Southern Waterways Canoe Trips

Urban Canoe Camping

Wilderness campsite on the South Saskatchewan riverbank

Wilderness campsite with a panoramic view of the South Saskatchewan River valley

Here’s a chance to get your feet wet on an easy-going trip especially for rookies! Come jump on board with the canoeing guide who helped compile the South Saskatchewan River EcoCanoe Guidebook. One night out in a tent to discover how much fun it can be and a short 2-day paddle on a beautiful stretch of river near Saskatoon will introduce you to the captivating world of canoe-camping. There’ll be plenty of how-to instruction with the emphasis on safety and enjoyment. We’ll also find time to relax, swim in the sandy backwater shoals and revel in the wilderness attractions of a river on the City’s doorstep.

Trip Overview & Itinerary

Full Trip Schedule


Saskatoon’s River History

Paddlers on the South Saskatchewan River

A CanoeSki group relaxing on the South Saskatchewan River (Photo: Dominique Hurley)

An exciting day trip adventure exploring the rich history of the South Saskatchewan River. Listen to fascinating vignettes about early Aboriginal legends, steamship disasters and movie making as you paddle downstream on an intriguing part of this beautiful prairie river south of Saskatoon. The river valley “wilderness” scenery and wildlife, the pull of your paddle and an old-fashioned campfire corn roast all add up to an irresistible trip!

Trip Overview & Itinerary

Full Trip Schedule


David Thompson Voyageur Trek

A misty morning on the South Saskatchewan River

A misty morning on the South Saskatchewan River

A fascinating 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!

Trip Overview & Itinerary

Trip Tales

Media Stories:
Travelling the Wake Left by Thompson (PDF – 536KB)
Weekend Voyageurs (PDF – 925KB)

Full Trip Schedule


River Trails of 1885

South Saskatchewan River Valley near Petite Ville

South Saskatchewan River Valley near Petite Ville

Take a canoeing adventure on the South Saskatchewan River back to the turbulent 1885 era of Canadian history. Visit the national historic sites of the Northwest Resistance where battles raged between Louis Riel’s followers and the Canadian militia.

At the first stop on the river trip, several kilometres upstream of the ghost town of Fish Creek, hike to the battle campsite at Tourond’s Coulee where General Middleton’s army was halted in an ambush by Louis Riel’s followers, fighting under Gabriel Dumont’s command. Camp overnight at a wilderness site on the riverbank at Petite Ville, the archaeological site of an ancient Métis wintering village.

Enjoy the wildlife and valley scenery as you continue canoeing downstream on the path taken by the steamer Northcote in a failed “rear guard” assault on Riel’s forces at the Métis village of Batoche. At the Carlton Trail crossing, finish paddling and hike the historic trail to Batoche National Historic Site. At the interpretive centre, view the Parks Canada multimedia show and visit the site of Louis Riel’s short-lived provisional government with its original church, rectory and cemetery.

Finish the trip with a renewed connection to places and events that have greatly influenced Saskatchewan and Canadian history.

Canoe Trip Options:
Short River Trails — Canoe Day Trips
Long River Trails — 2-Day Overnight Canoe–Camping Trips

Trip Overview & Itinerary

Trip Tales
Exploring the Historic River Trails of 1885 by Brad Lefevre

Media Stories
Gabriel’s Country – Westworld magazine, summer 2012 (p. 22)
Battle Still Reverberates – Saskatoon Star Phoenix, July 2010

Full Trip Schedule


 

Cranes & Colors

Flocks of Sandhill Cranes at the South Saskatchewan River

Flocks of migrating Sandhill Cranes in fall flight

Imagine being serenaded at your evening campfire by numerous flocks of migrating sandhill cranes and Canada geese. Add in the occasional high-pitched interlude of yapping, yowling coyotes and a mellow woodwind section of chirping crickets. This is nature’s symphony in the wild parts of the South Saskatchewan River valley in autumn. Imagine waking to a vista of soft morning light bathing the valley slopes in stunning hues of red, gold and green. It’s a sensual season few people take the time to savour. We’ll take you there on these short overnight camping trips and day tours on the river just south of Saskatoon. Finish up the canoeing season with a flourish this fall and join us for a bug-free wildlife and natural color extravaganza!

Trip Overview & Itinerary

Trip Tales
A South Saskatchewan River Canoe Trip Full of Amazing Fall Sights & Sounds by Shelly McGrath
An Elemental Fall Journey on the South Saskatchewan River by Christine Varnum

Full Trip Schedule


Coyotes and Coulees

Morning light on the North Saskatchewan River valley

Glorious early fall morning light on the North Saskatchewan River valley

A much maligned creature, the wily coyote manages to thrive in a mostly hostile agricultural habitat. This fascinating member of the dog family has been dealt a harsh rap for its smarts and amazing survival instincts. Chances are good we’ll encounter coyotes as they roam the riverbank and hunt in the surrounding coulees. For sure, we’ll hear their spine-tingling evening symphony as they echo back and forth across the river valley with a high-pitched melody of yelping and yowling. During the day, our boats will transport us through this enchanted valley with breath-taking vistas of colorful forested coulees nestled amongst park-like grazing lands. Add to this the birdlife congregating on the river flats, and you have an autumn special unparalleled!

Trip Overview & Itinerary

Trip Tales

Full Trip Schedule