Saskatchewan defines the Great Outdoors
Saskatchewan’s vast wilderness and nearly 100,000 lakes make the province an ideal region for a memorable outdoor excursion. And as you may already know (or not), Saskatchewan is well-known for its abundant northern pike, fabulous bird hunting and trophy-sized deer. Whatever your interests, you should consider visiting Saskatchewan to hunt, fish and enjoy the greatest of the outdoors.
Saskatchewan offers some of the most unique fishing environments in Canada; widely diverse from north to south. The rolling plains and park lands of the south contrast sharply with the rugged Precambrian wilderness of Saskatchewan’s north. However, the fishing experiences are just as challenging and rewarding in each region.
Pike, walleye and perch are the most common species in southern Saskatchewan. Large mouth bass are found in the Boundary Reservoir in southeast Saskatchewan and there are rock bass in the lower Qu’Appelle lakes, but the real action is found in the lakes of the northern region of the province.
As mentioned, Saskatchewan can boast of nearly 100,000 lakes, most of which are found in the north and are connected by river systems that provide the only highways in most of the area. These lakes have abundant northern pike and lake trout, golden walleye and even the magnificent Arctic grayling, which are typically found in the fast-flowing river waters of this region. And if you really want to get away from it all, you can consider flying into one of several remote fishing camps in the province’s spectacular north.
Saskatchewan is also blessed with some of North America’s most abundant populations of wildlife. With large populations of geese, Hungarian partridge, ruffed grouse and the largest duck population on the continent – one out of every four ducks harvested in North America is produced in Saskatchewan! – the potential for bird hunting in the province is unbeatable. Saskatchewan is also a major flyway for migratory birds, providing exceptional waterfowl hunting each autumn. The sight of its wide-open skies full of endless soaring birds ensures a remarkable hunting experience.
The largest trophy white-tailed deer in the world reside in the province, thanks to the minerals in fertile soil, abundant habitat, superior genetics and the northern climate. Moose and black bear also roam the forests in large numbers. Saskatchewan could be considered the mecca of white-tailed deer hunting.
Saskatchewan’s licensed outfitters can provide everything from world-class lodging that feature multiple amenities to rustic cabins, and knowledgeable guides.
Birds. Birds. (Millions of Birds)
In the fall, millions of waterfowl flock to the province on their southward journey, creating exceptional opportunities for birding throughout the province. One suggestion would be that you visit the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area (North America’s oldest bird sanctuary which was established in 1887). The sanctuary is a great location to view the elusive whooping crane.
You can see the Piping Plover and more than 30 other species of shorebirds near the Chaplin Lake area, which is a Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network site. Another Saskatchewan site with the same designation is the Quill Lakes marsh network, which attracts the Ferruginous Hawk and Peregrine Falcon. If your interest is birds, chances are Saskatchewan may be in your best interest …
Winter in Saskatchewan
Let it Snow!
When the white stuff starts falling, it’s a winter wonderland. You may not think to Winter in Saskatchewan” but you can roar across hundreds of kilometres of snowmobile trails, go cross-country skiing on groomed wilderness trails, ski numerous downhill slopes, and even sled with the dogs …
Snowmobiling in SK will not disappoint. Some ardent snowmobilers claim the terrain to be the the best in North America. You can choose-chart your own path across millions of acres of open land and thousands of kilometres of groomed and signed trails, interconnecting communities and provincial parks. Whatever your trail, you’ll be treated to a variety of landscapes from valleys and hills to farmland and beautiful forested wilderness, and many the hidden spot.
Snowmobiles can be rented at locations around the province. If you are a more seasoned mobiler, you can plan a longer trip and stay at some of Saskatchewan’s unique accommodations enroute, or in winterized facilities available in some provincial parks. The province is also home to many resort properties that specialize in winter activities.
Cross Country / Downhill Skiing
Cross-country skiing is popular in Saskatchewan. You can ‘cross’ hundreds of kilometres of groomed and marked trails in parks and forests, across prairie and rolling hills, and even in cities. Shelters can be found on longer routes, and some trails are even lit for night skiing. Ski rentals and instruction are available in many locations.
Resort properties around the province welcome cross-country skiers, as do many country bed and breakfast operators who provide comfortable year-round accommodations. At Prince Albert National Park and Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park you’ll find trail networks and a range of accommodations. Other good choices for cross-country skiers can be found at the provincial parks of Duck Mountain, Moose Mountain, Greenwater Lake, the Battlefords, Good Spirit Lake and Lac La Ronge.
Saskatchewan’s valleys, steep rolling hills and highlands also provide a great spot for downhill skiing. There are about a dozen ski hills operating in the province, offering both skiing and snowboarding.
Dog Sledding / Skijoring
This traditional form of winter transportation is still practiced in Saskatchewan. Dog sled events grow in popularity every year.
Travelling by sled dog through the northern forest in winter is an experience not soon forgotten. On shorter routes, you can ride along in a sled with a musher driving the team, or on longer tours and overnight excursions you may learn dog handling skills and thrill to the excitement of running your own dog team and sled.
Skiing and dog sledding unite in one of winter’s fastest growing sports – skijoring. Adventure-seekers are pulled on skis across powdery snow behind a racing sled dog. Or, in some areas, skijoring is also done behind a horse.
So next time you are looking to travel, be it during the summer, winter, spring or fall, and you want to satisfy your sporting skills and sense of adventure, consider planning a trip to Saskatchewan. You won’t be disappointed.
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