5 Winter Activities to Enjoy in Prince Albert National Park
When the snow falls, Prince Albert National Park turns into a wintry wonderland. Plan a visit and try these five winter activities.
There are over 45 km of groomed cross-country ski trails in the park. Families will enjoy the ease of accessing trails close to the Waskesiu townsite. Beaver Glen Trail weaves through the campground for a short 5-km loop. Ski part of the Red Deer Red Trail for an out and back distance of your choosing. For hardcore winter enthusiasts, consider skiing the stunning Crean Trail – a distance of 19 km out and return.
Six different snowshoe trails meander through the park. Small children will enjoy shoeing along the beach or on some the shorter trails, like Boundary Bog or Mud Creek. Spruce River Highland Trail offers a longer and more difficult route. For an epic winter adventure, explore the Kingsmere River Trail. Spend the night at the backcountry winter camp before returning the way you came.
Skating on the pond behind Elk Ridge Resort is a magical experience, amplified at night by lights strategically placed around the loop. There are two outdoor hockey rinks that enable visitors to enjoy a game of shinny. A warm-up hut is onsite, where you can lace up your skates and enjoy breaks on colder days. Indoor skating is also available in Waskesiu at the Paul G. Horne Memorial Arena. Visitors can bring their friends and family after booking the entire rink for only $10. Hockey sticks and pucks are available to use for free, along with a skating bike for younger kids. Book your ice time.
For a unique and different adventure, try dogsledding with Sundogs Excursions. Options range from one-hour to half-day to full-day excursions that allow guests to drive the sled. Multi-day excursions are available for the more adventurous. Kids older than seven can join a one-hour excursion with an adult. Younger children can try one of the puppy camps, which combine fun activities and interaction with the dogs.
Curling is a big deal in Saskatchewan; however, not everyone has had a chance to play the game, let alone play it outside. Behind Elk Ridge Resort is an outdoor curling rink, complete with rocks and brooms. Stack the teams with kids versus adults, or mix it up. Either way, you will have a blast sliding, sweeping and trying to be the team that puts a rock closest to centre. Or try your hand at crokicurl – a mix between curling and crokinole.
No gear? No problem!
Cross-country ski and snowshoe gear can be borrowed from the Hawood Inn on a first-come, first-served basis. There is simply no excuse but to visit Prince Albert National Park and enjoy one of these outdoor winter activities.
Author and Photographer: Annika Mang
Annika Mang is a writer and photographer based in Regina, Saskatchewan with a focus on family adventure.