CANDLE LAKE PROVINCIAL PARK
Candle Lake Provincial Park borders the impressive lake of Candle Lake, situated northwest of Prince Albert, it is a short two and half hour drive from Saskatoon. While the provincial park borders the lake, there are so many smaller creeks, rivers and lakes to explore beyond the park boundaries.
There many different trails throughout the area that one can hike in. However, they are not always well maintained and some are subject to flooding. I highly reccomend stopping in the Provincial Park office upon arrival to see which trails are open.
Old Baldy Trail and Nobles Point Trail are usually under water in the summer.
In winter, the trails turn into fantastic snowshoe trails as all water freezes and makes trails relatively easy to navigate. You may be hindered by fallen trees that have yet to be cleared.
The Bay Lake Trail is a designated cross country ski trail, however many people will venture out onto Candle Lake to get their fix.
All the hikes in the area are short day hikes and only require basic gear.
The Candle Lake area is full of streams, smaller lakes and river systems that are perfect for the canoer or kayaker. One route to follow is Torch River through the wetlands and crossing the shallow Torch Lake which is a tributary to Candle Lake.
You can also follow Birchbark Creek south towards Hunt Lake. This trip is roughly 10km of meandering creek. Some areas may be shallow and require a quick portage. If you head out early enough you should be able to make this trip in one day. There are quadding trails that take you to Hunt Lake, if you have someone willing to meet you there. Bring a mosquito facenet for this journey as the bugs can be thick in areas.
If you are more of a gear-head Candle Lake has some of the best snowmobile and quadding trails in the province. The trails are well marked and well maintained by the the local snowmobile club The Sno-Drifters.
Here are a few trails that were submitted to SaskHiker from a fellow outdoorsmen Mark!
#1 Candle Lake Elk Pens
Diffculty - Easy
This is a short 2.5 kilometer hike that intersect a few trails that takes you to the Elk Pens in Candle Lake. They used to use these pens to round up elk to control populations and send them to other places in the province. They haven't been used in several years but they are huge and well worth visiting. Mark in the winter spends time clearing deadfall so if you want to take your snowmobile out there you can.
The trail head is just off Highway 120 just north of Minnowaka. There is a sign that explains about the pens and what they were used for. Use this to find the entrance.
#2 Candle Lake Fire Tower
Diffculty - Moderate - no marked trail
This neat trail is off of highway 926 that runs past the Sandy Bay and Van Impe Subdivision. it is about 2.7 kilometer hike from the highway. Once there you are rewarded with a view that allows you to over look the never ending boreal forest as it is a top of a hill. There isn't a well defined trail here so make sure you are prepared with a compass.
Many people visit it in the winter as it is more accessible, but you should be able to get there any time of the year.
Since you are walking to the top of a hill, be prepared for an incline most of the way.
#3 Cranberry Creek Estates and Trout Pond
Diffculty - Easy
This is a great place for the family to spend an afternoon exploring. Cranberry Creek is located a few kilometers south of the main Candle Lake junction. In the middle of the subdivision there is a small three hole golf course, a trout pond and an island in the middle. There are a picnic table and a BBQ at the trout pond that you can use. This isn't a hiking location as it is more a relaxation destination.
#4 Hike to Bay Lake
This is an unmarked trailhead that takes you to two really old hunting shacks in the bush that have been there decades. Use the Google Map to find the trailhead. This route crosses the Rachelle Trail (which is a snowmobile trail) so you can just keep hiking the single-wide trail until you find the cabins.
#5 Old Baldy Trail
This trail is located on the Minawaka Beach road. To get to the trailhead turn right at the Minawaka store and follow the road until it becomes a dead end. You will see the trailhead marked by a yellow gate. This trail takes you along a swamp that feeds into Candle Lake for the first kilometer. Eventually you will find yourself amongst the towering trees of the poplar forest. This trail is a loop that is roughly 5.5km long.
Half way through the trail you will ascend a small hill that overlooks Candle Lake. The climb is about 300 meters. There is an old cross country ski warm up shack with a firepit. It is the perfect place to come for the day and roast some hotdogs. This trail in the summer is impassable unless you are willing to get wet as the boardwalk that used to take you through the swamp is not defunct. In the winter it freezes over and makes it an easy hike or cross country ski.
Homestead Heritage Trail
Diffculty - Easy
This hike takes you through all the ecozones that Candle Lake offers such as dense forest, moss beds and wetlands. Be prepared for mosquitos in the summer! In June the trail can be almost unusasble due to the amount of mosquitos.
The trailhead is south of Candle Lake on Highway 120 by roughly 7km. You will find the trailhead once you pass Birchbark Creek, it is not well marked but you will see a small hiking sign on the back of a large white sign. The parking lot is your first right, where you will find the trail head.
This trail will take you through the history of the Aschim family who were some of the original loggers. There is a replica cabin within the first kilometre of the trail, an old smokehouse and a boardwalk that takes you through the wetlands. The boardwalk in spots is broken so be prepared to have to balance your way across wetlands.
Candle Lake is north on Highway 120. Highway 120 links up with Highway 55 which runs from Nipawin to Prince Albert.
The intersection is well marked, make sure not to mistake the Meath Park turn off as the correct turn off. If you are coming from Prince Albert the turn is about 15km from Meath Park.
Difficutly - Easy
Distance - several trails, longest 6km
Did you visit here? See something cool? Have your own recommendation? Let us know!
Tell the community about your Saskatchewan hike or outdoor adventure!