Explore the scenery, history and archeology on these canoe trips on the South Saskatchewan River near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. These short expeditions are the perfect introduction to river canoeing and camping. One night out in a tent to discover how much fun it can be and a short 2-day paddle on a stretch of river near Saskatoon will introduce you to the intriguing world of canoe-camping. There'll be plenty of how-to instruction with the emphasis on safety and enjoyment. You'll also find time to relax, swim in the sandy backwater shoals and revel in the wilderness attractions of a river on Saskatoon's doorstep.
The 2 day/1 night trip starts about 50 km south of Saskatoon and ends at the Berry Barn, about 20 km from the City. You will travel downstream to a wilderness riverbank campsite that has access to hiking trails in a unique wildlife refuge. The intent of the program is to introduce people to camping and paddling in a relaxing and enjoyable format in addition to getting acquainted with the attractions of a marvelous prairie waterway.
There is also a 3-day adventure trip into the fur trade era following in the footsteps of famous explorer and mapmaker David Thompson. Paddling the South Saskatchewan River, visit ancient fort sites where Thompson spent time as a clerk for the Hudson's Bay Company. Explore South Branch House archaeological site and hear tales of a massacre and the fort's destruction in 1794. Before exploring the forts and fur trade, discover more recent history of Metis people at Petite Ville where the trip starts and at Batoche National Historic Site mid-way through the trip. It's a multi-storied experience and a must for history and archaeology aficionados and anyone fascinated with early Canadian heroes!
The beauty of the South Saskatchewan River, a mere 30 or so kilometres upstream of Saskatoon, is the wilderness-like aura that pervades the valley. The wildlife is plentiful; the wooded slopes and coulees obscure the agricultural activity on the uplands; the scenery is inspiring, and the peace and serenity is rejuvenating. The river channel consists of glacial till covered by a thick layer of fine sand that is constantly being shifted to and fro by the variable current. At lower levels, usually in mid-summer, many sand bars surface creating lots of natural beaches - great for wading and swimming as a refreshing break from paddling on a summer canoe trip.