(Note: As of publishing, Campgrounds, including KAO Holidays, in Ontario will be closed until June 2, 2020)
Admittedly, I didn’t think I’d ever want to visit Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario with my dog. But now that I have, I can’t stop thinking about going back (when I can) – largely for one reason: to stay overnight at the dog-friendly KOA Holidays campground.
Yes, there are KOA Holiday Campground everywhere (especially in the US) and yes, I’ve already explored Sault Ste. Marie with my pup (see here) and stayed at the Hilton Hotel along the waterfront (no complaints there). But the KOA had dog stuff – lots of dog stuff for a campground that isn’t specifically for dog people (like Four Paws Kingdom in North Carolina).
Little surprise considering owners Bill and Joan Richard left aviation industry jobs to camp full-time and be with their dogs. And the ad promoting KOA Holiday in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario features four beautiful collies in a golf cart. Loving dogs isn’t mandatory to stay here, but it sure makes it better.
“We’ve always had collies,” Joan says. “We also always camped, even as kids. We knew what worked at a campsite. When this one came on the market, we jumped on it.”
So, what’s at Sault Ste. Marie KAO Holidays?
Campsites for tents, RVs and cabins – several pet-friendly. Ok, that’s true of most KOA campgrounds. But do they have separate big dog and little dog leash free zones? Do they have an agility field?
An agility field! Let’s start there.
KOA Holiday in Sault St. Maire hosts four annual agility, conformation and rally competitions, so all the equipment is there, along with accommodations for participants of course. However, only trained agility dogs can use the facility. Local agility trainers rent the facility including a couple who trains Irish Setters – yes, Irish Setters.
Campground guests pull up lawn chairs and watch dogs practicing – I admit, it’s fun especially watching the flowing feathers of setters.
Meanwhile, my pup Victor is roaming around the little dog leash free zone, Kamp K9, where there’s a few toy agility obstacles to try out. If your big dog needs more space, there’s Rover’s Run, a wooded leash-free zone.
If either get horribly muddy (and who wouldn’t walking the nearby trails) there’s even professional quality dog bathtubs and dryers available.
“I’m an accredited groomer,” Joan says. “I planned to continue my grooming business here, but under-estimated how much work it is to run a campground.” Particularly, one with 10 rustic cabins with bunk beds, TVs and decks – eight of which are dog friendly and that’s where we’re staying next time we head north of Toronto (or across the border from Mackinac Island, Michigan).
Features of KOA Holidays Sault Ste. Marie:
- 8 regular and 2 deluxe cabins
- 4 full hook up patio 50 am RV sites
- 3 full hook up patio 30 am RV sites
- 7 full hook up 50 am RV sites
- 12 full hook up 30 am RV sites
- 27 tent sites
- 40 weekend 30 or 50 am sites
Amenities of KOA Holidays Sault Ste. Marie include the following:
- cable TV and WiFi
- mini golf
- bike rentals
- dog park and dog walking hiking trail
- children’s play area (dog free)
- sport dog agility field
- self-serve dog grooming salon
- RV wash
- laundry facilities
Curious about Things to do in Sault Ste. Marie with your dog? Check out the dog-friendly places we visited in 2019 here.
Where are you dreaming of going next with your dog? Camping, roadtrip or stay at home for the near future? Let us know in comments below.