On the Southern Edge of the Great Northern Forest

August 24, 2009

General Info: Prince Albert National Park, in central Saskatchewan, preserves 388,000 hectares of a transition zone between the coniferous boreal forest and aspen parkland. The park also includes about 1,500 lakes and streams. This naturally diverse habitat houses a multitude of wildlife, including a herd of free-range plains bison and Canada’s only fully-protected nesting colony for white pelicans. The park also contains important cultural features such as the lakeside cabin of conservationist Grey Owl and the rich 8000-year history of native peoples.

regional-map-of-prince-albert-national-park-within-saskatchewanHours and Fees: The park is open year-round. The Information Centre is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., mid-May to early September, and on Saturdays during the peak cross-country ski season. Main campgrounds are open from mid-May to early September, and winter camping areas are also available.

Daily entrance costs (in Canadian dollars) $7.80 for adults ages 17-64, $6.80 for seniors age 65+, $3.90 for youth ages 6-16 (children 5 and under get in free). Annual passes are also available.

Activities: Although Prince Albert National Park includes 150 km of hiking trails, you probably won’t need hiking boots to traverse them. Most of the trails feature good walking surfaces along gently rolling, forested hills without much change in elevation.

winter-in-prince-albert-national-park-saskatchewan-canadaThere are several scenic driving routes to see the park’s wonders. Wildlife can often be seen rather close to the roads, so please drive slowly near animals (but don’t stop because some animals, like elk, have been known to attack vehicles) and stay in your vehicle.

Anglers can cast a line for lake trout, northern pike and walleye. Fishing permits are required and can be purchased at visitor kiosks; daily permits are $9.80 and annual permits are $34.30.

Recreational opportunities also include canoeing, cycling, cross-country skiing, an 18-hole golf course, lawn bowling, swimming and tennis.

prince-albert-forested-lakeshore-with-canoersThe Town of Waskesiu, just 5 km inside the park’s east gate, offers a range of services and amenities (post office, groceries, fuel, laundry, etc.) for your convenience.

Wildlife: Please remember that animals in the park are wild and unpredictable. Keep your distance and never feed wildlife, no matter how small or docile they may seem. Always keep your pets on a leash and under your control while in the park.

Weather: You’ll notice dramatic changes in day and night temperatures, in accordance with the cool continental climate of the region. Winters are long and cold while summers are warm. July and August are typically the warmest months, but you’ll find pleasant conditions from mid-May to mid-September.

prince-albert-exhibition-trailer-parkCamping Info: Campgrounds in Waskesiu are open from mid-May to the end of September/early October, weather permitting. The fully-serviced Waskesiu Trailer Park (152 sites) offers electrical hook-ups, water, sewer, washrooms and showers. Beaver Glen Campground (213 sites) has 108 RV campsites with electrical hook-ups, washrooms, showers, hibachi grills, kitchen shelters and centralized water taps, firewood and sewer disposal. See the Waskesiu camping page for a full list of campgrounds in Prince Albert National Park.

You can also camp outside the park in the town of Prince Albert, about an hour’s drive south of Waskesui on Highway 2. The Prince Albert Exhibition RV Campground is a Good Sam Park that features 75 full hookup RV campsites and restrooms with showers.

If you’re from Saskatchewan or have visited Prince Albert National Park in the past, please chime in with your stories and tips! Your insights can help others have a fantastic trip.

Leave a Reply

3 comments

  1. Avatar

    Brian Morris

    Ms. Bullock:

    Thank you for the story on Prince Albert national Park. We plan to travel through Saskatchewan next summer with our fith wheel and this will be a great place to “take a break” for a few days.

    FYI Prince Alber is the hometown (but not birthplace), of one of Canada’s famous Prime Ministers – John Diefenbacher. Among other things he was the PM who cancelled the Avro Arrow project and thus was responsible for the demise of Canada’s aerospace industry.

    See the full story by cutting and pasting the following web address:

    http://www.histori.ca/minutes/minute.do?id=10220

    Regards, Brian

  2. Avatar

    Brian,
    Thanks for the info about John Diefenbaker. It’s always interesting to learn about famous people in the context of their hometowns and native state/province.

    Anyone wishing to learn more about the former PM should also visit the Diefenbaker Canada Centre at the University of Saskatchewan campus. The Centre is a museum, archives and research center all in one.

  3. Avatar

    Thanks for writing such an easy-to-unedrsntad article on this topic.