Visitor Center in Canal Park Sunday morning.

The Detroit District worked diligently to safely open the Visitor Center while following federal and state COVID-19 guidelines. Exhibits are spaced to help visitors observe social distancing while learning more about the Soo Locks and hand sanitizer is available near popular hands-on exhibits. Building occupancy is currently limited to 90 people at a time and masks are required to enter.

“We are glad to be able to open the Visitor Center again. Over the past year, we added some exciting new exhibits for visitors to enjoy,” Chief Park Ranger Michelle Briggs said.

New exhibits include a Soo Locks virtual tour and a simulator allowing visitors to take the controls of a reproduction 1943 panel of the MacArthur Lock and complete a lockage.

Briggs also expanded the Visitor Center’s webpage to include links to current and recent exhibits as well as information sheets related to the various exhibits. 

“We wanted to offer an alternative to the traditional printed handouts and by putting them on the webpage people can access the information on their phones or bookmark it to look at later,” she said. “This also offered a way to keep some of the great temporary exhibits from previous years available.”

Along with the Visitor Center, the Soo Locks Canal Park and viewing platform are open to the public 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. eastern.

To keep the Visitor Center open, masks are required to enter the Soo Locks Visitor Center and in any outdoor areas if physical distancing cannot be met to keep workers and visitors safe. Please be patient, be kind and be safe. These requirements comply with President Biden’s Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing, issued Jan. 20, as well as guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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