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Take a hike in northern Saskatchewan


A group of friends hiking through the woods of PANP
Hiking Prince Albert National Park - Credit: Tourism Saskatchewan & Greg Huszar Photography

With its rolling parklands, boreal forests and maze of waterways, northern Saskatchewan in Canada’s heartland is full of trails to discover. Here are a few to get you started – from short loops to multi-day excursions. Lace up those boots and head out for some adventure in nature.

 

Narrows Peninsula Trail


Distance: 3 km loop


Narrows Peninsula Trail is a rolling trail featuring an ostrich fern bed and expansive views of Waskesiu Lake.


Gem Lakes Trail


Distance: 5.5 km loop


Discover steep, treed valleys among five sparkling little lakes named after precious stones – Jade, Diamond, Opal, Sapphire and Pearl – on the Gem Lakes Trail. Brilliant fall colours reflect on the mirror-like lake surfaces.

 

sparkling Gem Lakes in beautiful Narrow Hills Provincial Park
Gem Lakes in Narrow Hills Provincial Park - Credit: Tourism Saskatchewan & Paul Austring

Kimball Lake Trail


Distance: 6.5 km loop


The Kimball Lake Trail loops from the Kimball Lake campsite and circles around Raspberry Lake, which is stocked with brown trout.

 

Grey Owl Trail


Distance: 40 km (out and back)


Make your way along the Grey Owl Trail to Ajawaan Lake and the home of Archibald Belaney, aka Grey Owl. The conservationist lived there with his partner Anahareo and their pet beavers, Jellyroll and Rawhide. It is an overnight/two-day hike to Grey Owl’s Cabin, so pack accordingly.


Hikers on their way to Grey Owl's cabin.
Hiking to Grey Owl's cabin in Prince Albert National Park - Credit: Tourism Saskatchewan

Boreal Trail


Distance: 135 km (one-way thru hike)


The Boreal Trail in Meadow Lake Provincial Park spans an epic 135 km, east to west across the park. This destination backpacking trail traverses through wild and varied ecosystems. Watch birch and pine leaves turning, see rocky cliffs and wander on the shores of northern Saskatchewan’s massive lakes. Backcountry campsites are available throughout the trek and numerous entry-exit points are available for shorter hikes. 


Hiking on the Boreal Trail, lake in the background
Boreal Trail in Meadow Lake Provincial Park - Credit: Tourism Saskatchewan & Paul Austring

Rice River Canyon


Where: 94 km east of Carrot River on Highway 55

Distance: 21.6 km (out and back)


Located in an ecological reserve on the northwest side of the Pasquia Hills, Rice River Canyon is a rugged backcountry wilderness hike. Over the last 12,000 years, the river has carved out an impressive valley. The walls stand high above you, reaching 400 ft. above the riverbed. The hike to the river forks is 10.6 km one way. Wear hiking shoes that can take on water and pack trekking poles, as there is no real trail to follow, and you will be walking along and through the river. Plan to overnight at one of the primitive campsites along the floodplain. Water levels fluctuate throughout the year, and it is recommended to hike this trail later in the season.


Woman hiking along the river
Hiking along the river - Credit: Ashlyn George

Travel Tip


Wherever the trail takes you, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience. Always do your research and take these safety precautions when hiking and camping in the backcountry: 


  • Make a trip plan and inform family and friends, in case of an emergency on the trail; consider taking a wilderness first aid course.  

  • Cell service can be limited or non-existent; carry a satellite communication device.  

  • Keep an eye out for wildlife; carry bear spray and wildlife deterrents.  

  • Trails are in sensitive ecosystems; practice leave no trace principles when exploring. Pack out what you pack in.

 

 

Further information can be found at www.tourismsaskatchewan.com.

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