Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

ACTIVITIES & AMENITIES
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Things To Do

Bike or hike the hills on the Trans Canada Trail, then take an invigorating dip in the outdoor leisure pool or lake.  Canoeing, tennis, golf, mini golf, horseback riding and auto tours are popular here, while anglers will find some of the best trout fishing on the prairies.  In wintertime, cross-country skiers can wind their way through 17 km of groomed trails. 

Water Recreation

Many water recreation opportunities are present in this park!

Swimming:  An unsupervised beach is available on the west side of Loch Leven and provides a change room facility.  Payphone located in the main beach parking lot.  Parents are responsible for child safety.  Dogs are not allowed on the beach in the swimming area.  The marina on the lake offers a quiet canoe or paddle boat experience and only up to 5 horse power boats are allowed on the loch.  Loch Leven is generally a very peaceful and quiet place to stroll around or enjoy from one of several view points long the lakeshore.

Cypress Hills Leisure Pool:  The Cypress Hills Leisure Pool opens the third Saturday in June.  Generally, the pool operates 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. until lessons begin in July, and then the hours become 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.  For more information, contact Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park at (306) 662-5411.

Cypress Hills Leisure Pool offers a steaming hot tub with seating for 36, as well as a sauna as a compliment to the main pool.  Tables, chairs and cultured lawns surround the pool, a popular place to soak up the sun or relax with a good book. 

Daily public swimming is available from the mid-June opening until the September long weekend.  The Leisure Pool is also used for swimming lessons.  Swimming lesson registration takes place online or by calling the call centre.  On the reservation system, you are able to view the system and set up a user account.  You may also want to plan your camping holiday around your children's swim lessons.

Fishing:  The Cypress Hills offer some of the best trout fishing in SaskatchewanBattle Creek, in the West Block wilderness area, is home to Rainbow, Brown, and the occasional Brook Trout.  This is a perfect creek for fly fishers and ultra light spin fishers. 

Loch Leven in the Centre Block offers angling for Brook and Cutthroat Trout.  Trophy-sized specimens are occasionally taken.  The most effective method for fishing Loch Leven is fly fishing.

Boiler Creek in the Centre Block has a series of beaver ponds containing Brookies.

There is a wide variety of trout creeks within the Cypress Hills area, but outside park boundaries.  Stop at the park administration office to pick up a guide to Southwest Saskatchewan Trout Streams.  This brochure is an invaluable guide to access and stream location.

Eco Adventures Ltd.

Zip through the forest canopy, try the climbing wall or test your balance on the slackline.  Cypress Hills Eco Adfventure Ltd. provides a unique perspective on the park.  Check out their website at http://www.zipcypresshills.ca/.

Wildlife/Bird Viewing

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is an ideal location for wildlife viewing.  Moose, elk, Nuttall’s cottontail, white-tailed deer, bobcat, red squirrel and mule deer make their home here and there have been rare sightings of cougar, as well.  Early morning or evening drives on the roads and trails usually turns up some excellent viewing opportunities. 

The Cypress Hills are a birder’s paradise all year long.  The Oregon junco, yellow-bellied sapsucker and ruby-crowned kinglet are among the more than 220 species of birds that wing and sing their way through this birdwatcher’s paradise.  Spring and fall migrations are magnificent to observe in the hills.

Bicycling

The hiking/cross-country ski trails offer excellent mountain biking opportunities.  Some stretches are quite demanding, and caution should be taken at all times, due to terrain and other trail users.  Twenty-seven kilometres of trails are available in the Centre Block, and approximately 16 kilometres in the West Block both areas with varying degrees of difficulty.  Trails are not recommended for inexperienced riders.  Please refer to the Trails brochure for detailed information. 

Dark-Sky Preserve

Cypress Hills is a remarkable place to view the natural beauty of the starry sky.  Protecting and preserving the natural darkness will help maintain the integrity of the dark night sky.  Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is the first park in Saskatchewan and Alberta to become fully recognized as a Dark-Sky Preserve; it is one of the largest preserves in the world; it preserves 39,600 hectares – that is 97,850 football fields!

In the summer months, many opportunities exist to learn more about the Dark-sky Preserve through weekly astronomy programs led by the interpretive staff.  An annual Summer Star Party is held in August each year where amateur astronomers gather to share their knowledge and viewing through a variety of telescopes and public education programs.  Check with the Park Office for upcoming dates for this and other special events at the park. 

Golfing

At an elevation reaching 1,300 metres and above most other courses, the Cypress Hills Golf Course, with irrigated fairways, lush greens and spectacular scenery offers a challenge for most golfers.  Since adding irrigation to the entire course large, lush, new greens add to the beauty and sport of the game.  This exceptional course, situated in a natural Pine/Aspen forest, offers nine holes of golf, a driving range and licensed club house.  For bookings and fees, call (306) 662-4422. 

Mini-Golf

Enjoy a round of mini-golf with the family or friends in this beautiful setting!  Take in the floral displays and the pond of this pristine and challenging course.  Phone: (306) 662-2012. 

Interpretive Programs and Special Events

From June to September, park interpretive staff hosts a variety of entertaining and educational programs for families and children.  June programming caters to the outdoor classroom presenting ‘inquiry based learning’ through programs which allow the students to investigate and understand the ecology, geology and cultural importance of the Cypress Hills. 

Summer months are filled with fun, entertaining activities and special events which add to the pleasure of vacationing in the Cypress Hills.  Learn new art techniques from the variety of art workshops presented by the ‘Artist in Residence’, or follow along as the staff track cougars, moose and deer.  The amphitheatre is host to a variety of plays and music planned for all audience types.  Special Events are endless at the park celebrating such occasions as Canada Day, Canada’s Parks Day, and Aboriginal Day.  There are Fireworks, Vacation Treasure Hunts, and the annual Hillbilly Hustle Relay Race plus so much more.  Check with the park office for more information on these and other programs.

Tennis Courts

Situated just off the road to the ball diamond, there are two professionally surfaced courts.  No charge for court use. 

Cypress Hills Riding Academy

Located in the Centre Block, the Riding Academy provides guided horseback tours of backcountry trails.  Small or large groups can be accommodated.  The horses are gentle and good natured, an ideal way to see the back-country of the Cypress Hills.  For information, or to book, call (306) 662-3512. 

Marina - Boat and Bicycle Rentals

A nice way to enjoy Loch Leven on the water, rental canoes, and paddleboats are available by the hour.  Or, if seeing the park by wheels is your goal, the marina rents bicycles to fit most people.  For information call (306) 662-2992.

Hiking/Cross-country Ski Trails

An extensive network of trails is present in both the Centre and West Blocks of the park.  Twenty-seven kilometres of trails in the Centre Block provide the opportunity for visitors to hike the back-country, where you are guaranteed to see nature untamed.  Moose, elk, deer and antelope are permanent residents of the park, and are commonly observed.  Bring your camera!

In winter approximately 15 kilometres of these trails are groomed for cross-country skiing in the Centre Block.

A network of paved trails within the core area allows visitors to hike or bike between campgrounds and to the beach, resort and pool. 

For the seasoned hiker, the Trans Canada Trail transects the park.  In the Centre Block, this trail covers over 16 km of rugged country-side, and challenges the fittest of outdoorsman.  Be prepared for this one.  It is worth the effort.

In the West Block, this trail is also most difficult, but offers unparalleled views of this wilderness park.  The Hidden Conglomerates are a must-see and are only accessible by taking this trail.  This trail is shared between hikers and equestrian riders.

Interpretive Trails

Self-guided nature trails with interpretive signage are situated within the Centre Block of Cypress Hills Provincial Park. 

Highland Rotary Trail:  located near the south end of Loch Lomond, follows the shoreline of Lonepine Creek.  Interpretive panels speak to the variety of ecosystems and vegetation of the Cypress highlands.  Allow 45 minutes to enjoy this trail. 

Valley of the Windfall Trail:  departs from the main beach parking lot and follows the first portion of Woodlands campground access trail.  This attractive route passes through a marsh area where a wealth of bird life can be observed.  The second leg of the trail traverses a lodgepole pine forest, where many unique sub-alpine plants and flowers can be found.  A full hour should be set aside for this pleasant stroll. 

Whispering Pines Trail:  focuses on forest management and vegetation.  Several scenic view points make great rest stops along the trail.  The trail departs from the picnic shelter at the north end of Loch Leven

Native Prairie Trail:  features interpretation of this very special native prairie habitat.  Two grassland habitats are represented here, including mixed-grass prairie and fescue prairie.  Affected by seasonal changes of drought, rain, grazing and fire, the native prairie continues to evolve, fully protected within Cypress Hills Provincial Park.  Two spectacular view points look out over the GAP area and the prairie below the hills.  This trail is located 500 metres beyond (south) of Bald Butte turn-off and is approximately 2 km in length. 

Winter Recreation

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a four-season destination with lots to do all year round.  In the winter enjoy the hushed silence when a fresh blanket of snow has just fallen.  While the Cypress Hills averages over 8 feet of snow each winter, warm Chinook winds often blow through, quickly melting away the deep snows.  Phone ahead to ensure acceptable conditions. 

Cross-country Ski Trails: 27 kilometres of cross-country ski trails in the Centre Block; 15 of which are groomed.  The remainder are self-set trails.  Some sections on the groomed trails are lighted.  The Resort at Cypress Hills offers accommodation and food during the winter months.  Note: There are no shelters on the trails.  Please refer to the Trails brochure for detailed information. 

Snowmobile Trails - A snowmobile area is designated west of the ball diamond road in the Centre Block of the park.  A minimum snow depth of 12” is required on native prairie before the snowmobile area is opened by the park (call the park office at (306)662-5411 before coming to check on whether the snowmobile area is open). 

This six-square mile area offers a full range of scenic challenges for snowmobilers, including hills, coulees, and Aspen/Pine forests.  The ball diamond is the designated unloading site for snowmobiles.  Please read the rules signs posted on the ball diamond backstop during the snowmobiling season. 

Snowmobiling is not permitted outside the designated area, or within the West Block of the park.