Hiking Elbow Trails

Last week I spent the afternoon hiking the trails in Elbow, Saskatchewan. These trails recently celebrated their grand opening this spring.  This gorgeous spot offers a great variety of changing scenery and makes for a great way to spend the afternoon.
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The trail head, which connects to the Trans Canada Trail can be found from the golf course. Here, the trail starts with a easy walk through prairie land, where it then begins to descend and wrap around the harbour.  Here you get a great view of Diefenbaker Lake, as well as the boats lined up in Elbow marina. The trail then takes you back to the golf course where you are welcomed by chairs and a phenomenal view.  You can continue the trail along the harbour where the trail then turns in the bush.

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The remainder of the trail is approximately 6km is covered by trees. This portion of the hike is a bit more difficult and involves a steady incline.  Along the way there are several markers with historical background of Elbow Saskatchewan. There are also several picnic tables and benches along the way.

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This trail makes for a moderate hike or a more challenging bike. The trail offers a wide variety of trees and plant life. I would recommend you complete this trail a few times in order to take all of what it has to offer.

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After our hike, we stopped at the Harbor Golf Club House for lunch.  I couldn’t have asked for a better day to complete the hike.  Elbow trails will be up on our trail directory shortly to help plan your next adventure in Elbow Saskatchewan.

Now Open: Watrous Rotary Trail Phase Two

The following was written by Daniel Bushman from The Watrous Manitou.

 

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“With a cut of the tape by Watrous Town Councillor John Gunderson followed by the applause from those in attendance, the Rotary Trail Phase Two officially opened. Despite an earlier rain shower Friday, June 30, local Rotarians, dignitaries and residents gathered near the water treatment plant in Watrous, (which is also close to where the new phase of the trail begins) to see the official ribbon cutting ceremony.
After a few remarks from Rotarian Jim Coulter, Rotarian Al Mosewich, who has been a major driver of the first and second phase of the trail along with Harold Regier, who graciously provided some of his farmland to be used for the second instalment held the ribbon while Gunderson made the ceremonial cut. Rotarians, residents and visitors then took a walk on the new phase, which links up to the original trail and curves back towards Watrous.
“There are a lot of people that need to be recognized,” said Mosewich regarding the trail’s opening. Mosewich said Harold Regier and his family generously provided permission for the town to include the trail on his land located on the northern part of Watrous. In addition to Regier’s generosity, Ron Ediger from Melron Service was the main contractor on the trail build; Wes Woiden from Woiden Construction did the installation of the culverts; Brad Sundquist from Watrous Concrete supplied tons of base gravel; and all made significant personal donations to help see the trail get built.
Many local fundraisers over the last four years, including last year’s GJM Charity Classic Golf Tournament have also been contributors towards the trail. “There have been 100’s of donors and many fundraisers to raise money for the second phase of the trail.”
Mosewich also noted many town employees like Public Works Superintendent Dion Tarasoff and his public works crews did much of the work; and Susan Jabs and staff in the town office also contributed, writing receipts for contributors.
While work on the original phase of the trail, which runs along Main Street in Watrous towards the cemetery began October 2006 and was completed July of 2009, phase two took a little longer, spanning four years. However, this time around

Mosewich said they were able to raise enough funds and will not have to take out a loan to pay off the remainder of the trail.
“It took four years to raise the money and one week to spend it,” Mosewich chuckled. Substantially complete, Mosewich said they would be letting the gravel pack and settle for phase two. Instead of paving it, a chip-seal surface will be applied by Chad Mierau from Diamond Asphalt Repair, but might not be completed until the fall.
While phase one stretches 1.6 kilometres, phase two, which extends from the first phase and loops back towards Watrous to 3rd St. E., is about one kilometre in length.
To walk both phases Mosewich said, “If you go from The Watrous Manitou on Main Street to the gazebo on the first phase and then over to phase two and then down to 13th Ave. off 3rd St. E. and over to the first phase of the trail then back to The Watrous Manitou, it would be about three miles. It would also take about an hour to walk. I am excited to see the trail come to fruition and I hope that others will enjoy it as much as I already have.”
As for what is next, Mosewich said there are four proposals that have been looked at and would more than likely be done in three or four parts. Those include:
• having the trail extending alongside the highway towards the Manitou Beach Golf Course;
• having the trail located on the other side of the highway and running towards Manitou Beach (there would be water to contend with in both situations);
• crossing the highway and following the creek bed,formerly known as Stacey’s Dam, to the back of Wellington Park at Manitou Beach. This would be more of a nature trail type path; and
• following the road allowance that runs in a line from Centennial Ford to the west end of Manitou Beach behind the golf course. That might allow the trail to hook up to the Manitou Beach trail system.
Mosewich noted if any of these options are done, that it could take up to 10 years or so before completion. Until then, Mosewich is looking forward to enjoying the current trail.
The Rotarian also provided some unique statistics for Watrous Rotary Trail Phase Two:
• over 600 tons of pit run gravel was used;
• 137 tons of base gravel and 1368 yards of aggregate was used;
• 34 hours of the track steer spreading gravel was done;
• 53 hours of trucks hauling and unloading gravel was done;
• 130 hours of labour from driving trucks, bringing out backhoes to other work;
• nine hours of peeling back the top soil; and
• 17 hours of packing the gravel.
“From start to completion, it was really a whole town effort and the entire community has been behind us since we began phase two. There remains a core group of Rotarians that would like to see the trail extend to the beach so perhaps that will one day become a reality, it just might take 10 years or more to get there. It is like Rome, it was not built in a day.”

http://watrousmanitou.com/

 

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STA Trail Ambassador: Beaver Lake Trail in Moose Mountain Provincial Park

Beaver Lake Trail in Saskatchewan’s Moose Mountain Provincial Park
July 11, 2017 | Paul Cutting

Our first adventure while staying in Saskatchewan’s Moose Mountain Provincial Park was hiking the Beaver Lake Trail.  The reason we chose to feature this trail is that the Beaver Lake Trail is very pedestrian.  It is a wide and well maintained trail that you simply can’t get lost on, which is perfect for introducing the fun of hiking to our nearly three year old daughter and our thirteen week old puppy Echo.
The Tourism Saskatchewan trail map for Moose Mountain Provincial Park lists the Beaver Lake Trail at 4.5km, however my Garmin recorded the hike from the starting gates at 4km.  The terrain is made up of rolling hills accompanied by some great scenery.  Evidence of beaver is everywhere, deer prints can be spotted wherever the ground is wet and the large variety of birds is quite something.  The Beaver Lake Trail includes interpretive signs along the way that turn the hike into an exciting learning opportunity.
For this short introductory hike we decided to bring along our Chariot as we knew our daughter would not complete the 4km on her own.  We also thought it would be a great place to carry Echo should she decide that the hike was too much for her as she is just learning to walk on a lead.

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The Beaver Lake Trail is wide and well groomed.

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Family portrait attempt at a clearing overlooking Beaver Lake.

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 Interpretive signs were in good shape and unobstructed.

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Some of the nice flowers along the trail.

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We enjoyed joking that this was a giant beaver damn.

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Well groomed and maintained trail.  Echo is doing great.

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V takes a turn walking Echo along the shore of Beaver Lake.

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Time for a break.  This bench is placed roughly at the half way point of the hike.  There was a garbage can
here as well for any ‘waste’ you or your hiking companions may generate.  Pick some trash up along the way if
you see any.

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More of the beautiful flowers you can find along the Beaver Lake Trail.

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A small creek runs from a beaver damn across the trail into Beaver Lake.

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Cam watches V and Echo hike the trail with ease.  Beaver Lake is on the left.

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More of the signage along the trail.

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Echo loved trying to eat these flowers and there were many along the trail.

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Everyone is still going strong at just over 3km into the trail.

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More flowers that decorate the trail.  V enjoyed picking these and tickling us with them.

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Birch trees are easily spotted in the forest and are a great tree to teach your kids about.
V enjoyed feeling the fungi, lichen and bark on the trees.

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The weather was hot so V took the opportunity to sit out the final portion of the hike.
Echo loved lounging in the patches of clover.

 

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Here is the elevation profile of the Beaver Lake Trail in Moose Mountain Provincial Park.

We recorded 21m of elevation gain and 16 m of elevation loss.

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A satellite image of where the Beaver Lake Trail runs.

In total we hiked this trail three times over the weekend.  Each time we did it we saw something new and the bugs were never an issue.
Paul decided to ride the trail on his mountain bike doing multiple laps in both directions which made for a great endurance training ride for him.  A ride he would classify as easy and very fast.  If you are on your bike always be on the lookout for pedestrians and use proper trail etiquette when cycling as it’s a shared use trail.
We would highly recommend the Beaver Lake Trail in Saskatchewan’s Moose Mountain Provincial Park.  Particularly if you are introducing children to hiking.  Have you enjoyed this trail?  If so share your photos with us on Instagram or twitter.

 

 

This blog post was written by STA Trail Ambassador Paul Cutting. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures with us, Paul! If you would like to see Paul’s past adventures visit his website, or check out his Instagram or Twitter!

Twitter: @cuttingadventur

Instagram: @cuttingintoadventure

Website: CuttingIntoAdventure.com

Give Us Your Best Shot Winners

We enjoyed looking through all of the wonderful entries we received. It was difficult, but we did determine our winners. We would like to congratulate Jocelyn Froehlich, our first place winner, and our honorary mentions Cam Bergerman and Dustin Cometa. Thank you all for your entries, and stay tuned for more contests from the STA.

 

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Photo by Jocelyn Froehlich was taken at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park where she was teaching her four year old nephew, Nash, to ride the trails.

Cam Bergerman - Facebook

Photo by Cam Bergerman was taken in Prince Albert National Park where Cam and his wife have been going for years. This photo was taken on Shady Lake Trail, near the Height of Land lookout tower.

“It is a relatively short trail that is slightly strenuous in places, but the view overlooking the lake is well worth it. You can detour off of the main loop and head over to the tower, which also offers an amazing view that overlooks the whole area.”

 

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Photo by Dustin Cometa was taken on Elk Trail, located in the Southern-most region of Prince Albert National Park. This was his first time on this trail, but was accompanied by many hikers.

” It was a beautiful beginning, but on the last 5km leg rain and hail poured for about 30 minutes. Needless to say, many picturesque opportunities were abundant. That includes this picture. What I wanted to do was capture the tallness of the trees and how they envelope its travellers!”

Saskatchewan Trails Association 1st Ambassador

Thank you to everyone who showed interest in being a Saskatchewan Trails Association Ambassador! We have selected the trail ambassador for July.  All other entries will be considered and carried over throughout the summer.   We encourage everyone to still share their adventures on the trails with us, and keep watching for more STA trail ambassador announcements.

We are very exciting to announce the selection of our first trail ambassador, Paul Cutting. Paul is an active husband, and father who enjoys the Saskatchewan trail network with his family.  Paul can be found running, hiking, trail running, gravel cycling and mountain biking during the summer months.  As well, Paul has been a coach for the Regina women’s cycling team, Spoke n’ Hot for the last five years.  As a part of the Saskatchewan Mountain Bike Club, Paul helped secure $40,000 for Wascana Trails! Paul also has a love for winter sports; he enjoys shoeing and fat-biking during the winter months If that doesn’t keep Paul busy enough, Paul also is an accomplished photographer and blogger.  We are incredibly excited to welcome Paul as our first STA trail ambassador!

You can follow Paul’s adventures this summer through our social media accounts and blog postings, as well as his own:

Twitter: @Cuttingadventur

Instagram: @cuttingintoadventure

Website: https://twitter.com/CuttingAdventur