Winners Announced for STA Photo Contest!

Thanks to everyone for participating in the 2021 STA Photo Contest. We received over 800 entries and were very impressed with the quality of submissions. Even though the contest is over, send us your photos and we’ll continue to promote trails on our social media accounts.


Congratulations to overall winner Kerri Ludvigsen for this outstanding photo of the trail at Ness Creek.


Our honorable mentions go to:  Jeff Thorlakson (Fort a la Corne) and Kate Luff (Prince Albert National Park)



To show our appreciation, we wanted to thank you for all the support you have given us and wanted to share with you some of the other great photos we have received.

Photo credit: Tasha Kennedy (Silver Lake Regional Park)

Photo credit: The Milphs (Nicolle Flats)

Photo credit: Graeme (Fish Lake)

Photo credit: Holly Burgess (Narrow Hills Provincial Park)

Photo credit: Cheerie Constantino (Fairy Hill)

Photo credit: Karla Rasmussen (Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park)

Photo credit: Toby Cote (location unknown)

Photo credit: Mike Bender (location unknown)

Photo credit: Indrasish Banerjee (Claybank)

Photo credit: Gloria Pawliuk (Cypress Hills)

Churchill River Water Legacy Project

Although the COVID outbreak has delayed last year’s intended installation date. The STA is happy to announce that the first Urine Diverting Vermicomposting Toilet (UDVT) purchased with the funds raised through donations, raffle tickets, and the Give a Sh*! event has finally been successfully installed by volunteers on Barker Island along a popular canoe route in northwest Saskatchewan.

Pristine lakes, such as Barker Lake, are connected by countless falls, rapids, and ledges as the Churchill River courses through the rugged landscape on its 1,600-km journey to Hudson Bay. Throw in huge areas of spectacular boreal wilderness with a rich and storied history, and it’s easy to see how the Churchill River system enthralls thousands of canoeists, kayakers, and anglers who return year after year. It is also home to multiple Indigenous communities whose people continue to use the land and waterways.

Since much of the river system is in the Canadian shield, with all this activity, one of the biggest challenges in backcountry sites is dealing with human waste. In 2019, the STA partnered with the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, Churchill River Outfitters, and the local community to launch the Churchill River Water Trail Legacy Project. This project aims to remedy the lack of pleasant toilet facilities which lead to human waste and remnants of toilet paper being scattered throughout the landscape causing long-term environmental consequences and negative visitor experiences.

After extensive research into this challenge, a realistic and cost-effective solution was found in using a UDVT, manufactured by Toilet Tech Solutions (TTS). The technology separates the waste streams to allow for successful composting and has been proven to work through peer-reviewed academic research and in the field experiences. The system is innovative, leading-edge, and reliable.

We believe that the Churchill River Water Legacy Project is an initiative that will facilitate stewardship and lead to a cleaner environment along with providing an enhanced visitor experience. This project is a wonderful opportunity to promote trail development in the north and showcase how important trails are in every community to both the natural environment, its inhabitants, and travelers.

Although human waste is rarely spoken of, the problem of dealing with it is a serious issue in the backcountry and in remote sites. Compounded by increased visitation, the problem can have lasting negative impacts on the environment and create very poor visiting experiences. The installation of the first UDV toilet at Barkers Island will help improve the outdoor recreation experience along canoe routes in northern Saskatchewan.
Finally, the STA would like to thank all of our wonderful partners, volunteers, and donors involved in the project who made it so successful.


A volunteer standing beside the newly installed UDV toilet on Barker Island.


Many thanks to the volunteers who were involved in installing the UDV toilet on Barker Island.

Trail Etiquette 2021

With the weather finally warming up, Saskatchewan residents are spending more time outside this summer to get a breath of fresh air away from the city. But with so many people on the trails, it’s important that they remain in good shape. We are reminded that trail etiquette involves safe and courteous interaction with other travelers, but also includes proper care of the paths and nature.

Responsible outdoor recreation is outlined in the following sections. Feel free to review this guide or even print it out before your trip and carry it with you:

1. Research and Plan Ahead
Adequate trip planning and preparation helps hikers travel safely and have fun, while simultaneously minimizing damage to the land. When planning a trip, destinations and activities should be chosen based on the expectations, skills, and abilities of participants. Doing a bit of research beforehand is also advantageous as reviewing maps, considering the weather, and knowing the regulations of an area can help prevent awkward or even dangerous situations on the trails.

2. Bring the Essentials
Hikers should bring equipment and clothing for comfort and safety. A hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent along with proper footwear and suitable clothing for the weather are a must when traveling. Food and water along with bags for storing trash should also be brought to keep you fueled during the hike. For longer journeys, survival kits and first aid kits should be carried along with a whistle. When cycling or trail riding, a helmet, and other protective equipment should be worn properly.

3. Travel Properly
Many of us have veered off the trail to dodge mud puddles and incoming traffic. The action seems harmless at the time but places the quality of our outdoor experiences and the recreational resources we enjoy at risk. Always be alert and watch out for poisonous plants, wildlife, and falling rocks. Trail use is recommended whenever possible, and it is important to learn the rules of the ‘road’. Firstly, walk, ride or cycle in single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy unless passing on the left. Secondly, individuals climbing up a hill have the right of way if you are climbing down. Thirdly, it is important to remember that bike riders yield to hikers and horseback riders; hikers yield to horseback riders. Lastly, even without COVID distancing measures in place, try to keep space between yourself and other hikers on the trail.

4. Environmental Stewardship
“Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints”, it is essential that we take all our trash back with us when returning home from the trails; do not assume that anything is biodegradable. It is equally important to protect the environment by not disturbing it: Leave wood, rocks, flowers, and other natural resources on the trail so others can enjoy them and avoid making loud noises. Along with not disturbing plants or wildlife, removal of archaeological artifacts, dead wood, fossils, or other geological features is not permitted and is even considered illegal under certain jurisdictions. Additional rules govern the construction of campsites. Do not build structures, fire rings, furniture, or dig trenches, and fires are not allowed on the trails except in campsites that approve it. Additionally, make sure your campsite is at least 60 meters away from water sources and bury human waste at least 100 meters away.

5. Travelling with Children or Pets
Children enjoy the trails just as adults do. To ensure their safety, dress children in bright colors for easier locating and bring backpack carriers for longer trips. It is also important to note that disposable diapers should not be buried or otherwise discarded improperly. Though we all love our furry friends’ company, pets are best left at home. If you do bring them, keep them on a leash, away from the water, and bring doggy bags to clean up after them.

After reading this guide, I hope you are more knowledgeable about trail etiquette and will follow the guidelines moving forward. If everyone continues to do their part, the fun will be guaranteed, and Saskatchewan Trails will continue to be available for years to come.

Preparing for Tick Season

With the arrival of summer and warm temperatures, an increasing number of people are venturing outside to enjoy the trails. Unfortunately, the nice weather also means that tick season is upon us. The creepy crawlers are typically active in Saskatchewan between April and July with the peak happening in May and June.

Ticks are eight-legged arthropods (related to spiders) that need a blood meal from a vertebrate host to complete their life cycle. When ticks feed, they can transmit tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease to people and their pets.
The most common tick in Saskatchewan is the American Dog tick. There are also some areas that have Rocky Mountain Ticks and Winter ticks (moose tick). These species are usually active from mid-April to the end of July and cannot transmit Lyme disease to people. Blacklegged ticks, which can cause Lyme disease, are fortunately rare in Saskatchewan. Introduced by migratory birds in early spring, blacklegged ticks mature into adults and remain active throughout fall, particularly in tall grass, brush, or wooded areas.

Ticks move by crawling and running, but do not leap or fly. They cling to grasses and grab on to hosts as they walk by. Ticks can attach to any part of the human body but are often found in hard-to-see areas such as the groin, armpits, and scalp.

In April of last year, the Government of Saskatchewan, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Saskatchewan, launched eTick (, an image-based tick identification platform. Residents of Saskatchewan can submit photographs of ticks found on humans or animals using the eTick online system to receive timely identification of the type of tick and information on the risk of exposure to tick-borne diseases.

To prevent tick bites:

  •  Ticks like warm, sunny days so go out when it’s colder if you really want to avoid them.
  • Early mornings are also a good time to avoid ticks as they like the sunnier parts of the day.
  •  Wear pants, long-sleeved shirts, and shoes that do not expose your bare feet.
  • Pull socks over your pant legs to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs.
  • Wear light-coloured clothes so ticks can be seen easily.
  •  Use insect repellents that contain DEET or Icaridin. Apply repellent to clothes as well as your skin. Always read and follow the directions on the label. Some repellents may have age restrictions.
  • In Canada, clothing that has been treated with the insecticide permethrin has been approved for use by people over the age of 16.
  •  Shower or bathe as soon as possible after being outside to wash off loose ticks and inspect for attached ticks.
  •  Do “full-body” tick checks after being outside on yourself, your children, and your pets.

If you find a tick attached to your skin or on your pet:

  •  Carefully remove it with fine-tipped tweezers and grasp the tick’s mouthparts as close to the skin as possible.
  •  Pull slowly upward and out with firm, steady pressure.
  •  Be careful not to squeeze, crush or puncture the body after removal.
  • Do not put Vaseline, gasoline, or other harmful substances on an attached tick.
  • Submit photos of the tick using the eTick system, and please keep ticks in a secure container until you receive the identification results. Ticks can be euthanized by placing them in a bag and storing it in the freezer for 24 hours.


Additional Information can be found at: