2019 Give Us Your Best Shot Photo Contest!


Give Us Your Best Shot!

The Saskatchewan Trails Association will be running a month-long “Give Us Your Best Shot” photo contest in June.  The photo contest begins on June 1 — Saskatchewan Trails Day – and concludes on June 30.  A prize package valued at $200 will be presented to our winner. To enter our contest, post a picture of your favorite trail in Saskatchewan on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, using the hashtag #SaskTrailsPhotoContest. We must be able to see your picture for you to be entered in the contest, so be sure to check your privacy settings. Posts must be made public to be counted as an entry.  You may also submit them via email to info@sasktrails.ca. Get excited about nature and submit all of your best pics from your trail adventures!


Entry Procedure:

The contest is available for all residents of Saskatchewan. STA board and staff may submit their pictures but are not eligible to win the contest. While photos may be submitted multiple times using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or email, there is only one entry per unique photo. You may enter as many unique photos as you wish to the contest.

 To enter the STA Give Us Your Best Shot contest, you must submit your photos by posting on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #SaskTrailsPhotoContest. We must be able to see your picture for you to be entered in the contest, so be sure to check your privacy settings. Posts must be made public to be counted as an entry.  You may also submit them via email to info@sasktrails.ca. Pictures submitted by email may be subsequently posted to our Facebook page.



The winner will be chosen at the end of the month, and announced on our pages, the winner will also be contacted through social media to arrange to claim their prize(s). Prizes must be claimed within 6 months. Pictures will only be accepted into the contest until June 30th, so be sure to get your pictures in before then. As pictures come in they may be featured on our page, with credit to the photographer.  The best of luck to all that enter, we can’t wait to see your adventures!


Rules for Submission:

If you do not want to grant Saskatchewan Trails Association (STA) these permissions, please do not submit your photo. In order for STA to use your photo, you confirm that (a) your photo is your own original work; (b) you own all the rights in the photo, including copyright; (c) you have the right to give STA the permission to use your photo for the purposes specified in these rules; (d) the photo is not defamatory and does not infringe any Canadian laws or violate the rights of any third party; (e) you have the consent of anyone who is identifiable in your photo or the consent of their parent/ guardian if they are minors; (f) you waive any moral rights that you may have in the photo; (g) you indemnify STA against any claim, demand, action, suit, or other proceedings against STA arising out of the use of the photo or any false or inaccurate statements.


By entering, contestants agree to abide by the contest rules which shall be applied by Saskatchewan Trails Association


Best Online Trail Resources To Checkout Before Your Next Hike!

Here comes the sun! I am sure we can all agree that summer is finally here and its officially time to get onto the trails. With Saskatchewan Trails Day as well as Recreation and Parks month all June fast approaching there is no excuse to not get out into mother nature! We all know how much fun trails can be on a beautiful day in Saskatchewan. Many of us also know how disappointing it is to get lost or to travel to your favorite trail just to find out it is now too muddy, too wet or even under construction making it impossible to hike. These online websites and apps can help you to get the most out of adventure and take away some of the pains of hitting the trails. All resources on the list have the link attached or can be downloaded on the apple or android app store. Here are some of the top online resources to checkout before your next hike! Let us know if we missed any and what your favorite resource for hiking is!


  • SASKATCHEWAN TRAILS ASSOCIATION DIRECTORY – The trail directory allows you to learn about new trails to experience, trail locations, difficulty, and length. Don’t know where to go, or unsure of where to start your hiking experience? The trail directory can help you get from point A to point B on your journey to experience nature on the trails. As well as having an in-depth directory of different trails, the STA directory also holds many stunning photographs of the trails and describes exactly what to expect. The STA directory is a great place to start to learn about some of the greatest local trails. You can visit the STA’s directory at: https://sasktrails.ca/trail-directory/.


  • ALLTRAILS – AllTrails is one of the highest rated and used trail apps on the market. AllTrails helps people explore the outdoors with the largest collection of detailed, hand-curated trail maps as well as trail reviews and photos crowd sourced from a community of 10 million registered hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners. AllTrails has a beautiful collection of photography taken from different trails to give you a snippet of the wonders that await on whichever path you choose to navigate. This app is especially useful for providing you with a huge amount of information on all the diverse trails around Saskatchewan, it even tracks your hikes for you. AllTrails has more than your average trail website or app and has valuable resources for even the most experienced of hikers. You can download the AllTrails app or find it at: https://www.alltrails.com/.


  • TOURISMSASKATCHEWAN.COM– Tourism Saskatchewan doesn’t have the most trails but has a huge selection of the best location around Saskatchewan to do various activities such as hiking, fishing, snowshoeing, cross county skiing, biking, ATVing, bird watching, picnic areas, and boat launches. Check out TourismSaskatchewan.com before your next trail, checkout reviews, and see if there are any other activities that are close by the trail. Find Tourism Saskatchewan at: https://www.tourismsaskatchewan.com/things-to-do/outdoor-activities/trails#sort=relevancy.


  • TRAIL FORKS – Trail Forks is website and app built by trail enthusiasts, for trail enthusiasts. Trail Forks focuses on mountain bikers but still has a plethora of useful reports for those who prefer to walk the trails. Trail Forks is an extremely useful tool for every hiker to check before their expedition on the trails. Trail Fork is much like other trail and hiking apps, but it allows users to create reports on various dangers or problems with certain trails and things to know/avoid before going out. Trail Fork lets users know if the trails are well maintained, muddy, have problems, or even for the winter hikers, if a trail is snowed out/too icy. In depth trail analysis and information is given by the community so hikers know exactly what they are walking into. From new trails, to trail updates, to whether forecasts, Trail Forks can make sure you avoid any potential dangers. You can download the Trail Forks app or visit the website at: https://www.trailforks.com/.


  • VIEW RANGER – A popular hiking app, ViewRanger helps hikers plan, navigate, record and share their outdoor adventures. It’s even used by several search and rescue teams around the world thanks to its advanced GPS navigation system. What makes View Ranger very user friendly is its compatibility with apple and Android Watch. Weather it is finding new trails, or downloading maps, or tracking your hikes, ViewRanger can help! Download the ViewRanger app on the apple of android app store, or visit the website at: https://www.viewranger.com/en-us.


  • SASKHIKER.COM– SaskHiker is a Saskatchewan based community website created by hiking enthusiast Jay Brown from Saskatchewan. SaskHiker allows you to find trails, read/post blogs, and submit your favorite trails/locations to go for an adventure to. This is a strong community of passionate people who love getting out into nature. You can even find others to go on adventures with. You can visit SaskHiker at: https://www.saskhiker.com/.


  • SPYGLASS- Spyglass doesn’t have much to do with trails or hiking but it can help you to find your way to where you need to go. Spyglass is an advanced compass and GPS navigation app for iPhone, iPad, iOS and Android. Spyglass comes in handy as a car, bike, boat, aircraft, vehicle or walking compass and GPS navigation to drive, cycle, sail, fly or hike off the road, in the field or woods, in the sea and in the air. For anyone who loves the outdoors, Spyglass is for you, with bountiful features, augmented reality, navigation through the stars and various other navigation tools and monitors, spyglass can guide you to wherever you desire. Download Spyglass on your favorite apple or android device on the app-store.


  • GEOCACHE – For anyone who doesn’t already know what geocaching is, Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Geocache has both an app and a website to get you going on your first treasure hunt. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Geocaches can be hidden anywhere and tend to be bountiful on various trail and provincial parks. Geocaching is a great way to get friends and family members out into nature searching for hidden treasures by adding an extra bit of excitement into your hike. Once a geocache is found, you can take one item from the container and must put one item back in. These hidden prizes are often not valuable but offer a unique way to capture and save a memory. Download the app on the app-store or visit: https://www.geocaching.com/play.


  • FIRST AID BY RED CROSS – This app is on the list because it can save your life. Nobody ever expects to get injured on a leisurely hike, yet accidents still happen. First Aid by Red Cross is a key resource for any fan of trails from beginner to professional. Simple, step-by-step instructions guide you through everyday first aid scenarios. Fully integrated with 911, so you can call EMS from the app at any time. Videos and animations to help you sharpen your first aid skills. Safety tips for everything from severe winter weather to hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes, to help you prepare for emergencies. Preloaded content means you have instant access to all safety information at any time, even without reception or an Internet connection. Interactive quizzes allow you to earn badges that you can share with your friends and show off your lifesaving knowledge. First Aid can be downloaded on the apple or android app-store!


  • GAIA GPS – For the more experienced and serious hikers and trail takers, Gaia GPS offers a feature rich app that can help you to navigate the most difficult of trails. Gaia GPS is an outdoor navigation app providing access to a rich catalog of maps including topographical, satellite, road, and the Nat Geo Trails Illustrated map series. As well as tracking hikes while measuring pace, distance and elevation as standard, it is also possible to download a range of offline maps for off-grid access. The app and accompanying web-based version allows for printing too. Gaia GPS can be download on the apple and android app-store!


Also, don’t forget to like and follow the Saskatchewan Trails Association on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more information on everything from new trails to safety tips and tricks! June is Recreation and Parks month and with Saskatchewan trails day fast approaching, we will once again be hosting a month-long photo contest. If you are out on the trails, snap some pictures and share them with us on our social media with the #SaskTrailsPhotoContest as many times as you like and be entered to win a price package valued at $200! Have fun, be safe, and keep on exploring beautiful Saskatchewan!

Lending our voice to important trail issues

In April, the STA wrote two letters of support relating to issues concerning trails in the provinces. This occurred after our AGM, where members voted that the STA should lend its voice to support trail development.

We wrote a letter to letter to the Minister Responsible for SGI to voice our support to create an effective ATV registration system in the province. The STA feels that requiring registration of ATVs would enable authorities and residents to efficiently identify ATVs, leading to effective enforcement of provincial regulations regarding the illegal operation of ATVs on public roads and public lands, and improved identification and recovery of stolen ATVs.

We received the following response:

SGI Response

The STA also wrote a letter of support to the Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport to applaud the Churchill River Water Trail Legacy Project sustainability project that will see vermicomposting toilets installed in northern canoe routes to effectively deal with the problem of human waste.

We received the following response:

Response Letter - Churchill River Water Trail Legacy Project

How not to train for a long run in the mountains

By Russell Hodgins

  1. Travel to Saskatoon.
  2. Forget to bring your hydration pack.
  3. Also forget to bring a water bottle.
  4. Be short on time and tell yourself you can’t go pick up a bottle of fluid.
  5. Go for a long run on the amazing trails that travel along the riverbank.
  6. Be thankful that it was a cool day and then return extremely dehydrated.
  7. Drink any fluid you can find for the next 24 hours.

The run started on the paved trails at the University of Saskatchewan and very quickly, there’s an option to get off road. What followed was a series of well packed dirt trails in a rollercoaster of ups and downs. There were multiple trails so at times, I climbed up to enjoy the views and then dropped down to the river flats where I was running in the sand. The turnaround point was at the Peggy McKercher Conservation Area and just before that, is an excellent mountain bike trail that travels near the top of the river valley before dropping down and looping back closer to the river. Closer to the city, I met several people out walking their dogs along with some very courteous bike riders. Farther out, it was mostly people with backpacks getting ready for summer outings I assumed.

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Just before the Conservation Area, my wanderings had me on deer trails but the better option would have been to stay on the actual trails.

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Never let common sense and good judgement get in the way of a nice run! A huge thank you to the people of Saskatoon who keep these trails in such good shape.

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Running the Trails in Saskatchewan

By Nicole Williams

Trail running is quickly gaining traction in the province as runners look to move off the road and into the great outdoors.

This sport involves running on any off-road surface, such as coulees, fields, forests, hills or dirt paths. The benefits include less strain and stress on your body, particularly your lower back and glutes, as you’re running on softer, more forgiving terrain than asphalt and cement. The changing landscape also increases the development of lesser-used stabilizing muscles, resulting in less repetitive movements and less risk of developing injuries that are common in road running.

Other added benefits include running in fresh air, which is better for overall lung health, and stress reduction from being away from the city, focusing less on home and work, and more on exploring the natural world around you.

Little equipment is required to get started. Road running shoes can be used; however, if you plan on spending any amount of time on the trails, you may want to buy a pair of trail running shoes. These shoes are designed to grip the softer terrain found on trails, are lower to the ground for better stability, and contain an extra layer that protects your feet from rock and other puncture wounds.

Trail runners will need to carry extra supplies with them to deal with the new challenges that comes with running off-road. You will want to invest in a comfortable, lightweight backpack to carry essential supplies such as a water bottle, bug repellent, food, sunscreen, GPS or compass with a map, a headlamp (if running at dusk or night) and basic first aid supplies like band aids.

Developing a safety strategy is a must. Before heading out on the trails, let someone know your route and when you expect to return. You should also carry a cell phone in case of an emergency, and try to run with at least one other person. You may want to join a running group, such as the Regina Road Runners Club or the Saskatoon Road Runners, for the benefit of group trail runs and events in your area.

The following are just a few of the running trails you’ll want to check out this year.

Beaver Flat 50 Course, Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park, is one of the most grueling running trails in the province. Its 50 km course features more than 2,300 metres of vertical climbs, narrow paths, cacti, sand and wet conditions, and it boasts the appropriate hashtag: #anythingbutflat. According to the group’s website, “You’re going to love it, hate it, and love it some more. Guaranteed.”

Deadfall 50 Course, Echo Valley Provincial Park, winds through the Qu’Appelle Valley along narrow trails and expansive pastures, providing breath-taking views and challenges for runners of every level: https://deadfall50.ca

The Wascana Valley Nature Recreation Site, aka Wascana Trails, offers 15 kms of exceptional Qu’Appelle Valley trails and scenery. Trail markers lead runners through pathways that boast winding, sharp descents, steep inclines, gradual hills and other obstacles and challenges that will leave you wanting to return again and again: https://www.tourismsaskatchewan.com/search-results/105290/regina—wascana-valley-trails.

Buffalo Pound Provincial Park hosts the annual Prairie Summit Run-It Trail Race course, which features challenging hills, woodlands, and open grassland pathways, providing exceptional vistas for all trail users to enjoy: https://www.tourismsaskatchewan.com/provincialpark/303/buffalo-pound-provincial-park#sort=relevancy.

Remember, trail running is quite different from road running. You will not be able to run at the same pace on a trail as you do on a paved surface, so don’t focus on how many kilometers you’ve covered, but rather on your total time on the trails. Don’t be afraid to walk; steep inclines, rocky paths and hills are more challenging, and it’s okay to slow down and hike these areas. Falling is part of the experience, but as you get used to the off-road conditions, you will fall less. And, always be considerate to others on the trail: take out what you bring in, share the path, think of others, and don’t forget to stop and enjoy the view along the way.

Get off the beaten path; explore Saskatchewan’s running trails today!

STA AGM held on Saturday

STA AGM Presentations web

Trail builders, administrators and enthusiasts gathered at Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon on Saturday for our AGM.

The turnout was high and great conversations took place about trails and outdoor recreational activities. We’re pleased to announce our new executive:
  • President – David Powell
  • Vice President – Alan Otterbein
  • Secretary – Ryan Goolevitch
  • Treasurer – Trish German
  • Directors – Curt Schroeder, John Meed, Russ Hodgins and Chris Exner.

We would also like to thank outgoing board members Sharon Elder, Paul Cutting and Saul Lipton.

Picture: Joe Milligan (left) presents on how technology and partnership is being used to address the issue of human waste in northern canoe routes. Race organizer Jeff Dudar (right) talks about the evolution of the Beaver Flat 50 Trail Run.

STA publishes 2018 annual report

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The key to any successful tail outing is to make a plan in advance. You must plan what equipment you will need, what gear would suitable for the terrain, how much water you will need to pack and what route you will take. Over the past year, the Saskatchewan Trails Association spent considerable effort in the planning process.

We developed a strategic plan that the supports the STA in focusing our efforts to fulfill our mission and achieve our vision over the next five years. The plan included the creation of new sector and organizational visions and the development of four strategic priorities.

When the STA wasn’t busy planning for the future, we were working hard to highlight the many diverse trails across the province. We accomplished this by being active through social media and other online platforms, partnering with outdoor recreational groups and getting youth involved in the process.

We also assisted in the development of new fat bike trails and snowmobile trails in the province.

To learn more, view the 2018 STA Annual Report.

STA AGM scheduled March 30


Our AGM will feature a presentation on the Beaver Flat 50 Trail Run at Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park/Photo: Russell Hodgins.

Trail builders, administrators and enthusiasts will be gathering at Meewasin Valley Authority on Saturday, March 30 at 10:30 a.m. for the STA’s AGM. It’s the ultimate networking event to discuss trails and outdoor recreational activities. The fee is $25 and you can register by contacting info@sasktrails.ca.

The AGM features a fantastic group of presenters and there’s also an opportunity for interested persons to step forward and join our volunteer board of directors. If you’re interested in running for the board, contact Pat Rediger at prediger@sasktrails.ca.

Whether you’re part of a trail group or just love the outdoors, we’d love to see you attend our AGM.

Presenters include:

Jeff and Warren Dudar, Prairie Sky: Jeff and Warren will be discussing the Beaver Flat 50 Trail Run at Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park. The run courses 2,300 meters of vertical gain across 50 kilometers with almost 8,000 feet of total climb. Because the prairies are thought of as only flat, the event is marketed as #anythingbutflat.

Joe Milligan, Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport: Saskatchewan’s Lac La Ronge Provincial Park, including the historic Churchill River system, is a world class destination for thousands of canoeist, kayakers and anglers from across the world. It is also home to multiple First Nations communities whose people continue to use the land as they have for thousands of years. With all of this activity one of the biggest challenges is dealing with human waste. In this presentation we’ll look at how technology and partnership is being used to address this to the benefit of all.

Info needed on shovel ready projects for federal funding request


National Trails Coalition (NTC) board members recently met with various Members of Parliament and civil servants about funding for trail projects. One question the board received was, “What shovel ready projects exist at this time?” This is a good indicator of interest and the NTC would like to be able to provide this information as soon as possible.

The NTC is looking for the following information from trail builders and administrators on upcoming projects:

1. Description of projects – number of kilometres, what is being done (new, refurbished), infrastructure installed/refurbished, which trail groups can use it? Etc.
2. Estimated cost
3. Do you have a permit (for new work or existing work) – municipal, landowner, provincial?
4. Do you have confirmation of matching dollars?
5. Is the work started / when would it start?
6. Estimated completion

Please contact info@sasktrails.ca if you have information to share.

Fat Biking trail takes off thanks to STA support

Photo courtesy of Frank Collins of Danger Dynamite Multimedia

Earlier this year, the Fatlanders Fat Tire Brigade received a $1,000 Member Grant from the STA to support their Winter Fat Bike Groomed Trail Network called the St. Barbe Winter Trail Network. A fat bike is an off-road bicycle with oversized tires, typically 3.8 in (97 mm) or larger and rims 2.16 in (55 mm) or wider, designed for low ground pressure to allow riding on soft, unstable terrain, such as snow and sand.

Fatlanders had two goals with the project: 1) To create a well signed and reliably groomed winter trail network in an under-utilized urban forest on the outskirts of Saskatoon; 2) To maintain, prepare, and further develop the trail network for the 2018-19 season.

The grant helped the club create 600m of new single track trail this year, bringing the groomed winter trail network to over 12km.  The amount of use the trail network is getting has demonstrated that winter recreational cycling can be a viable and enjoyable activity in Saskatoon for riders of all abilities.

The club is now better positioned to continue to grow and maintain the trail network. Its membership has grown 50 per cent over this time last year and many new riders are being introduced to winter riding thanks to the success of these trails. The membership has been validating their appreciation by donating over $1,000 since January through the Trailforks mapping mobile app and a further $1,400 at a fundraiser held Dec 2, 2018. These funds will be used to further enhance the clubs’ ability to operate, groom, and sustain the trails for 2018-19 season.

“Thank you to the Saskatchewan Trails Association for the Member Grant of $1,000 that helped us to create 600m of new trail and achieve our 2018 goals of establishing an awesome winter recreational area for the emerging sport of fat biking,” said Jeff Hehn, vice president/trail ambassador for FatLanders Fat Tire Brigade.

To learn more about the trail, visit http://sasktrails.ca/trail-directory-saskatoon.

Check out this video from the Dec.1 group ride in Saskatoon as part of Global Fat Bike Day: a world wide celebration of the emerging sport. There were 98 riders who took part: https://bit.ly/2Eko50o