By Eb's Adventure
Posted in News, on February 08, 2017
There are lots of places to snowshoe in Saskatoon. All along the Meewasin is usually good, as are most of the golf courses. Parks or open areas near the edge of the city are great too.
Here is a graphic of some of the places we enjoy on snowshoes. They generally have the best scenery and the most variation in topography, and are great places to enjoy wildlife if you're quiet. If you scroll down past the image, we've outlined some great places to snowshoe a little further afield.
There are many more great places to snowshoe if you don't mind driving an hour or two out of town. Since you don't need a groomed trail, the opportunities are all over the place. Here's a few to get started:
A beloved area for skiers, hikers and snowshoers. There are 52km of looping trails among the mixed forest here. The terrain is rolling and some trails have short steep sections to keep things interesting. There are two huts near the parking lots, each with a wood burning stove you can light for a cozy warm-up. Snowshoe off the trails as they are groomed for skiing in winter. This area is not dog-friendly.
Directions: drive about 100km north of the city on Highway 11 towards Prince Albert. After you enter the Nisbet Forest you will see a small sign picturing a cross country skier on the right hand side. There are two entrances to the trails: via a South and a North parking lot, each of which is west of the highway.
Little Red River Park
This beautiful area of aspen and jackpine woods has designated snowshoe trails which are dog-friendly. There is lots of country here to explore with decent hills and the Spruce River cutting through the middle. Please do not walk on the groomed ski trails.
Directions: from Prince Albert, drive north on Highway 2. After you cross the bridge turn east on Highway 55. The park entrance is about 3km along, on the north side of the highway.
Douglas Provincial Park
On the southern end of Lake Diefenbaker, Douglas Park is far less busy in winter than summer but offers lots of area to explore by snowshoe. The park has 27km of trails that includes a section of the Trans Canada Trail running along the lake, but for some adventure try snowshoeing inland a few kilometers to the active sand dunes.
Directions: drive south of Saskatoon towards Elbow. Access to Douglas Park is off Highway 19; there are parking lots and a campground adjacent to the highway.
Blackstrap Provincial Park
Close to Saskatoon, Blackstrap has a small but attractive and mostly forested area along the lake that is perfect for snowshoeing. A 5km ski trail loops through it, so avoid this. The whole area is dog friendly and you get great views across the lake from the high points.
Directions: drive south about 40 minutes on the highway to Regina. You'll see Mount Blackstrap as you get near. Follow the signs and turn east on Highway 211, it will take a few turns and then cross the lake. Turn right after crossing; this road will bring you to a parking area and trailhead.
Blue Mountain Adventure Park
Under two hours away, this hilly, forested area is a winter playground. There is a nice log chalet with tables, comfortable chairs, microwave and fireplace. There are 30km of groomed ski trails and a huge toboggan run here, but there is a lot of space to snowshoe plus some designated snowshoe trails. It's dog friendly (and if you don't bring your own dog, they will probably lend you one for your adventure!) Check out their website for more information.
Directions: drive about 1.5 hrs west of Saskatoon along Highway 16. Turn north at Denholm on Grid 687 and follow it until you see the Blue Mountain access sign.
Prince Albert National Park
PA Park has about 8 trails that are designated for snowshoeing in the winter time. The Spruce River Highlands trail is always a winner. Off trail there is so much area and a lot of fun creek valleys you could spend weeks here and always have somewhere new to try. You can access a map of the snowshoe trails here.
Directions: PA Park is about 2.5 hrs north of Saskatoon on Highway 2. Take the south entrance or the north entrance into the Park depending on where you plan on snowshoeing.
Note: if you want a good story, ask Jeff about his snowshoeing/swimming escapades in PA Park. Let's just say he should be carrying a waterproof camera on his winter adventures from now on :)