The Best Snowshoe Trails in Saskatchewan

Snowshoeing is a fantastic outdoor winter activity that is making a comeback in Saskatchewan. It’s also an affordable and fun way to get outside, get moving and enjoy what winter has to offer.

Saskatchewan, in particular, is an ideal province for both off-trail and on-trail snowshoe experiences, all thanks to the 37 million hectares of public crown land and dozens of regional, provincial and national parks.

Here are all the details you need to know about snowshoeing including some of the best snowshoe trails in Saskatchewan.

(Are you also into cross-country skiing? Here are the best cross-country ski trails in Saskatchewan – some of which are dog-friendly!)

Snowshoeing Etiquette

While we have lots of space to snowshoe, please be mindful of groomed trails that may or may not allow snowshoers. Many locations around the province have groomed snowmobile and cross-country ski trails and prohibit snowshoeing or have snowshoe-specific trails. Check the rules around each trail before you head out or look for signage at the trailhead.

How to Pick the Right Snowshoes

There are three main things to consider when buying a pair of snowshoes.

  1. Because of our relatively flat landscape, we can skip snowshoes designed for mountain terrain and stick with ones that work for flat or rolling hills.
  2. You’ll want to buy a pair based on how much you, your clothing and your gear weigh so you get the appropriate float needed on the snow.
  3. You’ll want to consider what you’ll be snowshoeing on – are you mainly sticking to trails or heading off trail into deep, powdery snow?

Thankfully for us flatlanders, snowshoes appropriate for a flatter terrain are often cheaper with modest traction and an easy-to-use binding system.

Tip: If you’re not sure about the size of the snowshoe, get a smaller size for your weight as they’re much more comfortable and easier to walk in.

The Best Snowshoes to Buy for Snowshoeing in Saskatchewan

As most snowshoes are unisex, here are four snowshoes I recommend.

  1. Gpeng – A lightweight, budget-friendly aluminum snowshoe
  2. ALPS – A lightweight snowshoe that comes with trekking poles and carry bag
  3. MSR – A very popular snowshoe brand – any of MSR’s snowshoes will be an excellent choice.
  4. MEC – MEC carries a great selection of snowshoes tailored for most needs.

Where to Rent Snowshoes in Saskatchewan

Many B&B’s, hotels and community centres provide snowshoes for free or for a small fee. Sask Parks also rent snowshoes in several of their parks including Buffalo Pound, Pike Lake, Duck Mountain, Echo Valley and Cypress Hills.

Local shops in Saskatoon that rent and sell snowshoes include Escape Sports, Eb’s Source for Adventure and Outtabounds. In Regina, locations that rent snowshoes include Fresh Air Experience and the North West Leisure Centre.

Other locations across the province that provide snowshoes for a small rental fee or for free include Regina Beach’s town office, the Hawood Inn and Elk Ridge Resort in Prince Albert National Park (free), Nipawin’s Evergreen Centre (free), Carrot River’s town office and Wynyard’s Snowshoe and Cross-Country Ski Club. There are many more places to rent and borrow snowshoes but these are just a few.

If you have a large group heading out, the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation rents out snowshoes for community groups and classes at a very affordable price.

What to Wear Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is an active sport which means you’ll likely work up a sweat – especially if you’re trudging through deep snow. Layering clothing is the best approach when heading out for a snowshoe. I go by the motto “be bold, start cold” but also like to be prepared with items in a small backpack or tied around my waist.

Start with a wool or synthetic base layer and add a fleece midlayer. Down vests go great over midlayers on chillier days. Carry a down or synthetic jacket and bring along a shell in case the wind picks up and the weather changes. If you stop for a bit and have been sweating, you’ll cool down quickly and want a warm layer to add on. I always pack a pair of convertible mitten-gloves, a headband or toque and like to wear a neckwarmer around my neck that fits comfortably over my nose for added warmth.

For more specific details on how to dress for winter weather, check out this comprehensive post on how to layer for cold weather.

Supporting Communities and Ski Clubs When Snowshoeing

If you have used a trail system or plan on using one in the future, I recommend purchasing a membership or donating directly. These clubs often operate thanks to volunteers who spend hundreds of hours grooming, clearing and maintaining these trails for all of our use.

Where to Snowshoe in Saskatchewan

Here are some of the best snowshoe trails in Saskatchewan (in no particular order).

This map was made with Wanderlog, a road trip planner app

1. Prince Albert National Park

Number of Trails:  7
Trail Conditions: View here
Trail Map: Individual trails linked here 
Dog Friendly: Yes, on-leash

Prince Albert National Park has one of the most magical trails to snowshoe in the province. Treebeard Trail is an old-growth forest that can have waist-deep snow in the middle of winter. The loop is only 1.2 kilometres but is a great interpretive trail with eight educational stops along the way. While this trail is a personal favourite, there are numerous other locations to snowshoe in the park (including Boundary Bog, Kingsmere River, Mud Creek, Freight Tait Springs and Waskesiu River) plus limitless off-trail options. The Spruce River Highlands multi-use trail is also an excellent 8.5-kilometre trail that loops back to the parking lot but also connects into Blue Heron Provincial Park and its ski trails.

If you don’t have your own, snowshoes can be borrowed from the Hawood Inn regardless of if you’re a guest or not.

READ MORE: A Guide to Prince Albert National Park in the Winter

2. Meewasin Valley Trails, Saskatoon

Number of Trails:  80 kilometres
Trail Conditions: NA
Trail Map:  View here.
Dog Friendly: On leash

Saskatoon has great snowshoeing opportunities along the 80 kilometres of the Meewasin Valley Trails (and limitless options off-trail.) One location near the city to note is Cranberry Flats. The terrain includes open prairie, rolling hills and light mixed forest close to the South Saskatchewan River. It’s only a 20-minute drive south on Highway 219. While this conservation area is not officially groomed, the area is popular with locals and there are easy-to-spot trails unless there’s been a recent snowfall.

4. Echo Valley Provincial Park

Number of Trails: 6
Trail Conditions: N/A
Trail Map: View here.  
Dog Friendly: N/A

Just under an hour’s drive northeast of Regina and located in the Qu’Appelle Valley is Echo Valley Provincial Park. Not only is it a great destination to snowshoe, but it’s one of the best provincial parks to take your family for a winter weekend (or day trip) getaway. The park offers guided snowshoe tours that are themed including the “Scenic Snowshoe Safari” and the “Illuminated Snowshoe Stroll.” Both events teach the basics of snowshoeing and end with warming up around a cozy campfire. If you’re headed to the park, you’ll want to pack your skates and hit up the campground skating loop or take your skis to enjoy the cross-country ski trails. Pick up a map at the park’s interpretive office to get the details on the best trails to snowshoe.

5. Narrow Hills Provincial Park

Number of Trails: 1
Trail Conditions: N/A
Trail Map: Download here
Dog Friendly: Yes

Many visit Narrow Hills in the summer months to experience the emerald-coloured lakes on the Gem Lake trails. But in the winter season, it becomes an excellent spot to not only snowshoe but winter camp. (There are backcountry sites along several lakes). The 5.5 kilometres of trail winds along undulating ridges in a loop around a series of seven lakes. The trail is not officially maintained in winter months and cell service is limited so snowshoe and adventure with caution.

READ MORE: Where to Winter Camp in Saskatchewan

6. Meadow Lake Provincial Park

Number of Trails: 135km of trails on the Boreal Trail
Trail Conditions: N/A
Trail Map: Download here
Dog Friendly: Yes

Meadow Lake Provincial Park is a popular four-season park, especially with the locals. In the winter months, park staff offer guided snowshoe tours. Waters Edge Eco Lodge also has snowshoe trails linking up with the Boreal Trail and provides free snowshoes with your stay. There are dozens of options for snowshoeing in the park (the Boreal Trail is 135km long and all of it could potentially be snowshoed). But one of the best spots is a snowshoe down the Gold Creek Trail through the pines with a snowy view over Lac des Isles lake.

7. Eb’s Trails

Number of Trails: 7
Trail Conditions: Linked here
Trail Map: Download here
Dog Friendly: Yes

Eb’s Trails is 16 kilometres north of Duck Lake on Highway 11. It’s popular with cross-country skiers from Saskatoon and Prince Albert. In the last few years, the Saskatoon Nordic Ski Club has developed snowshoeing trails as interest has grown. The majority of the snowshoe trails are accessed from the north parking lot.

Please be mindful to stick only to the snowshoe trails and not on the ski trails. As hunting is allowed in the Nisbet Forest (the season ends in early December), wearing bright orange or vivid colours is recommended. While dogs are allowed on the snowshoe trails they must be kept on a leash at all times.

The Saskatoon Nordic Ski Club does an excellent job maintaining these trails. Consider donating or purchasing a membership to help support this community group.

8. Little Red River Park, Prince Albert

Number of Trails: 5 trails, 7 kilometres
Trail Conditions: Updated here
Trail Map: Download here.
Dog Friendly: Yes

Little Red River Park is just five minutes north of the city of Prince Albert and home to an excellent interconnected system of trails for use in all four seasons. Set within the jackpine and aspen-dominated Nesbit forest, it’s truly a gem in Saskatchewan. The park is known for its cross-country ski trails but there are more than 7 kilometres of groomed walking trails that are on-leash, dog-friendly.

There are picnic sites and camp kitchens available for use and firewood is provided at no extra cost. There is also the Kinsmen Ski & Snowboard Centre and a toboggan hill.

You can donate directly to the PA Nordic Ski Club here.

9. Wanuskewin Heritage Park

Number of Trails: 6km
Trail Conditions: Call the Interpretive Centre 1 306 931 6767 ext 9
Dog Friendly: No
Trail Map: View here

During the winter months, visitors have access to free snowshoes with their entry to Wanuskewin Heritage Park. There are 6 kilometres of trails that are excellent for exploring the Opimihaw Valley on snowshoe. There are several notable viewpoints along the trails that offer views over the South Saskatchewan River. Before you head out, grab muskeg tea and bannock to-go to enjoy along the trail.

10. White Butte Recreation Site, near Regina

Number of Trails: 5km snowshoe trail
Trail Conditions: Regina Ski Club Trail Conditions (reference ski trails for snow conditions)
Dog Friendly: Yes
Trail Map: View here.

A quick 20-minute drive east of Regina are the White Butte Trails. There are 5 kilometres of pet-friendly snowshoe trails marked with posts that have snowshoe symbols on them. (The other groomed trails are for cross-country skiing).

There are two parking lots but the snowshoeing trail is most easily accessed from the southwest parking lot. There are also two warm-up shelters and an outdoor pit toilet on site.

On Saturday afternoons, Fresh Air Experience hosts a free weekly snowshoe event in partnership with the Regina Multisport Club. BYO snowshoes and check for updates here or join their Facebook group here. (Due to COVID-19, check in advance to see if these meet-ups are still happening).

11. River Ridge, near Langham

Number of Trails: 15 trails
Trail Conditions: Facebook Updates
Trail Map: View here.
Dog Friendly: Yes

River Ridge Nordic Ski Club is a former golf course just 5 kilometres north of Langham on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. While skiing is their focus, the park is open to snowshoers and is dog-friendly for on-leash pups. While the trails are continuing to expand, Trail Forks shows 15 trails available for snowshoers with 5 main trails that connect with one another.

To help support this non-profit, you can purchase a membership or donate directly here.

12. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

Number of Trails: 2, 5km
Trail Map: View here
Dog Friendly: On leash

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a winter wonderland with trails leading through the unique lodgepole pine forest that makes for a magical experience when snowshoeing.

There are two groomed trails to explore but countless spots to go “off-trail.”

The Valley of the Windfall Interpretive Trail is 1.2 km. It leaves from The Resort and loops through the forest down towards Loch Leven Lake. There is a new enclosed warm-up shelter near the beachfront for a great spot to make a hot chocolate and enjoy a snack.

Valley View Trail is a 2.1 km loop that starts on the south side of Cypress Drive just past the swimming pool. The trail winds up and down through the lodgepole pines and there is a very good chance of spotting deer as they frequent this area. There’s also a small warm-up shelter at the mid-way point on the trail.

READ MORE: A Complete Guide to Winter in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

13. Carrot River

Number of Trails: 1, 3km
Trail Map: View here
Dog Friendly: On leash

Saskatchewan’s Outback currently grooms and maintains a 3-kilometre loop perfect for both a daytime and nighttime snowshoe through a mixed forest of willows, spruce and poplar tress. The trail is four miles east of town on Birch Road. When you reach Bob Gowen Road, drive all the way to the end to a small parking lot. While the trail isn’t officially marked, it’s easy to follow the path through the bush. There’s also a campfire ring near the end of the main trail and a great spot to stop and have a hot dog roast.

READ MORE: What to do in Carrot River

14. Makwa Provincial Park

Number of Trails: 2, 4.1km groomed, 3.3km off-trail
Trail Map: Available outside the administration office, or 8-12, 1-430 Monday to Friday
Dog Friendly: N/A

Makwa Provincial Park has recently built and groomed a new snowshoe trail. The Aspen Trail is 4.1 kilometres in length with lots of opportunities to go off the groomed trail along Loon Trail for another 3.3km. These trails have yet to be added to Sask Parks website but visitors are able to stop in at the administration office for printed maps. The park also rents snowshoes. Pre-booking is recommended as there are limited numbers of snowshoes available at this time. Contact the office a 1 306 837 2410.

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