WANUSKEWIN HERITAGE PARK
Wanuskewin Heritage Park offers a great day hike just outside of Saskatoon that offers a rich history lesson of the First Nation people of the area.
This hike offers views of the South Saskatchewan River and Opimihaw Creek. The trails are very well maintained and well marked. You have to pay to use the trails however, but because you also get access to the intrepretive site making it worth the entrance fee.
The area has two different buffalo jump sites where First Nations people used to force buffalo herds off the cliffs during hunts. The bones found here are thousands of years old.
I enjoy this hiking location because of the rich history of the area. You get the opportunity to take a trip back in time to before Europeans settled the area and learn more about First Nation people's culture. Make sure to visit the many different historical locations throughout the park. They have done a great job of perserving the sancity of the place and you can't help but imagine what life would have been like for the people who used to live on this land.
The Wanuskewin Heritage Park is designed to be a conference centre for businesses and events, which is its main disadvantage. While the park takes you through nature expect it to be busy and possibly crowded depending on the time of the year.
Be warned that this is a popular place for field trips for area schools. From May to June the place is a buzz of activity with children, so stay away on weekdays if you want a more private trail.
Wanuskewin is not open 24 hours so check out their website for hours of operation.
They do offer an overnight tipi adventure, where park staff will show you how to set up a tipi and you can spend the night on the prairies. You can find more information on their website.
If you are even remotley interested in history check out the archeological dig sites. It is amazing to see what people have been doing in this area for over 6,000 years!
There is a rare example of a Medicine Wheel that dates back thousands of years. The view from the lookout also gives a panoramic view of the landscape, where you can see for miles.
Make sure to plan a hike around lunch and eat in the restaurant. Their menu is superb and full of items you can't get many other places such as bannock!
Head north out of Saskatoon on Highway 11. The route is well marked with tourist signs with a Buffalo insignia on them.
Turn right on Wanuskewin Road, the park will be your first left.
Difficutly - Easy
Distance - 6km
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