Social media is an interesting and useful thing but it can also be an emotional thing. My Facebook account has been toying with my emotions for weeks by showing me images of past skiing and snow shoeing adventures, leaving me tormented.
The reason for my feelings of torment is that Regina has not received enough snow to make winter sports possible. The lack of snow has initiated my quest for snow and good fortune had just struck. southeast Saskatchewan had just been struck with a winter snow storm.
Why was this snow storm in southeast Saskatchewan exciting? Because this area of Saskatchewan is where you will find Moose Mountain Provincial Park. Home of some interesting landscape where hills shoot up from the flat prairies and aspen forest are dense. It's home to some to some big game as well. I've personally spotted black bear, elk, beaver and deer in the park. It's also a birders paradise. But most important to this adventure would be the fifty glorious kilometers of cross country ski trails.
My friend Don has a mutual love of winter sports and was up for the adventure to find snow. It was an added bonus that we would be taking on this adventure during the winter solstice, very cool. The next day Don and I packed up and hit the road for the 222km drive from Regina to Moose Mountain Provincial Park. Our excitement grew and grew as the ditches beside the highway filled with more and more snow.
When we arrived we were greeted with untouched trails that had been groomed the day before. A light coating of fresh snow was on the ski tracks. The winter solstice provided us with great weather and elongated shadows cast by the thick aspen forest that cover the areas rolling hills. As we skied between the many lakes and ponds we were lucky enough to spot a Great Grey Owl and share the trail with a few coyotes along the way. Should you want to spend an entire day on the snow at Moose Mountain you will be happy to find six well appointed warm up shacks along the ski trails.
I believe that Moose Mountain Provincial Park may be one of the most complete parks in Saskatchewan. The reason I say this is that there is something for everyone to do in every season of the year. From May through September you can spend time camping within the park. There are opportunities for almost any athlete from water sports, mountain biking & trail running and even an eighteen hole golf course. A complete water park can be found right across the highwy. If you are into motor-sports there is an extensive trail network for ATV and motocross bikes. In the winter you can cross country ski, fat bike, snowshoe, snowmobile, and even go ice fishing. I'm sure I'm missing quite a few things so check out the parks website for a complete list of amenities.
I know I will be heading back this winter for some more skiing and snowshoeing. I'll be excited to take my wife out for her first experience cross country skiing outside of Regina. If you make it out share your photos with us on instagram or twitter. We'd love to see your adventures.
Moose Mountain Provincial Park
Moose Mountain Cross Country Ski Trails Map