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  Northern Region

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[Updated 2012]

Come to Saskatchewan’s Northern Region and play on one of the thousands of beaches, hike the scenic woodland trails, fish and eat meals prepared over an open fire and, at the end of the day, watch ribbons of northern lights dance overhead as you drift off to sleep beneath a blanket of stars.

One of the most popular recreation destinations in the province, Prince Albert National Park (150 km north of Saskatoon), offers opportunities for adventurers of all stripes. The 40-km, round-trip hike to the cabin of legendary conservationist Grey Owl is not for the faint of heart. But it’s a challenge whose scenic and historical rewards are sure to last a lifetime. The cabin also is accessible by water taxi, for more information), for those with a little less time on their hands.

Grey Owl's Cabin The resort town of Waskesiu, located within the park’s boundaries on the southeast shore of Lake Waskesiu, offers visitors a variety of entertaining options ranging from a relaxing day at the beach to a lively round of golf on 18 of the most beautiful holes this province has to offer: the Waskesiu Golf Course.

The Clearwater River, located about 500 km northwest of Saskatoon, has been designated a Canadian Heritage River because it was used by early fur traders and explorers. But they weren’t the first to travel this area. Riverside cliffs feature prehistoric Indian pictographs. Prehistory of a slightly different sort is something to watch out for when you’re near Turtle Lake (200 kms northwest of Saskatoon), where local lore tells of a monster who inhabits the lake.

South of the Clearwater lies Meadow Lake Provincial Park, with its excellent opportunities for hiking, camping, swimming and fishing. The huge park features 25 lakes nestled amid Saskatchewan’s beautiful boreal forest.

Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park, located 750 km northwest of Saskatoon, encompasses one of Saskatchewan’s most unusual and fascinating areas. The park is home to many rare plant species as well as the world’s most northerly sand dunes - some as high as 30 metres (100 feet).

Upon your return to civilization, you may choose to explore Canada’s only ‘border city’, Lloydminster (pop. 18,019), so named because it straddles the boundary between the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. In fact, the boundary runs right down the middle of a street.

For historical vistas, visit the Holy Trinity Anglican Church Historic Site (380 km northeast of Saskatoon, 306-425-4234, boat access only) at Stanley Mission (pop. 111). The log church was built by Indians between 1854 and 1860, and it has the distinction of being Saskatchewan’s oldest building.

History buffs will also find the Fort Pitt Provincial Historic Park (260 km northwest of Saskatoon, 306-837-2410) a memorable visit. The restored Fort was a fur trading post during much of the 1800’s and bore witness to the 1885 North West Resistance, led by Louis Riel. A visit to the St. Walburg and District Historical Museum (240 km northwest of Saskatoon, 306-248-3373) is sure to please, and the extraordinary life and works of German Count Berthold Von Imhoff are a must-see at the Imhoff Museum just south of town (306-248-3812).

Take in the celebration of Indian culture by attending the annual Prince Albert Powwow (100 kms northeast of Saskatoon, (pop. 33,507, 306-764-3431). Powwows are a colorful blend of dance and song that attract participants from around North America, and beyond.

Saskatchewan’s North is a recreational playground with the ability to make your dream vacation come to life.

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