Snowshoeing in Saskatchewan
This is an abridged article that originally appeared on The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World. Read the full version here.
Snowshoeing is a fantastic outdoor winter activity that is perfectly suited for Saskatchewan. We’re an ideal province for both on-and-off-trail snowshoe experiences, all thanks to the 37 million hectares of public Crown land and dozens of regional, provincial and national parks.
Here are some of the best snowshoe trails in Saskatchewan (in no particular order):
While we have lots of space to snowshoe, please be mindful of groomed trails that may or may not allow snowshoers. Many locations around the province also have groomed snowmobile and cross-country ski trails and prohibit snowshoeing or have snowshoe-specific trails. Check the rules around each trail before you head out or look for signage at the trailhead.
1. Prince Albert National Park
Prince Albert National Park has one of the most magical trails to snowshoe in the province. Treebeard Trail is an old-growth forest that can have waist-deep snow in the middle of winter. The loop is only 1.2 km but is a great interpretive trail with eight educational stops along the way. While this trail is a personal favourite, there are numerous other locations to snowshoe in the park (including Boundary Bog, Kingsmere River, Mud Creek, Freight Tait Springs and Waskesiu River) plus limitless off-trail options. Snowshoes can be borrowed from the Hawood Inn regardless of if you’re a guest or not.
2. Echo Valley Provincial Park
Just under an hour’s drive northeast of Regina and located in the Qu’Appelle Valley is Echo Valley Provincial Park. Not only is it a great destination to snowshoe, but it’s one of the best provincial parks to take your family for a winter weekend (or day trip) getaway. The park offers guided themed snowshoe tours including the “Scenic Snowshoe Safari” and the “Illuminated Snowshoe Stroll.” Both events teach the basics of snowshoeing and end with warming up around a cosy campfire.
3. Meadow Lake Provincial Park
Meadow Lake Provincial Park is a popular four-season park, especially with the locals. In the winter months, park staff offer guided snowshoe tours. Waters Edge Eco Lodge also has snowshoe trails that link up with the Boreal Trail and provides free snowshoes with your stay. There are dozens of options for snowshoeing in the park (the Boreal Trail is 135 km long and all of it can potentially be snowshoed). But one of the best spots is a snowshoe down the Gold Creek Trail through the pines with a snowy view over Lac des Îles.
4. Eb’s Trail, near Duck Lake
Eb’s Trail is located 16 km north of Duck Lake on Highway 11. It’s popular with cross-country skiers from Saskatoon and Prince Albert. In the last few years, the Saskatoon Nordic Ski Club has developed snowshoeing trails as interest has grown. The majority of the snowshoe trails are accessed from the north parking lot.
During the winter months, visitors have access to free snowshoes with their entry to Wanuskewin, outside of Saskatoon. There are 6 km of trails that are excellent for exploring the Opimihaw Valley and several notable viewpoints along the trails that offer views over the South Saskatchewan River. Before you head out, grab muskeg tea and bannock to-go to enjoy along the way.
6. River Ridge Trails, near Langham
River Ridge Nordic Ski Club is a former golf course just 5 km north of Langham on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. While skiing is the club’s focus, the park is open to snowshoers and is dog-friendly for on-leash pups. While the trails are continuing to expand, Trail Forks shows 15 trails available for snowshoers with five main trails that connect with one another.
7. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a winter wonderland with trails leading through the unique lodgepole pine forest that makes for a magical experience when snowshoeing. There are two groomed trails to explore close to The Resort at Cypress Hills and through the lodgepole pine forest, but there are countless spots to go off-trail on your own adventure.
8. Makwa Lake Provincial Park
Makwa Lake Provincial Park has recently built and groomed a new snowshoe trail. The Aspen Trail is 4.1 km in length with lots of opportunities to go off the groomed trail along Loon Trail for another 3.3 km. Visitors can stop in at the administration office for printed maps and to rent snowshoes.
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