By Eb's Adventure
Posted in News, on April 17, 2015
Spring in Saskatchewan is a little window of paddling paradise. As the snow melts all the creeks swell with meltwater and dry little streambeds temporarily become fast running waterways. For a paddler, this is like the carnival coming to town.
Last weekend a group of Eb's staff paddled Eagle Creek, west of the city. The creek flows north into the North Saskatchewan River. It is less than an hour away from Saskatoon and easy to get to. Before you go, make sure to check with someone (like us) who knows how fast the creek is running. The window of opportunity is small, so as soon as the snow is just about gone, start planning your trip.
To get there, drive west on Highway 14 towards Asquith. Shortly after passing Asquith, turn north onto SK-376 N. Follow the pavement - it will eventually swing west.
As you travel west you will see the creek valley, full of rolling hills and brushy scrubs of trees. After you cross the creek and start up the other side of the valley you will see a sign for Eagle Creek Regional Park. Turn left into here and follow the road in until you see buildings. We usually put in by the little bridge that looks like a train bridge.
Ideally you will have someone to help shuttle vehicles before you launch - that way your vehicles will be waiting for you at the take out so you can go right home to that nice warm bath. (Or cold beer - whatever your fancy.) Follow the first grid that heads north parallel to the creek. This will take you to Highway 784 which crosses the creek at the take out.
The paddle itself is a fun downstream run of about four hours. The water moves steadily and there are a few technical spots and some class I and II rapids (water level dependent), but even novices can make it down with little problem. There are many places where the current slows down so you can float for a bit and grab some gorp or heckle the other paddlers as they come down the fast sections.
If you're hoping to stop for lunch, there are a number of very pleasant places up on the bank in the grass with nice views over the creek. Ticks may be out, but we lolled around for an hour in the sun and nobody brought home any buddies. It can be difficult to find a place to get out that isn't mucky, so keep your eyes open for a good spot before people get desperate to eat. (BTW in this photo Jeff is applying sunscreen, not stuffing himself with lunch.)
We highly recommend this little trip for all levels of paddlers, although it's always a good idea to have someone experienced in your group. (One tip: watch out for barbed wire. Past experience taught us to bring along a pair of wire cutters.)
Enjoy the carnival, folks!