The Best Hiking Trails in Saskatchewan to see the Autumn Colours
This is an abridged article that originally appeared on The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World. Read the full version here.
Fall is one of the best times to get out hiking the trails to see the autumn colours in Saskatchewan. The weather is still warm, there are fewer bugs to deal with and the trails are quieter without the summer crowds.
Here are some of the best hiking trails to check out:
1. Prince Albert National Park
The scenic route along Highway 263 in Prince Albert National Park leads travellers from aspen parkland through the boreal transition zone straight into a kaleidoscope of greens, yellows, oranges and golds. Explore the Spruce River Highlands Trail, Boundary Bog Trail and climb up the Height of Land Tower for views of golden larches and aspen mixed with coniferous trees as far as the eye can see.
*Boundary Bog Trail closed for construction from September through December 2022.
2. Echo Valley Provincial Park
Epic views of Echo and Pasqua Lakes in the valley can be seen from the drive-up rim viewpoint in Echo Valley Provincial Park. But the true autumn colour experience comes with a hike on any of the nine trails leading off from the Hole in the Wall campground. There are QR codes around the park in the campgrounds, at trailheads, throughout the hikes and at the boat launch that link to a map of the trails.
3. Little Red River Park, north of Prince Albert
There are more than 30 km of hiking trails to choose from in Little Red River Park. One of the main highlights in the park is the Swinging Bridge that crosses the Little Red River. The bridge is located near the West Parking Lot (a wooden structure marks the entrance).
4. Gem Lakes Trail, Narrow Hills Provincial Park
It’s a popular hike in northern Saskatchewan and even more impressive in the autumn. The Gem Lakes Trail is a 5.5-km loop around a series of seven lakes named after different gemstones. For day hikers, the trail is a 2-3-hour hike along the undulating ridges and excellent to visit in late autumn when the larches rimming each lake have turned golden yellow.
5. Gift of Green Nature Trail, Pike Lake Provincial Park
Pike Lake Provincial Park is located only 30 minutes southwest of Saskatoon. The Gift of Green Nature Trail is a perfect walk for all ages. The 1.5-km loop passes through groves of aspen, ash and birch trees. The leaves create a colourful carpet beneath multi-hued branches for the perfect photo op.
6. Boreal Trail, Meadow Lake Provincial Park
If you want to see what Saskatchewan’s longest through-hike offers in autumn, consider hiking the 135-km Boreal Trail in Meadow Lake Provincial Park. As one of the province’s largest parks full of spruce, pine, larch, poplar and birch trees, it’s a perfect trail for viewing the changing colours of the leaves. The trail can also be tackled during shorter afternoon hikes or on overnight weekend trips.
7. Buffalo Pound Provincial Park
Buffalo Pound Provincial Park is the mountain biking and trail running mecca in Saskatchewan. Not only does the Trans Canada Trail pass through here, but the 30 km of hiking trails can be challenging as they weave up and down along rolling hills. As with many viewpoints, the hike to the top is worth it to see the fall colours.
Author & Photographer: Ashlyn George
Ashlyn George is an adventure travel writer and social media influencer based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. By 30, she visited more than 60 countries and all 7 continents while documenting it on her blog The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World. Today, Ashlyn creates content in partnership with world-renowned brands like NFL Canada, McDonald’s and CLIF Bar and has been featured in the New York Times and listed by Kayak as a Top 10 Travel Hacker. Find her online at @thelostgirlsguide or www.thelostgirlsguide.com