BATTLE OF FISH CREEK - BATTLE OF TOUROND'S COULEE
Located northeast of Saskatoon is the Canadian National Historic site where the Battle of Fish Creek or the Battle of Tourond's Coulee took place on April 24, 1885 during the bloody spring of the Louis Riel Rebellion/Resistance. This location is a lush grassland cut out by the gentle Fish Creek. The creek is a tributary to the South Saskatchewan River, which you can just see from the site.
To get here requires driving down a few grid roads but once there you will find a peaceful and quiet location full of interesting history.
The site is outside of Alvena, a small town on Highway 41. This is an adventure location with only a small hiking trail that is less than a kilometre long, however that shouldn't stop you from visiting here. Upon arrival you immediately have a connection to the battle that took place here.
There are numerous information plaques throughout the site that tell you the story of the battle. This battle was the precursor to the Battle of Batoche. It was at this location that a force of Metis and First Nation's people led by Gabriel Dumont rode out and intercepted General Middleton's force. This engagement delayed the eventual Battle of Batoche and lives were lost on both sides.
The site has iron cutouts of people showing where men would have stood and fought, and helps visual the chaos that would have happened that fateful day. While the hike was short I had a bit of a spiritual experience here, listening to the grasshoppers sing and thinking about how on the day of the fight how loud this place must have been.
There is an outhouse and picnic tables for use by the public. Make sure to not leave anything behind and take out what you bring.
The site is called both the Battle of Fish Creek, because of the creek that runs through, and the Battle of Tourond's Coulee. The latter name comes from the family whose homestead was here before the battle took place. There is a plaque that tells the story of Mother Tourond and her tremendous loss of her son's during the Louis Riel Rebellion/Resistance.
After visiting the site - take a drive north (left) out of the parking lot. There is a fantastic gravel road that follows the South Saskatchewan River and gives you some great vistas. There is also one of the most impressive "ruins" in Saskatchewan I have ever seen on this road., an old two storey church that over looks the river.
It is on private property so do not trespass and enjoy from the public road.
The site is located about 8km west of Alvena, there are two ways to get to the site. The first route is more scenic but involves more travel on gravel road.
Fish Creek Road Route
If coming from Saskatoon, head north on Highway 41 (highway to Melfort) for 36km and turn left onto Fish Creek Road. The road is a couple kilometers north of the giant Millennium Cross.
Follow Fish Creek Road for 15km - you will pass an old Ukranian church and cementary.
Turn right at the white stone marker that is in the field. Then take your first left at the next intersection. You will see Park Canada signs directing you to the parking lot.
Head north on Highway 41, coming from Saskatoon until you reach the town of Alvena.
Turn left on last road on the north end of the town. Follow this grid road for 9.5 kilometers.
You will see a white stone marker and Parks Canada signs, turn right and the parking lot will be on the left side of the road a couple hundred meters north.
Difficutly - Easy
Distance - 1 kilometer nature walk.
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