Saskatchewan Winter Bucket List
A full version of this article appeared on The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World.
There’s something magical about snowflakes drifting down from the sky making piles of soft, fluffy snow that we can use to slide, glide and ride our way through some of the most incredible scenery on earth.
To encourage others to get outside and embrace what winter brings (it’s here for five months after all), I’ve put together a few bucket list-worthy winter experiences in Saskatchewan. I hope it inspires some snowy wanderlust and a deeper appreciation for our winter season. After all, not everyone in the world gets to experience snow like we do!
1. Skate the Loop at Echo Valley
Echo Valley Provincial Park has flooded a 2-km skating loop that winds through the Aspen Campground. The Skate the Park trail is free to enjoy with a valid park pass, but BYOS – bring your own skates. On weekends, there are often food trucks, hot chocolate and outdoor firepits to enjoy and warm up around.
2. Go to the Outdoor Spa in Moose Jaw
We don’t have many natural hot springs, but we do have a hidden gem in Temple Gardens Hotel & Spa in Moose Jaw. The spa has a geothermal mineral pool sourced from a natural artesian well with a well-head temperature of approximately 45 C. There are two warming pools – one indoor and one outdoor. The outdoor pool, connected via water passage, is the perfect place to get your hair a little frosty and enjoy a cold winter night from the warmth of the water.
3. Experience a Candle-lit Night Ski at Moose Mountain
Every year, Moose Mountain Provincial Park plays host to its annual candlelight cross-country ski event. Hundreds of glowing paper bag lanterns line the 3.2-km Riding Academy Trail and light up the forest to make for a unique skiing experience. The event is family-friendly and free with a valid park entry.
READ MORE: The Best Cross-Country Ski Trails in Saskatchewan (Including Dog-Friendly Trails)
4. Snowmobile 1,000 Miles of Snow
It might be one of the most unique ways to adventure in Saskatchewan – on 1,000 miles (more than 1,600 km) of marked snowmobile trails between 12 communities in northeast Saskatchewan. The entire region is linked with groomed trails across fields, through forests and into incredible scenery only accessible on sled in the winter months. Along the route, there are more than 40 snowmobile shelters, as well as cabins to rent and unique small-town restaurants to dine.
5. Have a Patio Beer
Yup, for real – have a hot cider or beer on a patio. Shelter Brewing Company in Saskatoon keeps its street patio open year round and warmed with outdoor heaters. Crossmount Cider Company has a patio backing onto a skating pond. It’s the perfect setting for a mulled cider outside in front of the fire. I always recommend bringing a blanket to sit on or wrap around you (and wear ski pants and boots for maximum comfort).
6. Snowshoe Treebeard Trail
Prince Albert National Park has one of the most magical trails to snowshoe in the province. Treebeard Trail winds through an old-growth forest. What makes it so enchanting is the tuffets of snow that catch in the tree boughs and the snow piles on fallen trees. The loop is 1.2 km and a great interpretive trail with eight educational stops along the way. It’s perfect for families with little ones.
7. Try Kicksledding
When the trails are covered in a fresh skiff of snow, it’s the perfect playground to rent a traditional Norwegian kicksled from Escape Sports in Saskatoon. A kicksled is a chair mounted on a pair of skis. When using it, you kick along the ground to move, similar to skateboarding but while facing forward. It’s a family-friendly activity and even my mom loved it when I took her out on the Meewasin Valley Trails in Saskatoon.
8. Feed Chickadees at Beaver Creek
Beaver Creek Conservation Area, south of Saskatoon, is an excellent location to feed chickadees. The pudgy little birds are so used to getting treats from humans, they literally flit around you just waiting to snap up unsalted sunflower seeds from the palm of your mitten. The onsite interpretive centre has seeds if you didn’t bring your own.
Author & Photographer: Ashlyn George
Ashlyn George is an adventure travel writer and social media influencer based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. By 30, she visited more than 60 countries and all 7 continents while documenting it on her blog The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World. Today, Ashlyn creates content in partnership with world-renowned brands like NFL Canada, McDonald’s and CLIF Bar and has been featured in the New York Times and listed by Kayak as a Top 10 Travel Hacker. Find her online at @thelostgirlsguide or www.thelostgirlsguide.com