Saskatchewan may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about mountain biking, since the province is best known for its wild grasslands. But past the prairies and expansive fields of sunshine-yellow canola, blue flax, and golden wheat, there’s a whole other world to explore.
In the southern part of the province, the landscape is cut with snaking valleys, badlands, and rolling hill formations that could provide a great experience for families looking for a leisurely bike ride through beautiful terrain, and for experienced mountain bikers willing to test their skill on challenging routes with steep drops and sharp turns.
A great place to start is the highest point between the Rockies and Labrador—Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Located on an erosion plateau with some breathtaking views, the park provides trails that run through lodgepole pine forests. To the east, Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, which has played host for Canada Cup mountain biking competitions, provides more than fifty kilometers of great trails. The park is set in the scenic Qu’Appelle Valley and offers some double lane trails as well as winding single lane trails along the valley walls and coulees.
Heading north, the landscape transitions into parkland, boreal forest, and Precambrian Shield where you could find great biking trails at provincial parks and many of the Nordic ski areas that double as hiking and biking trails during the warmer months. Meadow Lake Provincial Park and St. Cyr Hills in Saskatchewan’s northwest offer some terrific trails through boreal forest and parkland. They weave around some of the eleven lakes in the park system or on the hills in the St. Cyr Nordic ski trails. Further northeast, trails for beginners to experts at Lac La Ronge Provincial Park and the Don Allen Nordic Ski Area wind through forests of aspen, birch, spruce, and jack pine, and past muskeg and streams, and onto rock outcroppings.
Although these are some of the more widely known mountain biking areas, you could find a list of other great trails and information on biking in Saskatchewan here: http://www.saskcycling.ca/mountain.html.
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