ENJOY THE WINTER ADVENTURE...
Know Before You Visit
Because weather and snow conditions vary from year to year, as well as the range of winter services provided in the Prince Albert National Park and the Waskesiu townsite, you are advised to check with the Park Information Office.
The Visitor Centre is open daily, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Knowledgeable Parks Canada staff can help plan visits and answer any questions: 306-663-4522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Prince Albert National Park Winter Guide is available online and helpful in planning a visit to the park.
The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians is of the utmost importance to Parks Canada. To help limit the spread of COVID-19, visitors must follow the advice of public health experts and guidelines outlined by the Government of Saskatchewan at www.saskatchewan.cawhile visiting or participating in any activities in Prince Albert National Park. Current provincial public health orders and restrictions include:
Mandatory non-medical mask wearing in indoor spaces such as the Visitor Centre and enclosed kitchen shelters;
Indoor gatherings may have a maximum of five people and applies to enclosed kitchen shelters throughout the park;
Two metres physical distancing remains in place and should be observed when people from outside the household are present; and,
Outdoor gatherings may have a maximum of 30 people where there is enough space to maintain two metres between individuals who are not in the same household.
Outdoor recreation is important for mental and physical well-being! Visitors can plan their winter getaway to the park today and enjoy a range of unique winter experiences. The Christmas Tree Harvest and other outdoor recreational activities are family-friendly and can be enjoyed while respecting provincial public health measures!
THINGS TO DO IN WASKESIU THIS WINTER
Cross country skiing
When the snow flies, Waskesiu's trails are turned into some of the best runs that can be found anywhere. And one can not beat the scenery of magical Waskesiu covered in winter's white coat. There are approximately 45 kilometers of groomed ski trails in the park which provide lots of options for visitors to enjoy snow-covered scenery and terrain. There are both skate and classic ski trails with varying degrees of difficulty. A 1km spur trail connects the Spruce River Highlands trail to 18km of ski trails in the Anglin Lake area. Updates on current trail conditions are available on the Prince Albert National Park trail report page Click here for the ski trail conditions.
Inspired by nature and developed by Indigenous peoples throughout the global north, snowshoes are a way to become lighter on your feet in deep snow. Create your own trail across the snow cover! Whether you venture out for a few hours or choose to go for a back-country camping adventure, snowshoeing provides a great way to exercise and experience the boreal forest winter.The park offers a range of designated snowshoe and hiking routes close to Waskesiu or via easily accessible ploughed winter roads.
A familiar summer hiking trail will wear a different face in the winter. Since many of the popular trailheads are accessible even during this season, you may wish to explore the winter profile of a popular trail - like Boundary Bog - that you walked in the summer.
Winter angling is usually a game of patience. Perhaps you will catch sight of a wandering river otter "sliding" across the lake surface. A shadow on the distant shore may focus into a bull elk. Kids can also take advantage of the outdoors this winter. Families can plan an ice fishing trip to the park for its ice fishing season on Waskesiu Lake until March 31. Prince Albert National Park fishing licenses can be purchased at the Visitor Centre upon arrival. If it’s slow between catches, visitors can bring a toboggan to pull children around and scout the lake or shoreline for animal tracks and pine cones. Most years you are sure to find an original, handmade ice shack right out on the main beach to add to your Waskesiu ice fishing experience, except NEW this year there will be no shack built due to COVID-19.
Winter camping is whole different "ball of snow". The experience has unique challenges, that go along with special rewards of spending a night - or nights - under a canopy of snow-covered spruce and star-spangled skies. Several campsites are designated for winter camping.
Wildlife Viewing and Photography
Winter is a great time to view wildlife! Check the roadsides for elk, deer, wolf and fox tracks. Scan the frozen lakes for wolves. Over 20 species of birds make Prince Albert National Park their winter home. Winter in the park is a stunning time of year for photography and wildlife viewing. With fewer visitors around, the opportunity to see elk, wolves, deer, and foxes from the safety of your vehicle is more likely. Parks Canada encourages visitors to bring binoculars while cross-country skiing through wooded trails and listen for the hardy birds that live here year-round. Visitors can take a scenic drive to the Narrows and watch for otters fishing in patches of open water or sliding on the ice.
Ice Skating at Paul Horne Arena in Waskesiu
This year the volunteer ice makers went over and above expectations in creating a fun environment for Waskesiu residents and visitors to enjoy some recreation time. The ribbon effect was put in place to create a skating route, helping to keep social distancing and Covid procedures in place. A HUGE THANKS to the local ice maker volunteers, Clint, Jason and Jon! Amazing job team!! The ice is available to residents and visitors by making a booking at the Hawood Inn 306-663-5911.
The Open Saskatchewan Sky
Visitors and astronomy-lovers alike can enjoy the Milky Way, northern lights and constellations from Prince Albert National Park. Annual meteor showers in August, October and December are a thrill that can be seen from within the park. Visitors can bring their telescope to South Bay or Paignton Beach along the Narrows Road for wide open views of the night sky.
Enclosed Kitchen Shelters
There are five enclosed kitchen shelters throughout the park during the winter, complete with wood stoves and firewood, making them the perfect sanctuary for a winter picnic with your immediate family or household group.
Experience more winter excitement just outside the park - Tobogganing, skating, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding and even a curling rink!
DOWNLOAD the PANP Winter Activities Guide HERE!
THINGS TO DO IN WASKESIU
So many sandy beaches and so much time
With seven sandy beaches that grace the shores of Waskesiu Lake and many more located on Crean, Kingsmere and other lakes in the park, it's hard to pick just one to spend a lazy afternoon. The park offers some of the most beautiful sandy beaches anywhere in Saskatchewan, and we're sure you will agree.
Now that's taking in a lot. Where does one begin, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, boating, sailing, tubing, water skiing, wake-boarding and paddle boarding. Personal watercraft (such as jet-skis) are not allowed in national parks. Bring your boat, the Waskesiu Marina is one of the finest in Saskatchewan!
Golfing doesn't get better than this
Imagine having two of Saskatchewan's top courses to choose from at will. Everyday. That's what awaits you at the renowned Waskesiu Golf Course and the nearby Elk Ridge Resort located just outside the park main gateway.
With over 500 campsites in the park, there are lots to choose from! Enjoy all the amenities in the Red Deer Campground and Beaver Glen, located in the Waskesiu townsite. Please note: Parks Canada 2021 Reservations Service for booking camping spots by phone or on-line in the Red Deer Trailer Park and Beaver Glen Campground will launch in April NOT January as in the past. This will give more time to consider the latest COVID-19 measures. It may also help reduce the need for cancellations. Upcoming visits will be different than in past years, due to the ongoing pandemic. Plan ahead using the camping during COVID-19 page to check what services will be available.
Visit the easily accessible and peaceful campgrounds at Namekus Lake, and Sandy Lake (located off Highway 263), and the Narrows Campground (located at the end of the Narrows Road). Venture into the back-country where there are 15 designated backcountry campgrounds for more scenic and out-of-the-way camping adventures at Kingsmere Lake and Crean Lake.
Magical hiking trails
Prince Albert National Park offers a 120 km trail network made up of 17 trails varying in length and level of difficulty. Too much to choose from, but that's the great thing about coming to Waskesiu. Exploring the natural lay of the land and getting some much-need exercise is what is it all about.
Little Al's Mini Golf
Enjoy Saskatchewan’s best mini golf course - beautifully designed to reflect many of the natural, historic and cultural themes we love in Prince Albert National Park. It’s fun - and challenging - for the whole family!
Catch a Movie
The latest movie releases play all summer long! Twin Pine Cinemas offers two theatres for a rainy day retreat or an evening watching your favorite movie with freshly popped popcorn topped with real butter!
What makes a day at the lake complete? Ice cream of course! Waskesiu boasts several ice cream vendors throughout the townsite - try them all to discover your favorite! Check out all the flavors at The Big Olaf, The Scoop and The Market.
Disc Golf & Playgrounds
Waskesiu offers family fun for all ages! There is something for everyone.
Have a ball & more
Tennis, pickleball, lawn bowling, basketball, shuffleboard, futsal, foosball, ping pong, dodgeball, floor hockey, spike ball, bocce ball and baseball - and much more – are all available any time you have time!
Biking big time
Enough said; the roads, the trails will lead you in all directions. Everyone here seems to
own a bike. Try renting a Quadracycle from the Grey Owl Centre and cruise around town!
Push your boundaries on a guided, eco-friendly zip line tour and other high flying adventures in the forest at TREEOSIX Adventure Park!
The Waskesiu Chamber of Commerce Member Businesses listed below offer restaurant services:
Fresh coffee, gourmet teas and artisan sandwiches
Open year-round for breakfast, lunch and dinner offering fresh homemade scratch cooking. Fully licensed.
Dishes ranging from classic homemade burgers to tender baby
back ribs. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering. Fully licensed.
Specializing in burgers, sandwiches and ice cream.
Serving up a varied menu of pizza, burgers, salads, and much more.
Diverse and eclectic menu. Italian influenced fresh made pasta with top tier steak cuts butchered in-house.
Elk Ridge Resort Dining
Walleye's - Casual atmosphere offering excellent local fare. Opening December 10, 2020 for dine-in and take out.
Fireside Dining & Terrace - Fine dining, both indoor and outdoor. Currently Closed.
Shop Local at these Waskesiu Chamber of Commerce Member Businesses:
Jason Leo Bantle is the photographer and owner of All in the Wild Photography. His artwork portrays beautiful and artistic photographs of wildlife from Western Canada, Canada's arctic and Alaska.
Black Spruce Gallery represents the boreal forest through the eyes of established and emerging artists and makers.
Lake and cottage themed home decor and gift ideas and jewelry for all tastes. Weekly art classes offered
Waskesiu bike and water sport rentals, clothing & retail. Full service bike shop. Home of the Quadracycle
Locally owned designer dress shop with unique fashion for all occasions for women and men
Woman's, children's and babies clothing. Locally owned and operated. In business for over 15 years by someone who has been in Waskesiu her entire life
Family-owned and operated specialty store featuring outdoor products for hiking, backpacking, climbing, trail running, snowshoeing, adventure travel and many other outdoor endeavors
The candy store of your dreams! Not just candy - toys, games, home decor, souvenirs, and Waskesiu themed clothing
Wishing Well Gifts
Family owned gift shop. Everything from toys, souvenirs, jewelry, home decor, and Waskesiu themed clothing - something for everyone!
Waskesiu Chamber of Commerce Member Businesses Providing Services:
All your insurance needs for your home, boats and so much more.
A Canadian insurance brokerage, built on trust.
Pamper yourself at Waskesiu's own hair salon and spa. Specializing in wedding party hair and make-up! Located in the heart of downtown.
Providing gas, propane and confection items all at this one stop shop. Also featuring Northern Design Apparel for the entire family.
One of the oldest golf courses in Western Canada, the Waskesiu Golf Course truly is golf at its most authentic and in its most historic setting.
Family owned, offering a diverse selection of Saskatchewan beers and spirits. The liquor store carries a large selection of craft beers from across Canada and the wine selection features many wines from Canada, Argentina, Chile, Italy, France, Germany and the United States.
Angie will enhance your lake experience with FANTASTIC fun group of outdoor Fitness classes. She offers 3 great classes to choose from . . . there is a class for everyone! Enjoy the beauty of the lake and park while you take your classes.
Enjoy an afternoon matinee or evening movie featuring two screen movie theatres (306 seats & 205 seats) with state-of-the art digital equipment.
With three marina locations within PANP, the Marinas are capable of providing a variety of unique marine adventures while catering to everyone’s boating needs. They also offer a variety of interpretive tours and has an extensive fleet of boat rentals.
This seasonal resort store offers groceries, confectionery, bakery, ice cream, RV supplies, tackle, camping supplies, beach toys and hardware.
One of the most well stocked grocery store you will find at any lake resort. Best cinnamon buns ever! Located across from the beach and stocked with fresh baked goods, deli, fresh meat and locally grown produce. You’ll also find a small selection of gluten free products.
Your HOME away from home...
At Waskesiu you will find all of the luxuries of home within a rugged outdoor setting. Whether your choice of vacation is to camp in an isolated setting, or to enjoy the comforts of a fully serviced townsite, your trip to Waskesiu will be a remarkable one!
Gas Bar and Propane
Grocery & Bakery Stores
Waskesiu Heritage Museum
Open July and August Daily 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Visit our website to learn about special events for all ages which are held
throughout the summer season. https://waskesiuheritagemuseum.org
The Waskesiu Heritage Museum displays the human history of Waskesiu Lake and Prince Albert National Park since its 1928 creation.
The museum features an original canvas-roofed shack tent and a replica camp kitchen from the early days in Waskesiu. Other outdoor exhibits include a fire tower cupola, a portable cabin and shed fondly known as a dog house, a railcart portaging a canoe, and wash day equipment. An original log building houses indoor exhibits and displays.
Friends of the Park Bookstore
Friends of the Park, established in 1983 is a non-profit organization nestled within the historic Prince Albert National Park. The organization seeks to enhance the public experience in this environment while ensuring it is around for generations to come. They run a quaint book store in the town site of Waskesiu Lake, located inside the Waskesiu Museum, where you will find numerous local interest titles as well as crafts, art, toys and natural cosmetics. Found inside the bookstore is a Replica of Grey Owl's beaver lodge as well as a small Grey Owl and Anahareo Gallery
Get to know us!
Waskesiu Lake, located in Prince Albert National Park, was an early Hudson's Bay Company fur trade post between 1886 and 1893. In the early 20th century the industries of fishing and logging were carried out in this boreal forested area. A large forest fire in 1919 eliminated the logging industry.
Prince Albert National Park was officially opened in 1928 and is open all year round for amazing outdoor activities for all ages. Waskesiu Lake is the most visited part of the park. The park is also home of the cabin of the naturalist and conservationist Grey Owl, on Ajawaan Lake.
IN AND AROUND WASKESIU!
Many facilities and services are available, such as souvenir shops, small grocery stores, a gas station, a laundromat, restaurants, hotels and motels, rental cabins, a movie theatre, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) detachment, campgrounds, three marinas, many beautiful sandy beaches, picnic areas, mini golf, tennis courts, multi use sport court, shuffleboard court and lawn bowling greens and so much more! The facilities and services combine recreational and nature experiences. You will still find many historical properties in Waskesiu such as the iconic Waskesiu Community Hall.
We invite you to come, play, stay, and experience the natural treasures of Prince Albert National Park with wilderness that includes more than seven major lakes, over 120 km of hiking trails, secluded canoe routes, and unlimited wildlife viewing opportunities.
NEW TO WASKESIU! Electric vehicle charging stations!
Four electric vehicle charging stations have been installed in the Waskesiu Main Beach parking lot located within the Waskesiu townsite. The charging stations are currently operational year-round for public use on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visitors are responsible for monitoring their charging and find another parking spot when their vehicle is fully charged. There is no fee for visitors to charge their vehicles at the charging stations.
After taking a tour of our website, we are sure you will want to create your very own "Waskesiu Experience" soon!
Parks Canada Agency
About Prince Albert National Park
Whether your idea of adventure is portaging a canoe between remote forest lakes or a day of pulse-racing water skiing and wake-boarding, Prince Albert National Park satisfies with a mix of wilderness and accessibility.
Hit the beach or get on the water in Waskesiu, the lakeside town that serves
as the park’s hub. Or leave civilization behind as you hike, explore back country
lakes and maybe even spot wild bison.
For more information about Prince Albert National Park, click here.
Park fees are reinvested in services and facilities visitors enjoy.
Revenue generated from park fees is reinvested in the parks and sites where it is
earned and is spent on visitor services and facilities. This means that the
revenue stays in Prince Albert National Park. Every time you visit a park or site
you are investing in its future and in a legacy for future generations.
Reinvestment in Prince Albert National Park over recent years includes:
boat launches, Beaver Glen campground improvements, trail improvements,
the new pedestrian bridge over the Waskesiu River and much more.
Services and facilities providing a public good are paid for through appropriations.
Services and facilities providing a personal benefit to visitors are paid for,
at least in part, through user fees.
Visitor fees support a wide variety of programs and services including search
and rescue, information and campground services, maintenance of washrooms,
roads and picnic areas. These increases are critical if Parks Canada is to continue to offer high quality services and to repair or replace aging visitor facilities.
Parks Canada's user fees are comparable to the fees charged by other providers of similar services and facilities.
Courtesy All in the Wild Gallery
PRINCE ALBERT NATIONAL PARK
Want to know more about Restoring Ecosystems in Prince Albert National Park?
Fire is a natural, essential part of the boreal forest and grassland ecosystems found in Prince Albert National Park. In the absence of fire, forests are becoming thicker and older and trees like aspen are expanding into native grassland. Parks Canada is using prescribed fire to restore park ecosystems and create new habitat for our native species.
VISITORS CENTRE: 1-306-663-4522
TOLL FREE: 1-888-773-8888