September Grasslands Hike

Russ Hodgins took a trip with his family to Grasslands National Park for another hike and spent a night in the badlands. Temperatures are starting to cool off as we head into the fall season. Without the worry of the summer heat, it is a great time to head out and enjoy a trail! Here are a few photos from their Grasslands adventure:

   

   

Wildfire Prevention Safety during Hiking

Fortunately, it is uncommon for hikers to experience a wildfire while out on a trail. However, with an increase of people adventuring in back country, and the affects of climate change and drought, it is important for hikers to be knowledgeable about a wildfire scenario.

One of the greatest threats to the environment is a wildfire, but they are also extremely dangerous for individuals as well. Here are some easy to follow tips to avoid wildfires and keep yourself safe if you were to come across one.

Be Prepared

Before hiking a particular trail, the smartest precaution to take is to check an online map indicating active forest fires across the country. You can also visit a local ranger station who can warn you about certain high-risk trails. If an official chooses to close a trail in response to a fire, do not ignore the warning even if the fire does not seem close by. Wildfires can change directions and speed at anytime without sufficient warning.

Be Well Equipped

It is important to note what type of clothing you are wearing. Cotton material is fine, but fabrics made of polyester, for example, will melt and stick to your skin. If you are hiking in a more high-risk area it is a good idea to bring along a cotton bandana or n95 mask in case you encounter fire smoke. Taking along a topographic map and a compass as well are great navigation tools to avoid and escape wildfires. Noting the direction of escape routes and large bodies of water is important.

Do Not Panic

If you are out on the trail and see smoke or fire, it important not to panic but to refer to a map to find the best escape route plan. However, not panicking does not mean you wait around and assume the fire will go away in the opposite direction. Get away from it as quickly as possible. Once you are safely away you can notify authorities immediately.

Avoiding Fire and Smoke Inhalation

If fire or smoke is close to you, look for areas away from trees, bushes, and other vegetation that are fire fuels. Find surfaces like dirt roads, trail gravel, asphalt, or rock. If you have to enter a smoke-filled area, cover your mouth with a bandana, mask, or piece of clothing, and lie on the ground or stay as low as possible. Air quality is usually better at lower elevations.

It is best to travel upwind and downhill when trying to avoid a fire. Avoid high areas like hills, mountains, canyons, ravines, and drainage areas because they act as chimneys for the fire. Try to find low areas, a streambed is the most ideal if possible.

Knowing the Characteristics of Fire

White or gray coloured smoke means the fire is burning light, but it usually means the fire will move fast. Brown smoke usually means burning brush, and dark brown or black means the flames have set fire to oily vegetation or a material that burns at a much slower pace.

If you see the smoke of a fire spiraling upwards it is an indication that there is low wind and the direction the fire will go is more unknown. If the smoke arcs in a particular direction, that is a good indication that the fire will travel in that direction.

Protecting Yourself if Escape is Impossible

If you are unable to flee a wildfire, try to find a ditch, gully, streambed, or water source with as little vegetation possible. If you have time to remove vegetation like brush or grass from the particular area you should do so. The more vegetation you remove the more protection you will have.

It is recommended that you lie on your stomach with your feet facing the direction of the fire and dig a hole for your face in addition to covering your mouth. Covering yourself in dirt is another recommendation for protecting yourself against the flames.

We always want to ensure hikers have the best and safest experiences on the trails. Wildfires not only cause destruction, but severe burns can be fatal for hikers. Inhalation of smoke also poses a great risk. Health effects like headaches, eye irritation and shortness of breath can occur. In more severe cases impaired lung function, bronchitis, asthma, and heart failure can also occur.

STA wants to make certain hikers are educated about nasty environmental hazards so dangerous wildfires can be avoided by adventurous hikers.

Trail Building Planning Steps

If you are looking at potentially adding a trail to your community, there are several steps to consider. Successfully funding, building, and maintaining a new trail can be a tough task. Here are a few different preparation steps to consider and plan for before you start building a trail.

Concept

Before starting into trail design and construction, the first step is to lay out a concept for your trail.  A good concept consists of a few sentences or statements to define your mission and objectives. Design a rough goal that you wish to achieve.

Study area

The next step is to study the area where you want to build. Sketch or photocopy a rural municipality ownership map or topographical map to gain an idea of the location, ownership, and terrain.

Why is this trail a good idea?

The next step is to better understand what makes this trail a good idea. What aspects make this trail unique? What is the need for this trail? What target audience or demographic will use this trail? Are adjustments possible to incorporate a greater user group? All of these questions aid in creation of a successful trail. Trail knowledge and ideas can be gained by talking to other trail operators or organizers, these contacts can be found on Sasktrails.ca.

Try discussing the idea with friends and family to see potential opportunities or risks that you might have missed. Keep track of those in support of a trail to add to a mailing list as well as your community’s recreation director. A walk down the desired trail location and route can help to point out any potential problem areas such as cliffs, bogs, rivers, or other difficult to pass areas. As well, consider any environmental concerns like heritage sites which should not be disturbed.

Route evaluation checklist

Creation of a route evaluation checklist helps to compile the vast diversity of the area such as the vegetation, topography, natural features, built features, infrastructure, wildlife, slopes, views, intersections, and access points. Gathering this information into a checklist will assist in designing the path for the trail and potential features to set your trail apart from others.

Contact any outdoor clubs and talk to key people

Grow your stakeholders and connections by contacting outdoors groups and key people who can help to get the trail built and backed. Some of these groups are the Saskatchewan Snowmobiling Association (sasksnow.ca), Saskatchewan All-Terrain Vehicle Association (satva.ca), Saskatchewan Cycling Association (saskcycling.ca), and Saskatchewan Horse Federation (saskhorse.ca). Making these connections will be a huge step towards gaining funding and volunteers.

Call a meeting to clarify your group’s vision

Call a meeting for all potential trail supporters and finalize questions such as: general type of trail, how it will relate to existing trails, approximate route and length, type of uses allowed, preferred surface material, theme or prominent subject of area, name for the project (a catchy name will often attract users).

Managing tasks

 Select a person for each of the following tasks:

  • Research history of site
  • Put together a list of influential people in area
  • Start to consider where the funding could come from
  • Compile a list of recreation, cultural, historic and tourist sites which would be supportive
  • Explain how this trail relates to the provincial trail network and other nearby routes
  • Have a local artist “add” a trail to a large photo of the site
  • put the research material together into a display, emphasizing the community benefits
  • put research material onto a map of the area, at a scale of 1:50,000 or more detailed
  • compile text information, with reference to the distance from one end and start a scrapbook of all the promotion and support received

Go public!

This step involves meeting more influential people, organizations, and the general public while recording their contact information. This also includes writing a media release and contacting the media such as newspapers, radios, and televisions to get the word out and gain more supporters.

Expand and formalize the concept

Write a program statement to obtain formal endorsements and funding. The program statement will consist of a one-page narrative documenting the vision and schedule. You should already have some influential supporters and contacts, so now is the time to use them. Contact target groups or people such as an MP, MLA, Mayor, City Council, or Major Industry in search of endorsements.

Project proposal

The project proposal requires a detailed site investigation to determine exactly what work is required. This will be one of the largest steps and require time to document all of the information and build an in-depth report.

Expenses

Have the financial person start a project budget of anticipated expenses. Getting written quotations at this stage will allow more efficient fund-raising and reduce the approval time.

Design

The design step focuses on land acquisition, path clearing, placing material, obtaining required equipment, creation of maps, creation of signage, and other required design tools.

Funding

 Have someone start to search for funding. Indicate to all organizations how much you are requesting from others. Everyone wants to see commitment from others. (A great place to start your search for funding would be to visit sasktrails.ca or National Trails Coalition at ntc-canada.ca). Record all of the organizations you have asked for funding, their reply, and the amount donated, this will help to keep the books.

Approvals

Obtain all approvals including land ownership (lease, licence of occupation, or purchasing), municipality, funding organizations, operating organizations. Sample landowner agreements can be found on the SaskTrails’ website.

Insurance

Determine the need for liability insurance and acquire a policy if required. (Oasis Insurance — oasisinsurance.ca — located in North Battleford offers a discount rate to all SaskTrails members.)

Official opening

Congratulations, you have officially opened the trail and made a huge impact on your community. Now it is time to plan the opening, recognise the efforts of the group, and thank the supporters and funders. Once opened it is important to focus on ongoing trail maintenance and to continue to evaluate and follow up with trail issues and feedback. By following these steps, you can more accurately and reliably plan out the creation of your trail.

These steps and the full Trail Planning Workbook can be found at https://sasktrails.ca/trail-builders/.

Need to Know of Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac

Well this is a blog I have just been itching to write! As we all know, we can only control nature so much, and occasionally on a nice hike through your favorite trail, you can come across some less than pleasant wildlife and plant life. Learn how to identify, avoid, and treat yourself or others if you happen to bump into one of these less than friendly plants!

Facts

Poison ivy, oak, and sumac grow everywhere. These plants grow mainly in North America in wooded and marshy areas. There are many myths and misconceptions about these plants as well. The three “poisonous” plants are not really poisonous, they have a sap like oil that covers their leaves that is to blame for the nasty rashes they leave behind. This sap is called urushiol and causes extremely itchy and quite painful rashes on the skin.

These rashes consist of streaks of red raised blisters and while unpleasant, often do not show up for hours to days after contact with the plant’s oil. While the rash and itching are not contagious, if in contact with the plants, wash it off immediately to avoid spreading the oil.

Note: pets (dogs and cats) can be harmed by poison ivy, oak, and sumac as well. An animal that comes in contact with the oils of these plants may not show symptoms immediately because it has to work its way through the animal’s fur. Animals can also transmit the sticky oil to humans.

How to Avoid

Seeing as these plants can be anywhere, the best way to avoid them is to be aware of your surroundings and knowledgeable about their appearance. The rhyme “leaves of three, let them be”, however, is not true, poison ivy has only three leaves, but the other two can grow in leaves of seven to thirteen.

Another precaution to take is simply wearing clothing that covers your skin. If the oil cannot touch and stick to your skin, it cannot harm you. However, you should always be careful and wash any clothing or tools that come in contact with these plants as the oil may still be on them.

Treatment

Another dangerous misconception or myth about poison ivy, oak, and sumac is that you do not need to visit the doctor to get treatment. In minor cases, you may not need to see a doctor, but it is smart to go anyways. If the rash is close to your face or eyes, or if the rash is accompanied by nausea, fever, shortness of breath, extreme soreness, or allergy like symptoms, you should visit the ER immediately! Doctors can prescribe pills and/or cremes to reduce the rashes, swelling, itching, and any other accompanied side effects.

While there is no substitute for seeing a doctor and receiving treatment, along with treatment, there are some home remedies you can use. Aside from washing the area with water and soap, keep the infected area cool, dry, and clean. Lotions like calamine lotion, diphenhydramine cream or hydrocortisone can help control itching. Cool compresses, baths with baking soda/oatmeal can also soothe the rash to help avoid the terrible itch. Avoid scratching the rash or blisters because it will only make it hurt and itch more.

Nobody plans to come into contact with these plants, but accidents happen when you least expect it. Hopefully this information can help you, your friends, or your family on your next trip through the trails in Saskatchewan!

Beat The Heat This Summer: How To Avoid Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

The weather is warm, and the sun is shining, so it is time to get out and have some fun on the trails! However, increased time spent outdoors during the summer means there are precautions that should be used to take care of yourself. Too much exposure to hot temperatures can cause heat exhaustion and unfortunately lead to heat stroke.

This blog was not created to make you fear the beautiful summer weather. Experiencing sunshine and the outdoors has many positive benefits for your body — both physically and mentally. Although it is important to emphasize that too much of anything can be bad for you. If you learn about heat exhaustion and heat stroke, however, and apply the following safety tips and precautions when you head outdoors, you will be sure to beat the heat!

What Is It?

Heat exhaustion is the precursor to heatstroke/sunstroke and is a direct result of the body overheating. When heat exhaustion is not addressed, heat stroke will soon follow. These occur with overexposure to extremely hot weather as well as strenuous activity. Heat stroke is the most severe degree of heat related illness and is very common when temperatures spike upwards.

Heat stroke has many symptoms and the complications that go along with it should be taken seriously as it can be fatal. When the body reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, you have heat stroke. This temperature can cause major lasting damage to you brain, muscles, heart, kidneys, and other vital organs.

Warning Signs and Symptoms

Overheating will cause many of the following symptoms. These symptoms will let you know to get out of the sun, drink water, and relax until your body can effectively cool itself before heatstroke is reached.

  • High body temperature
  • Altered mental state/ Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Flushed skin (Sweats followed by clammy cold skin)
  • Rapid breathing
  • Racing heart
  • Sweating or lack there of (Explained later)
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Extreme thirst
  • Weakness
  • Muscle aches/cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

How To Protect Yourself

It is important to know your body’s limits and to take steps in order to avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion before it happens.

  • Wear loose fitting, lightweight, light coloured clothing
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Take precautions with medication
  • Take it easy through hottest part of the day
  • Wear a hat
  • Take frequent breaks in the shade to cool off and relax
  • Avoid over exerting or over exercising
  • Avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol which will dehydrate you

 Treatment

To avoid this heat-related issue, get out of the sun or seek immediate shade if possible. Evaluate the situation, if symptoms are major and there is vomiting, seizures, extreme dizziness, or other dangerous signs, seek a doctor or call 911 immediately.

If possible, apply cool packs or cold compress to key body parts such as your back, neck, groin, head, and armpits. The next immediate step is to drink lots of water (preferably cool water). Water will help your body to cool itself through the act of sweating. If it has gotten to the point where you are no longer sweating and have become very dehydrated, you have most likely reached heat stroke and should seek out a healthcare professional. Gatorade or sports drinks with electrolytes work as well, however. avoid soda or other caffeinated beverages.

It is always smart idea to consult a physician or doctor if you think you may have heat exhaustion or heat stroke to receive proper medical care. If you are showing symptoms of heat exhaustion, take a cool shower, remove tight or unnecessary clothing, drink plenty of fluids/sports drinks and apply any other cooling methods. After cooling yourself down, revaluate your situation, and if symptoms persist, seek medical help.

We hope you gained some important knowledge about heat exhaustion and heat stroke so you can avoid it this summer and maximize your fun in the sun!

Klinger Trail Construction is Underway

The 8km Klinger trail project connecting Marean Lake and Greenwater has begun construction. The project was created to honour the memory of Kleon Swahn (aka Klinger) who was killed in a workplace accident at SaskPower. The area was significant to him because he grew up in the area, spent time as a child at the family cabin at Marean, and then purchased his own cabin there as an adult.

Friends and family are thrilled to announce that 2 km of the trail have been completed, after years of planning. This would not be possible without all the donations, assistance from volunteers, and receiving permission from Christ the King Camp, who owns that section of land.

       

The planning committee of nine dedicated volunteers has raised $25,000 in cash donations so far, a large donation of $10,000 came from SaskPower. Generous individuals have also committed to supplying all the gravel and crusher dust needed, as well as the equipment and hauling required which is a huge contribution.

A total of six benches have been purchased so far by sponsors to go along the trails.  The planning committee wants to stress how grateful they are to all the individuals and businesses who have helped out in anyway. Check out the Klinger’s Trail Facebook page to see the various ways people are supporting the project.

In order for the construction to continue, the committee is waiting on approval from the Government of Saskatchewan to construct on Provincial Park land. While the committee waits for approval, they have started constructing a ball diamond which will be another feature of the project, located at the trailhead.

The Klinger Trail committee hopes to finish the trail this year, but they still need to raise an additional minimum amount of $50,000 to accomplish this goal. The trail will not only showcase the beautiful terrain connecting the two areas, but it will also include multiple bridges two of them over 53 ft long.

It will be really good addition for the community because right now they do not have anything like that at Marean. Most importantly, it will be a tribute to Kleon, a friend who deserves a legacy.

You can donate to this project at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/saskatchewan-trails-association-inc/ or by contacting Rob Wells at  rjwells@sasktel.net

Like Klinger’s Trail Facebook page to stay updated on the project and to get involved in any volunteer opportunities.

 

Here is some beautiful pictures of wild greenery found along the trail!

     

 

 

Virtual Valley Run

By Russ Hodgins

I have a friend Colin whose wife Tracey was diagnosed with Scleroderma. They do an awareness walk/run each summer, but this year it’s a virtual event (meaning you video or take photos of your walk/run and send them in). I decided to do the awareness run this year. I did a long run from my place to my wife’s family cabin on Pasqua Lake.
I also recruited my kids  Kellen and Lauren to come along and record it. I am happy to say that on June 5th we pulled it off, and the day was perfect. Pam took one for the team, staying home to look after three dogs (ours plus Kellen’s two large beasts), and the kids spent a long day keeping the old goat fed and watered at intervals along the valley but more importantly, kept the jokes going and the laughter happening.
Vehicle access was limited, so Kellen brought his mountain bike and rode out in parts to get different shots. The kids even detoured to the cabin to grab a kayak to be able to film out on the water, as the old guy slowly ran along the shore. During one long stretch where I wouldn’t arrive at the next access point for three hours, I sent them to go for ice cream at the DQ in Fort Qu’Appelle. It’s important to keep the crew happy!
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We started the day with an early breakfast and then we loaded up the truck with Kellen’s bike, a cooler full of food and drink and at 6:45am, I started running down the road with Cola. It was a beautiful 5 degree morning, perfect for running and the wind stayed down as the temperature rose to a pleasant 24 degrees.
One mile in…
Just before the three mile mark, we climbed up the hill on a slight detour to film at the landslide coulee.
Cola came along for the first four miles and she could have ran much farther but that was the best time to get her back to the house as the kids drove to meet me at highway 6.
Kellen had dropped Lauren off at the bottom of the landslide coulee and she went for her run while we filmed up top. I left Cola with Kellen as he waited for Lauren and headed off on the trail that would take me to highway # 6. I met up with Lauren shortly, a quick high five and they returned Cola to the house and headed off to meet me.
 
Not long after seeing Lauren, I crossed a small creek and some cows were passively standing there. I had to do a double take because two coyotes were just hanging out there beside them. I stopped, pulled out my phone and took a picture as one of the calves happened to notice me but the coyotes still hadn’t caught on that they had company.
A bit of a side story: further along in the run, I would go across reserve land and Harry Frances’s place. I met him on an earlier run, he is on our elders advisory committee. When I mentioned thinking about doing this long run, he simply said “you’ll do it” and I loved his confidence.  I called him to let him know he was right and told him the coyote story. He said they didn’t see me because I belonged there and was part of the country. I took that as a huge compliment but the truth is probably that their eyesight is similar to mine.
This was a different creek I crossed on the way to the highway and not long after, had the big climb to the top of the valley.
It was only a few minutes later that I met Kellen who had biked over to film a few more shots (above photo) and then we went and crossed the highway, arriving at Fairy Hill hiking trail.  This is the hiking trail: 
After Fairy Hill and a few miles on a trail up top, a grid road took us down to the bottom of the valley where we would cross over to the north side.
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Mile 13 –ish and crossing the river. Once we got over to the north side of the valley, we took the first break while I sat on the tailgate, refilled my Camelbak with a sports drink and water mix, ate a banana, some cold salted potatoes, a handful of raisons and then I had a couple more miles on a gravel road until I got onto the more enjoyable pasture trails.
This is shortly after the 17 mile mark and it was starting to feel warm.
A few hours later, I was past Loon Creek and the last time I glanced at my watch, it said 26.18 miles. I hadn’t looked at the watch for some time after that but when I did, the battery had died and I had no idea how far back this happened (maybe a half mile?). About a half mile after that, I got to where Kellen and Lauren were waiting on the road and borrowed Lauren’s Garmin watch. I also stopped to fill up the fluid and eat half a bun with cheese and Montreal smoked meat. If you have never had it, it’s delicious but not having tried it while on a run, I really didn’t know if it would stay down. I’m happy to report no issues, probably because I wasn’t moving horribly fast past that point. I had the ultra-shuffle down pat.
After leaving grid # 640, it was going to be three hours until I got to the next place the kids could meet me so that was when I told them to go to Fort Qu’Appelle for ice cream. Luckily for me, the next section was very scenic as I was soon to go past the 30 mile mark and counting. I found this interesting. The lilac bush are usually the result of someone planting them. I didn’t see any sign of an old homestead but it must have been. I snapped a quick photo and you can see the marsh in the background which means I was getting closer to the lake where the kids were going to be waiting. I also sent this to Colin who had texted earlier that Tracey was having a less than fantastic day but said my updates had cheered her up which made this whole crazy idea worthwhile. When I sent him this image, he replied back that Tracey loves lilacs. I didn’t feel as tired after that.
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I crossed over some Nature Conservancy land and was just entering back onto someone’s hay field in the photo below. I ran this about four weeks ago and the plants were much shorter. There was really no trail and this was a slog on very tired legs as I was somewhere around the 34-36 miles mark.
When I got to Pasqua Lake and saw a kayak approaching. Lauren was bored waiting for me to show up so she went for a couple mile paddle. We had a short visit.
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Probably about 5 miles left at this point.
Once I got back on the road, I knew it was only about 3 and a half miles back to the cabin. After a mile and a half, I would be back on the much hated pavement but at the same time, would be happy to be there. Kellen rode his bike, going ahead to take short video clips while Lauren leap frogged the truck along, also taking photos and video.
The view from Kellen’s point with Lauren standing by the truck, filming from there:
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The sun was getting lower, the shadows longer and almost 12 hours exactly after setting off from home, I ran down the driveway at the cabin.
Only one mile to go!
I ran down the driveway at the cabin. I then kept running right off the end of the dock and into the very cold water. It felt awesome. For a lot of reasons.
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And so ends another rusty goat adventure. There is no other way to describe it except to say that it was an amazing day. Spending it with the kids in a beautiful place, hearing them say how they had enjoyed the day (as Kellen put it) doing something that not many people would ever do.
We drove back home as the sun was setting, laughing about different points of the day like when Kellen found out the hard way that the electric fence he stepped over was on, how I had used a bunch of grain bins as a reference to find a certain access road (when southern Saskatchewan is literally polluted with grain bins – good job jackass!) and then relived the tales again, updating Pam of the day’s events.  
  

Ghost Towns of Saskatchewan

Ghost Towns of Saskatchewan

       

Looking for something to do during the pandemic? Consider checking out the Saskatchewan Ghost Town Trail. Take the chance to explore places such as Candiac, Frobisher, Shackleton and more, all here in Saskatchewan. Each town is unique and has something new and interesting to photograph.

A recommended ghost town to visit is Bromhead due to its many exciting sights including old, rundown buildings, an abandoned gas station, rusted vehicles, and lots more! Saskatchewan has lots to offer if you just look around in the right places.

           

Besides the ghost towns you may also find it interesting to find a safe spot to stop on the side of the road. You may see something worth taking a photo of because while driving to the ghost towns there are also plenty of abandoned buildings.

Although the likelihood of crowds is low in a ghost town, it is still encouraged that people continue to practice safe physical distancing of at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart. Aside from that go out and have fun!

Also feel free to post any photos you have taken to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #sasktrails. We would love to see your pictures. You may also want to consider entering your photograph(s) into the Give Us Your Best Shot photo contest that begins June 6 and ends June 30. Further details of the contest are located as a blog post at https://sasktrails.ca/sta-photo-contest/.

If you are considering visiting one of the many ghost towns in Saskatchewan visit https://anywhere.ca/ghost-towns-saskatchewan/ for more information and photos.

Saskatchewan Trails Day

Celebrate Saskatchewan Trails Day on June 6 while practicing physical distancing

 

As people look for new ways to spend their time during the pandemic, many are turning to trails as a healthy and fun way to get some exercise and a little adventure. The Saskatchewan Trails Association (STA) invites all residents to get out and enjoy the trail network on Saskatchewan Trails Day on June 6, while at the same time adhering to provincial health standards.

“Escape the indoors, and experience the beauty of Saskatchewan trails,” said STA President David Powell. “Bring your family and friends, or even have your own solo adventure on a new trail. Keep in mind the safety of yourself and others while practicing social distancing. While out on your exploration, we encourage you to share your experience and photos with us using #SaskTrailsDay. You can follow us and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.”

If by chance you do run into other trail lovers along your hike, the STA advises that you adhere to the guidelines set out by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC). You can help protect yourself by practicing physical distancing which is defined as maintaining a 2-meter (6-feet) distance away from others and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as well as any other surfaces others may have come in contact with. It is also important to practice good hand hygiene.

If you are looking to find trails in isolated locations, then check out the STA’s on-line trail directory at sasktrails.ca/trail-directory/.  The directory provides information about trails, locations, difficulty, length, photos and maps. It can help you get from point A to point B on your journey to experience nature on the trails.

As part of the Saskatchewan Trails Day celebrations, the STA is launching a month-long photo contest. Make sure to take lots of photos while hiking one of the trails and submit them to us through Instagram using #SaskTrailsDay. You can enter as often as you like and the best photo, as selected by the STA board of directors, will receive a prize package valued at $200. All photos become property of the STA and will be used to promote your favourite trails. The contest begins on Saskatchewan Trails Day and wraps up on June 30 as part of June is Recreation and Parks Month in the province. A decision on the top prize will be made the following week.

After you’ve experienced the trail system, the STA encourages you to make a donation to the trail of your choice, and to help support trail development and maintenance programs in Saskatchewan. Memberships to become a STA member are also available for as little as $25 per year for an individual.  STA members have accesses to trail funding and other resources and can also attend and vote at meetings of members. Visit Sasktrails.ca to find out more information about trails and activities you can do in your area. Every new trail offers a unique adventure!

 

STA Photo Contest

Give Us Your Best Shot Photo Contest

The Saskatchewan Trails Association will be running a month-long Give Us Your Best Shot photo contest in June.  The photo contest begins on Saturday, June 6 — Saskatchewan Trails Day – and concludes on Tuesday, June 30.  Prizes will be presented to the top photo. To enter our contest, post a picture of your favourite trail in Saskatchewan on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, using #SaskTrailsPhotoContest or email us at info@sasktrails.ca.

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 photos as you wish to the contest.

To enter the STA Give Us Your Best Shot photo contest, you must submit your photos by posting on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #SaskTrailsPhotoContest or email them to us. We must be able to see your picture in order 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. When posting, if possible, format the photo in the highest resolution possible to ensure we are able to use it in printed materials. The winning photo may be used to promote trails in Saskatchewan through brochures, annual reports, social media and more.

Prize:

The winner will be chosen at the end of the month, announced on our pages, and will be contacted to arrange and claim their prize. Pictures will only be accepted into the contest until June 30th, so be sure to get your pictures in before then.  The top photo winner will receive a $200 gift certificate to Cabela’s. As pictures come in they may be featured on our page, with credit to the photographer. Best wishes to all who 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.