Summer researcher position available

The Saskatchewan Trails Association (STA) is seeking to hire an enthusiastic summer student who is passionate about the outdoors and has a strong research skillset. The successful candidate will be serving as the lead on a research project called the State of Saskatchewan Trails Report. The project will help the STA determine what the current states of trails are in the province, identify existing gaps and develop potential solutions.

Those who apply for the position should have the ability to manage a project with numerous moving parts. Duties will include developing and distributing a couple of surveys. One will be geared toward those who own, operate and maintain trails. Another will be used to obtain information from a user’s perspective to determine if our province’s trails meet current and future needs. The project will also involve conducting key informant interviews with STA key stakeholders to review their current situation and future direction. A final aspect of this research is to review how our provincial trail association compares with other provincial associations.

To be successful in this position, a number of skills are required. The candidate should be extremely well-organized. They will need to gather large quantities of data, document it appropriately and interpret this data to write a report. Strong interpersonal skills are also important, as the student will be collaborating directly and indirectly with many different recreation groups. The student should therefore have an outgoing personality and be comfortable around people. The student should also be able to communicate their findings clearly in a written document.

The STA loves working with students who are passionate about trails. In your cover letter, please talk about your love for the outdoors and the ways in which you enjoy exploring our province’s trail network. Please submit your resume to info@sasktrails.ca.

A new old trail

Trail enthusiast Russ Hodgins has made many trips to Pasqua Lake over the years, but on March 31 he discovered a new trail and a new adventure. Learn more in this guest blog post.

Maybe I don’t get out enough but there is something special about finding a trail you have never been on before and exploring new country. Last weekend, I took advantage of the fact that winter has extended into spring and headed off across the lake ice at my wife’s family cabin. The norm for this time of year would be slushy snow, mud and wet feet but the minus-18 temperature made for solid footing on top of the crusty snow. The plan was to explore along the far shoreline and turn around when I got tired. Snowmobile tracks heading off the lake were calling to me so I followed to see where it might take me and was rewarded with a trail that ran parallel to the lake, just inside the tree line. I wasn’t sure who had built it but had the feeling it may have been used at one time for trail rides with horses. After a scenic mile through the forest with beautiful lake views, I came out onto a hay field and for fun, followed the snowmobile trail along the edge of the field.

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It turned out to be a good decision as a short time later, the snowmobile tracks forked with one heading up into a side valley. This led to almost two more miles of exploration, following an old road in a side valley that climbed to the top fields. I imagined I was taking the same laboured steps as horse drawn hay wagons doing the climb in the days before motorized traffic. The trail made good use of the topography, following a route with more gentle climbs and when the valley split, the trail followed the left fork. I was high enough now to get a great all around view of the area with the beaver ponds in the bottom and the country behind me from where I started this adventure. It all has me wanting to return in the other seasons of the year for a different perspective.

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This was on the return trip. Just as nice a view with the bonus of being gravity assisted!

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