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After a few days of enjoying winter activities in Saskatoon, I decided to extend my winter trip to Saskatchewan by heading north to Prince Albert National Park.
Surrounded by boreal forest, Prince Albert National Park was a great destination to experience both the tranquility and adventure that I find so rejuvenating. Whether I was inside the park boundary, or adventuring in the surrounding areas, there were plenty of ways to make the most of my winter getaway in Saskatchewan.
Winter Getaway in Saskatchewan- Prince Albert National Park and Elk Ridge Resort
My base for exploring Prince Albert National Park in winter was Elk Ridge Resort, a lovely property situated just outside the park gates. From here, I had easy access to winter activities in Prince Albert National Park, near Anglin Lake, and on the resort’s property.
Here’s a look at some of my favourite things to do during a winter trip to Elk Ridge Resort and Prince Albert National Park!
There are so many fun winter activities at Elk Ridge Resort, but the one that had me laughing most was snow tubing on the resort’s toboggan hill.
There’s a small shed at the top of the hill with a variety of snow tubes and inner tubes you can use to go racing down the slope. I always chose the smallest tube with handles so my body wouldn’t hit the ground or go flying out.
I think my friends and I underestimated just how fast and thrilling snow tubing can be. We couldn’t help but let out a few screams as we raced to the bottom, sometimes even bouncing over the ridge of snow at the end of the hill.
There’s definitely no quicker way to feel like a carefree kid again than to go speeding down a snow covered hill!
For a more tame winter activity, I decided to go cross-country skiing. There are groomed ski trails in Prince Albert National Park (near the village of Waskesiu), in Great Blue Heron Provincial Park (near Anglin Lake), and at Elk Ridge Resort.
Elk Ridge Resort has free equipment for guests to use, so I chose to try out one of their three cross-country ski trails.
I did the medium difficulty 4 km loop that followed along the pond, passed through an open area, then continued through a section of forest. It was peaceful, scenic, and great exercise too!
Curling isn’t a sport I enjoy watching, but it was amusing to give it a try at Elk Ridge Resort.
My friends and I divided into two teams, taking turns sliding rocks down the ice to a circular target at the other end. We had no idea how to award points, our form was terrible (many shots were made lying belly down on the ice), but we sure did have fun!
Dog sledding has played an important role in the history and culture of Canada, as it helped make life in harsh northern regions possible.
Since the invention of snowmobiles, sled dogs are no longer used as a primary mode of transportation in Canada’s wilderness, but you can still experience this aspect of Canadian culture on a dog sledding excursion near Anglin Lake.
My dog sledding outing was with Sundogs Sled Excursions and it turned out to be one of my favourite things to do during a winter trip to Saskatchewan.
Kosmo and Nutmeg were the lead dogs that pulled my cozy sled through the forest. Their excitement to run was contagious and soon I was just as eager to head out on the trail.
Before we began the sled dog tour, the mushers explained the different parts of the sled and showed me how to harness the huskies. Once the dogs were on the line, they anxiously awaited the command to run, then off we went flying down the trail.
As the dogs ran, with big doggie smiles on their faces, I started to notice their personalities and individual quirks. One of the dogs had this cute little skip he would do every so often, while another liked to check out the scenery from time to time.
I couldn’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon than hanging out with these adorable, enthusiastic sled dogs!
On the last day of my winter getaway in Saskatchewan, I went into Prince Albert National Park to go ice fishing.
We set up on Waskesiu Lake, just off of Narrows Road before Paignton Beach. Since vehicles aren’t allowed on the lakes inside the park, we had to walk a short distance out from shore.
Unfortunately, the fish weren’t biting that day, not even a nibble. So what do you do when the fishing is slow? You sit back and shoot the breeze, reminiscing about a fun-filled winter trip to Prince Albert National Park!
Final Thoughts About My Saskatchewan Winter Getaway
I very much enjoyed my winter trip to Saskatchewan, especially since Elk Ridge Resort was such a great base for adventure. The location was relaxing and peaceful, but not too secluded that I couldn’t still enjoy some comforts and conveniences, like a well-prepared meal, dip in the hot tub, and access to winter sports equipment.
I didn’t have a chance to experience all the winter activities in the area, so I’ll have to come back one day. On my next winter trip to Saskatchewan, I would love to go snowmobiling on the Lakeland trail system near Elk Ridge Resort. I’d also check out the cross-country ski and snowshoe trails in Prince Albert National Park, and go skating at Elk Ridge Resort.
Tips for Visiting Prince Albert National Park in Winter
Location: Prince Albert National Park is located in central Saskatchewan, Canada, about 232 km north of Saskatoon (2.5 hour drive) and 91 km north of Prince Albert (1 hour drive).
Visitor Centre: The Prince Albert National Park visitor centre is located in Waskesiu and is open year-round. It’s a great place to go when you first arrive because staff can suggest activities, advise on trail conditions, and give you a map of the park and its winter trails.
Ice Fishing on Waskesiu Lake: The ice fishing season on Waskesiu Lake is open until March 31. You will need to obtain a fishing license for Prince Albert National Park from the visitor centre in Waskesiu, or at the Prince Albert Tourism Office.
- Park staff at the visitor centre can advise you on where to go ice fishing. I went near Paignton Beach on Narrows Road because there is an enclosed shelter, firewood and a stove for warming up, and pit toilets.
- If you don’t have fishing equipment, you can borrow some for free in Waskesiu at Hawood Inn. I believe there’s also an ice fishing shack on Waskesiu Lake that’s available for visitors to use (contact Hawood Inn for details).
Cross-Country Ski Trails: There are six groomed cross-country ski trails in Prince Albert National Park that are rated easy or medium. Outside the park boundary, there’s an additional three groomed ski trails at Elk Ridge Resort, and an 18 km network of trails at Anglin Lake in Great Blue Heron Provincial Park.
Accommodations Near Prince Albert National Park: Hawood Inn (at Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park) and Elk Ridge Resort (just outside the park’s east gate) are open during the winter. Both have cross-country skis and snowshoes to loan for free.
Information was correct at the time of publishing, but can change without notice.
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I was hosted by Tourism Saskatchewan in order to bring you this story. As always, I speak only the truth and hosts have no editorial influence on articles.