The trail network in Saskatchewan continues to evolve and offer new experiences for anyone from entry level trail enthusiasts to those who are much more experienced and wish to find a new challenge. There are trails for people from all walks of life – walkers and hikers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers.
This year we encourage you to experience some of the new trail opportunities in our province first-hand. Here are some recent developments that you’ll want to check out:
First, Wascana Trails is now home to Canada’s first “All Persons” nature interpretive trail, which is suitable for individuals with mobility and visual challenges. It is also appropriate for strollers, families, seniors, and anyone who wants to get some fresh air and enjoy nature. This approximately 550 meters long nature trail includes a kiosk and interpretive panels as well as signage for the visually impaired.
Wascana Trails also features a natural land protrusion that extends east from the parking lot to a beautiful vista. Repairs were done to the Viewing Area and the 147-meter-long pathway to ensure Wheelchair accessibility, and other features were added for those with visual impairments. A railing now wraps around the front of the hill to prevent anyone from walking down the slope. 2,400 meters of the existing Trans Canada Trail and its connectors have also been refurbished.
New enhancements were added to trails at the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Various enhancements and repairs were recently completed to its existing trails including the creation of back-country picnic sites, trail reroutes, boardwalk and footbridge replacements, tree removal and extension of existing trail pathways. New trail head signage has also been installed at Cypress that includes pertinent trail information and waypoints, and a new all-season trail for winter activity access was also created so visitors can enjoy it year-round.
Candle Lake features new trail head signage and directional signage, and Outlook revitalized their trails by removing Dutch Elm branches and other overgrowth on the trails and adding a new bench and trail map.
The trail in St. Walburg, as part of The Great Trail, has also made significant improvements with new drainage and substrates as well as a new rustic sign to enhance the entrance to this wonderful trail.
Manitou Beach established their trail system six years ago, and the current trail system consists of three trails varying in length. Four years ago, a borrow pit was created at the east end of the village. The Recreation Board is in the process of expanding the trail system to incorporate this borrow pit and have created a pond as a feature of this trails system.
The 8 km Klinger trail project connecting Marean Lake and Greenwater was completed last year. The project was created to honour the memory of Kleon Swahn (aka Klinger) who was killed in a workplace accident at SaskPower.
Foam Lake Team Nature Trails (TNT) has a designated International Birding Area and sees many tourist birdwatchers each year during migration periods. Many locals like to explore this area over the summer months as well. You will see new signage along the Vatnabyggd Trail.
The Qu’Appelle Valley Nordic Ski Club has been built from scratch over the last five years, investing more than $240,000 into the development of their biathlon range, clubhouse, targets, trails, grass mower and trail grooming equipment. This trail system now offers skiing for both classic and skate, for novice and experts, and for casual and competitive skiers for over 100 members and residents. During the summer months, the trails provide opportunities for hiking, cycling, and running. Each year the club also hosts several biathlon camps and trail runs, for particularly motivated trail-goers.
Finally, The St. Barbe Winter Trail Network, which is part of the Winter Fat Bike Groomed Trail Network, is designed for low ground pressure to allow riding on soft, unstable terrain, such as snow and sand (whether fat-biking or mountain biking). A new 600m of single-track trail was added, bringing the groomed trail network to over 12km.