East of Sault Ste. Marie, Hwy-17 winds along Lake Huron’s North Channel waterfront for most of the way to Sudbury. South and east of Bar River, a turnoff heads south to St. Joseph Island, part of the Manitoulin Island chain. The main sight here lies at the island’s south end: Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site. When the fort was built by the British in 1796, it was the westernmost outpost of their Canadian empire. At first the fort protected the fur trade; it then served as a base for attacking the Americans during the War of 1812. The Americans burned the fort in 1814, and the park is built around its scenic remains.
At the island’s north end is the tiny town of Richards Landing; the café at the dock serves good burgers and a variety of Italian-inspired entrées.