4 Beautiful Winter Hiking Ideas in Southern Saskatchewan
Winter is one of the most beautiful times of the year for an outdoor Saskatchewan adventure.
Winter hikes make great day trips – when many of the province’s trails become cross-country skiing, fat biking and snowshoeing trails. While walking on groomed cross-country skiing trails is discouraged, hiking, biking and snowshoeing is perfect for the ungroomed trails.
1. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
Self-guided nature trails take hikers through lodgepole pine forest, grasslands and secret streams. The park is home to moose, deer and cougars, as well as birds that nest nowhere else in the province, like the dusky flycatcher.
2. Echo Valley Provincial Park
An hour away from Regina, Echo Valley Provincial Park's trails feature scenic views of coulees, meadowlands and the ridges of the Qu’Appelle Valley. The Skate the Park skating trail, guided snowshoe hikes and groomed cross-country ski trails are available, too. The provincial park is popular with birdwatchers as the area is home to more than 200 bird species.
Check with the park for more information about winter programming.
3. Wascana Valley Natural Area Recreational Site (Qu’Appelle Valley)
Known locally as Wascana Trails, this area is only a 30-minute drive north of Regina. The trails feature an arch-style bridge across Wascana Creek and great hills to hike and take in the stunning views of the valley.
Tip: Dress appropriately for windy days here. Trees are smaller and the area is more exposed.
4. Buffalo Pound Lake and Nicolle Flats, Buffalo Pound Provincial Park
Buffalo Pound Provincial Park is a 25-minute drive from Moose Jaw. This park is the perfect winter playground for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. A wide range of trails features views of the Qu’Appelle Valley, Buffalo Pound Lake, the marshland conservation area and Nicolle Homestead.
These are just a smidgen of the best trails. Forested valleys, tree-lined lakes, creeks and rivers are magical places to embrace the beauty of winter.
It’s easy to stay warm
Coniferous trees provide natural protection from the wind. With appropriate lightweight layers of wool, silk or synthetic clothing, hiking is a simple, warm way to explore nature. Physical activity generates ample warmth, too. The three-layer system is designed for fluctuating body temperatures.
Remember…step carefully!Snow conceals tripping hazards. Some trails aren't groomed, so there are places that may cause you to trip and fall or roll an ankle. Also, be cautious around frozen lakes and rivers. The ice may be thinner than it appears – especially in the early spring.
Share your favourite trails and winter adventures with us by using the hashtag #ExploreSask on Instagram.