All Photography Provided by Duane Larson
Difficulty - Easy to Advanced
Distance - several short day hikes and overnight backpack trips
PRINCE ALBERT NATIONAL PARK
Hiking the Prince Albert National Park offers many opportunites for both day trips, backcountry excursions. The park also offers quite possibly the most famous hike in Saskatchewan, the Grey Owl Cabin hike. (An overnight 20km hike to where Grey Owl's cabin still resides.)
Prince Albert National Park covers a vast area in northern Saskatchewan and is the busiest park in the province. Campsites and cabins are booked well in advance, so don't think you can just show up and find a spot to camp. Make sure you plan in advance before arriving.
The town of Waskesiu is highly developed and many people call it the "Banff of Saskatchewan." If you want to get into nature, I highly recommend not spending much time in the town as in peak summer months it is packed with people. However, that doesn't mean that the rest of the park isn't a outdoorsperson's paradise.
A friend of SaskHiker and a fantastic wildlife photographer has provided some of the information for this page. He routinely finds many different species of animals in which to photograph and he visits the area often. If you have questions about the Prince Albert National Park make sure to contact us and SaskHiker will put you in contact with Duane who will give you more information on the park.
Make sure to check out Duane Larson's Photography by clicking this link. His ability to capture wildlife is fantastic.
WARNING - This is bear country so it is recommended to carry bear spray and to follow smart bear safety.
Looking for information on how to hike Grey Owl's Cabin Trail? Click here.
Looking of information on how to hike to Fish Lake? Click here.
If you are viewing this page in the winter click here for some inspiration on why you should explore the park when it is cold out!
Waskesiu River Trail
2.5 km Loop
Rating - Easy
If you want to see wildlife in the park than there is no better place than the Waskesiu River. Geese, Ducks, Otters, Great Blue Herons, Mink, Deer, Elk, and even the odd Bear are just a few of the animals that have spotted along the river.
The first section of the trail is a man made walkway that meanders along the side of the Waskesiu River. This is perfect for families with young children and it is also wheelchair accessible. Along this first section of trail there is a few rest stops to walk out and view the river, and they are nice spots to capture some photographs.
The remaining 2km is an easier trek through the forest area, which will loop you all the way back to the river and close to the parking area.
This trail is busy all seasons of the year, and if you get the chance to walk or snow shoe the trail in the winter, it is breathtaking to see with the snow giving it a beautiful 'winter wonderland' type view.
Narrows Peninsula Trail
3.0 km Loop
Rating - Easy-Moderate
A little farther down the same road you will come to a sign saying 'Kingsmere Road' and the road is no longer paved. Continue on your way.
While driving down this road you might be lucky and spot Bears, Wolves, the odd Red Fox, Elk, Deer, and Eagles soaring above. Rougly 5-10 mintues later on your left hand side you will see a small parking area and a sign for this trail.
This trail begins with a large flight of stairs taking you downhill. Once at the bottom, continue to the right (keep your eyes open and see if you can spot the 'cam/counter' mounted to one of the trees)
Follow along the trail which will bring you to a small cliff which overlooks Waskesiu Lake and the Narrows campground/dock area on the other side. If your lucky you might spot an otter hanging out along the shore line down below. As the trail continues it will bring you back into the forest area, and eventually to an open area where you walk along the Waskesiu Lake area. The odds are you will be able to get a glimpse of Gray Jays (Whiskey Jacks) and Chickadees in this area, as well as other birds.
There is a great beach on this trail that is worth the effort to bring your bathing suit for a swim on a hot summer's day. You probably will have it to yourself and it is a good lunch spot. Also, the beach here is covered in purple sand. A unique geological feature that you can see in a few places in the north.
A little farther down you will start walking on a wooden section of trail that the Parks crew just rebuilt a little over a year ago. Eventually it will bring you back to the trail which will lead you back to the flight of stairs to bring you back to the parking area.
Kingsmere River Trail
1.5 - 2.0 km One Way
Rating - Easy - a nice trail for the whole family
If you continue down the gravel road for another 10-15 minutes you will eventually come to a parking area with bathrooms. If you make your way down towards the river area you will see a sign showing you the start of the Grey Owl trail. The Kingsmere River trail shares the same path for the first 500m but is not marked. Start your hike on the Grey Owl trail.
The trail starts off pretty simple and will bring you to a large flight of stairs which will bring you down to the Kingsmere River. If you go down the stairs it will bring you to the Kingsmere River Trail, or if you go the other way it is the start of a long but amazing hike to Grey Owls Cabin. (You can hike the first couple km of the Grey Owl Trail which will bring you to a beach area along Kingsmere Lake - It makes for a nice hike and great photo area).
But for this trail we are choosing the stairs which will bring us down to the Kingsmere River. At the bottom of the stairs you will come to a bridge where you can see the clear water flowing along the Kingsmere River. If you look close you will probably spot some fish swimming, or if your lucky you might spot an otter in the area. Once your across the bridge you will see a set of train tracks. These tracks are used for people to move small boats or canoes to Kingsmere Lake. Follow the tracks until you get to a dirt trail. The dirt trail will bring you all the way to the Southend Campground. Once at the campground area, you will have a picnic area, stove, out houses, and bear stands incase a bear is in the area. The campground area over looks Kingsmere Lake, and if you look over to your left you will spot a cabin with a boat, and that is the Park Warden's cabin.
The Southend Campground is a great place to spend the night if you have the gear.
Once your done, just head back the same way you came. This trail is deeper in the forest area. Animals such as wolves, bears, otters, eagles, deer, pine martens, gray jays, woodpeckers, and the odd fox have been spotted in this area.
Boundary Bog Trail
Rating - easy
Located on your first left through the main gates of the Prince Albert National Park is the Boundary Bog Trail. A nice easy trail through one of the many bogs in the Northern Forest area. The trail starts off with a path that goes through the forest area which will eventually lead you to a boardwalk area.
The boardwalk covers almost half of the trail and will take you to a look out point over looking Yotin Lake. A little further down the boardwalk you will reach a small tower that is a second look out point. After the tower it returns to a normal trail through the forest area again and will lead you back to the parking lot.
Make sure to bring bug spray in the summer as you will passing by mosquito breeding grounds.
The lookout tower is worth the visit!
Mud Creek Trail
Length - 2.3 km Loop
Difficulty - Easy
Located roughly 5 minutes down the Narrows Road at the Prince Albert National Park you will come across a sign for Mud Creek and South Bay Picnic Area. Hang a right and follow the road until you arrive in the parking area. (This area is equipped with bathrooms).
The trail starts off through a small section of forest which will lead you to a boardwalk along Waskesiu Lake. Once across the boardwalk you will get back into the forest area and eventually it will lead you to Mud Creek. (Keep your eyes open because you might be lucky to spot some wildlife in the area. Bears, deer, otters, elk, etc.) Along the trail you will come across some benches for resting and a chance to take in the beautiful views along Mud Creek.
Continuing on the trail will eventually loop you back to where you started. The trail is perfect for the whole family. Once completed you can relax along the beach or take a swim or enjoy a lunch break in the picnic area.
Spruce River Highlands Trail
Length - 8.5km loop
Difficutly - Moderate to Strenuous
Located 15 minutes south of Waskesiu on Highway 263 is the Spruce River Highlands Trail. This trail takes you over numerous glaciation features that makes this hike somewhat strenuous depending on your fitness level.
About a kilometre in the trail there is a 10 meter tower that let's you gaze over the forest. Many people only take this short trail, but I encourage you to explore the entire trail.
The best times to hike this trail are either early summer or early fall. If you come in early summer there are a few meadows that will be full of flowers that are quite spectacular to see. In fall, the towering poplar trees change their colours and give you a different experience. Also, coming in off-peak bug season is recommended as you are hiking past numerous wetlands.
Half way through the loop you will hike to the top of a hill that gives you another view of the forest, this time over looking Anglin Lake which is located just outside the park. This is a great place to stop and have lunch and take a breather before continuing the hike.
Hike the Narrows Peninsula Trail trail and bring your swim suit and take a dip on the beach half way through the hike. Bring a picnic and enjoy the scenery. There is a good chance you will have the entire beach to yourself.
Prince Albert National Park is well marked and easy to get to. Just head north on Highway 2 until you see the massive sign entrance.
When there, go to the parks office and ask for a paper map of the hiking trails. The Parks staff will be able to help you out planning your adventure!
Did you visit here? See something cool? Have your own recommendation? Let us know!
Tell the community about your Prince Albert National Park hike or outdoor adventure!