Posted on 29 August 2011 by SomeGood
There is a lot more to the Prairies than wheat and grain elevators.
Grasslands National Park in Southern Saskatchewan is one of Canada’s newest parks and protects the rare, native grassland ecosystem that is one of Canada’s most threatened.
The park only receives about 6,000 visitors a year and I have been fortunate enough to have dropped by twice on my way across the country. Most recently I stopped in for a day hike and was again amazed at the diversity and natural beauty of the area.
Staff at the park’s Visitor Information Centre informed me that wilderness camping is permitted but you should be wary of buffalo cruising through your tent site, rattlesnakes and cactus. The park is a Dark Sky Preserve, which limits the amount of artificial lights so sunsets and star gazing would have been excellent. However, with my dog I was worried about the possibility of rattlesnakes and the abundant, small cactuses, so we opted for a leashed walk to ensure no off trail wandering.
Parts of the park have a grasslands feel to them and other areas verge on badlands type terrain.
There is only a few kilometre of hiking trails in the park but wilderness hiking is also encouraged. Periodically there is enough water and snow to canoe and snowshoe but the park is better suited to activities such as hiking and geocaching.