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Traveling along the Louis Riel Trail: Five stops between Saskatoon and Prince Albert National Park


Batoche National Historic Site - Credit: Tourism Saskatchewan & Greg Huszar Photography

Saskatchewan has more roads than any other province in Canada. Many of them lead somewhere interesting. The 142-km stretch of Highway 11 between Saskatoon and Prince Albert, a section of the Louis Riel Trail, is no exception.


Louis Riel led the Métis during the 1885 Northwest Resistance. The route named in his honour features distinctive trail markers, beautiful outdoor sculptures and points of interest.


Here are some of the historic and cultural gems to explore when you’re in the area:


Wanuskewin Heritage Park


Wanuskewin Heritage Park is located on Saskatoon’s northern edge. The heritage park is in the picturesque Opimihaw Creek valley, adjacent to the South Saskatchewan River and east of the Louis Riel Trail. It is the longest continually operating archaeological dig site in Canada.


The work has uncovered evidence of human occupation dating back 6,400 years, along with traces of every cultural group that existed on the Northern Plains.


Wanuskewin’s galleries showcase Indigenous artists and perspectives. The interpretive exhibits are, like so many experiences in the park, transformative. The park’s restaurant offers a contemporary take on traditional Indigenous cuisine, and its menu is delicious.


Station Arts Centre


Station Arts Centre is a quaint gem in the community of Rosthern.


Housed in the town's original railroad station built in 1902, the centre features a gallery, performing arts theatre and tea room. It’s an active space with many live music and theatre performances throughout the year. The food is excellent, the space is cozy and the atmosphere is welcoming.


If you plan on attending an event, don’t wait to book your tickets. Sellout shows are not uncommon.


Batoche National Historic Site


At Batoche National Historic Site, learn about the lives of Métis residents between 1860 and 1900. Guided tours, trails and viewing areas help tell the story of the Battle of Batoche, the final battle of the 1885 Northwest Resistance. Bullet holes are still visible in some of the architecture.


Discover the area on the Batoche shuttle or rent a bike and take to the trails. You can also follow the shorelines of the South Saskatchewan River by canoe or kayak, available to rent on site.


Tip: The stop at Batoche is a slight detour off of Highway 11. Head east on Highway 312 for ten minutes, then north for another ten minutes on Highway 225.


Fort Carlton Provincial Park


Follow the trail from Batoche to Fort Carlton Provincial Park, where Treaty Six negotiations took place. Originally a Hudson’s Bay Company fur trade post, the fort accidentally burned down during the conflicts in 1885 and was partially rebuilt to its 1880’s stature.


Fort Carlton features a reconstructed palisade, fur and provisions store, trade store, clerk’s quarters, tipi encampment and hiking trails. Experience Canadian history through interpretive guides and the stories of those who stayed here over a century ago.


Tip: Take Highway 212 east at Duck Lake to reach the park.


Eb’s Trail


Eb’s Trail is an extensive cross-country ski trail system in the beautiful Nisbet Provincial Forest. Its 52 km of groomed trails offer lots of choice for skiers, from novice to advanced. Welcome amenities, such as warm up shelters and toilet facilities, are located throughout the system.


The trails are ideal for hiking when the snow is gone.


Tip: Trail conditions can be found on the Saskatoon Nordic Ski Club website.



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

 

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