Trails in Saskatchewan Provincial Parks
Saskatchewan provincial parks are home to a multitude of trails and paths, from interpretive trials that tell of the historical and environmental significance of the area to challenging biking and hiking trails, and snowmobile and cross-country ski trails in the winter.
Interpretive trails are generally signed and shorter in nature, providing a great way for the whole family to reconnect with nature while learning about the environment, ecosystems and history of the area.
Historic interpretive trials are a great way to learn about the history of the area, including the story of First Nations People and early settlers. The Rings, Ruts and Remnants trail at Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park will take you on a 2.5 km hike through an area that has historical significance as a natural crossing point on the South Saskatchewan River. At Fort Carlton Provincial Park, you can take a stroll along the Carlton Trail where you can still see the ruts left by Red River carts.
Most parks have interpretive walking trails that allow you to explore the unique ecosystems the park is located in. At Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park, you can explore the sand dunes found along the southeast shore of Good Spirit Lake. Greenwater Lake Provincial Park has two interpretive trails, the Highbush Interpretive Trail and the Marean Lake Birding Interpretive Trail, both of which have received improvements over the past few years.
Hiking and biking trails usually allow you to explore further into the park, on a self-guided basis, and may not offer the amenities of an interpretive trail, such as benches. Pelly Point, a 4.4 km trail at Duck Mountain Provincial Park, will take you through some of the most beautiful ecosystems in the park including old growth balsam fir, large aspen with maple understory and fern meadows. Meadow Lake Provincial Park is home to a variety of hiking trails, from family-friendly short hikes to longer, more challenging hikes suitable for the avid hiker.
The Trans Canada Trail passes through no less than eight provincial parks, including Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. The trail transects the park and is suitable for the seasoned hiker. The Trans Canada Trail in Danielson Provincial Park is more suitable for all hikers as it passes through the eastern portion of the park, featuring panoramic views of Lake Diefenbaker, large coulees, native prairie vistas, wetlands, and strolls through wooded plantations.
Many Saskatchewan provincial parks also offer barrier-free trails, suitable for individuals with limited mobility. The Boreal Forest Nature trail at Duck Mountain Provincial Park is a scenic 1 km trail that winds its way through old growth spruce, balsam fir stands, old growth aspen and birch stands. Pike Lake Provincial Park offers the Lakeside Promenade, allowing anyone to go for a stroll along the shore. Observation decks take you out over the water for a close-up look at aquatic life and waterfowl.
Two parks have areas set aside and designated as ATV trails. Moose Mountain and Narrow Hills Provincial Parks offer designated and authorized ATV trails. ATV usage on park land is only allowed on designated trails, as ATV use can cause serious environmental damage such as soil erosion and compaction and damage to vegetation. ATVs, because of their speed and noise, can frighten wildlife. Remember - this is their home, too.
Regardless of which trail you choose to explore, please keep to the marked path and respect the natural environment around you. Do not pick flowers and plants or damage trees. Respect any wildlife that may be present in the area. Check with park staff prior to your departure about trail conditions and to ensure that it is suitable for your group. If you are planning to hike into the back country, please notify the parks staff of your plans prior to departure.