SASKATOON EAST BANK TRAILS
If you want to go for a nature walk but don't want to leave the city of Saskatoon there are some fantastic trails that run the entire length of the South Saskatchewan River. Located on the east side of the river the trail head is very easy to find, just enter at the foot of any bridge within the city.
The best places to start are either at the Circle South Bridge or the Circle North Bridge.
The trail systems runs the entire length of the city and their are many different trails that intersect each other. The hike can be somewhat streneous depending if you decide to ascend and descend the river bank.
Once in the trails, keep your eyes open for beavers and waterbirds. There is usally a family of beavers that hang around just across from the Bessborough Hotel. You will see signs of them clearing bush with their teethmarks on various trees.
I enjoy this hike as it can be more streneous with the elevation changes and it feels like a hidden world just inside the city of Saskatoon. I use this trail when I have an itch to get outside but don't have the time to go on a longer trip.
I don't recommend using the trails in early Spring or after heavy rain fall. The trails are made up the soft soil and turn into gooey and sloppy mess when wet. You may find yourself unable to ascend the riverbank or your butt covered in mud after you take a fall. If it has just rained or the trails are wet, try not to take bikes down the paths as it wrecks them for when conditions are better.
These trails are also a great place for those who want more adventure and excitement on their bikes. I recommend not taking anything less than a hardtail and you should be somewhat experienced on your bike as the trails are tight and technical. For those who are walking, keep your eyes and ears peeled for bikers and give them the right of way. It can be almost impossible to stop coming down a slope on a bike so please step aside and let them pass.
If you are a biker, the best trails are north of the Circle North Bridge. You will find them just past the Sutherland Dog Park. Park your vehicle in the park and take the bypass between the front gate and the University of Saskatchewan farmland. Once, you are passed the park you will see the entrance to the trails.
WARNING - these trails can be very techincal on a bike. I have injured myself more than a few times on them!
If you are interested in getting a bit of an adrenaline rush make sure to take your mountain bike on the trails north of the Circle North Bridge.
These trails are well maintained, techinical and loads of fun. Make sure to ride within your skill level as you can get seriously hurt on these trails.
You will find the entrance to the trails by following the trail by-pass around the Sutherland Dog Park, look for signs of the trails (they are not marked) and drop in!
If you want to enter at the Circle South Bridge, park your car in Diefenbaker Park. Follow the gravel road to the south end of the park behind the large hill. There is a small parking lot facing the river and a trailhead that takes you to the trails.
If you want to enter at Circle North Bridge, park your car in the Sutherland Dog Park parking lot. You can either start your hike by going through the dog park, it is less than a 1km to the riverbank, or by using the bypass which is the right of the gate.
When you reach the riverbank you will come to a t-intersection in the path. Go left, and head towards the Circle North Bridge. You will see the trailhead on the right.
Difficutly - Easy to Advanced
Distance -12km from Circle South Bridge to end of city
Sutherland Dog Park Entrance
Diefenbaker Park Entrance
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