4 Beautiful Winter Hiking Ideas in Southern Saskatchewan
Winter is one of the most beautiful times of the year for an outdoor Saskatchewan adventure.
Winter hikes make great day trips – when many of the province’s trails become cross-country skiing, fat tire biking and snowshoeing trails. While walking on groomed skiing trails is discouraged, hiking, biking and snowshoeing is perfect for the ungroomed hiking trails.
Self-guided nature trails take hikers through lodgepole pine forest, grasslands and secret streams. The park is home to moose, deer and cougars, as well as birds that nest nowhere else in the province, like the dusky flycatcher.
“The higher elevation of the hills brings more precipitation and in winter this means fun cross-county skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing and wildlife viewing experiences.” –CypressHills.com
An hour away from Regina, Echo Valley trails feature scenic views of coulees, meadowlands and the ridges of the Qu’Appelle Valley. A newly developed skating trail and guided snowshoe hikes are available too. The provincial park is popular with bird watchers as the area is home to more than 200 bird species.
“The views are breathtaking! It’s a great trail for a couple of beginners!” –Connie S., AllTrails.com
These trails are only a 30-minute drive north of Regina. Wascana Trails features an arch-style bridge across Wascana Creek, great tobogganing hills and stunning views of the valley.
Tip: dress appropriately for windy days here. Trees are smaller and the area is more exposed.
“Hikers and mountain bikers may come across wildlife such as deer, and the area is quite rich for bird watching. Look for eastern king birds and marsh wrens along the way.” –Tourism Regina
Buffalo Pound is a 25-minute drive from Moose Jaw. This park is the perfect winter playground for hiking, biking and skiing. A wide range of trails features views of the Qu’Appelle Valley, Buffalo Pound Lake, the marshland conservation area and Nicolle Homestead.
“The trail meanders through a thick marshland and the valley hills where thousands of birds, mammals, snakes and all sorts of prairie life live. It seemed every 10 steps I took I was spooking some animal in the thick brush.” –Jay Brown, SaskHiker
These are just a smidgen of the best trails. Forested valleys, tree-lined lakes, creeks and rivers are magical places to embrace the beauty of winter.
It’s easy to stay warm
Coniferous trees provide natural protection from the wind. With appropriate lightweight layers of wool, silk or synthetic clothing, hiking is a simple, warm way to explore nature. Physical activity generates ample warmth, too. The three-layer system is designed for fluctuating body temperatures.
Learn how to dress for winter here.
Remember… step carefullySnow conceals tripping hazards. Some trails aren't groomed so there are places that may cause you to trip and fall or roll an ankle. Also, be cautious around frozen lakes and rivers. The ice may be thinner than it appears - especially in the early spring.
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