Prince Albert National Park is one of Saskatchewan's two National Parks, Grasslands is the second. August 10, 1928 the park was opened by then Prime Minister, William Lyon MacKenzie King.
I am a little ashamed to admit until my good friend suggested a little runaway to the park, I didn't know it existed. We stayed at Waskesiu, the only town, located along the south shore of Waskesiu Lake. The resort is reminiscent of Banff without the mountains and minus the crowds (at least while we were there.) You can stroll down the wide Main Street which features the quirky souvenir shops, the restaurants and other businesses you would expect. There is a walking trail along the lake. A variety of cabins for accommodation or several camping sites.
National Parks are chosen because of some unique geological or geographic feature. The south end of the Park is mixed forest of deciduous trees and conifers; then it transitions to a boreal forest of jack pine and spruce.
There are hiking trails for all levels of fitness. We enjoyed the Waskesiu River Trail. It is accessible right from the highway and is incredibly beautiful.
As you can see, the first part of the trail is a wooden walkway. Once you cross the river, the trail ascends through the forest. Proper hiking boots were recommended but Bernie and I managed well with the general purpose sport shoe, the flip-flop.
We took a pontoon boat tour through the first two of the Hanging Heart Lakes.
We thought the name might have some romantic connotation. It turns out that the legend behind the name is from the Cree and Dene whose traditional hunting grounds we were passing through. If the hunt was good, the hearts of the game were hung from the trees as a tribute and thanks to the animals who were killed and provided food, etc.
The last photo is the Marina that the pontoon boat launches from. Fishing isn't allowed in the first lake because it is such a rich spawning ground.
There is a lot of wildlife to be seen. The weather was unsettled during our visit so we didn't see bears, bison, river otters or eagles.
These pictures are of animals we saw. Doe and bull elk, gulls, squirrels, white tail deer (terrible photo and I completely missed the twin fawns that still sported faint spots), and of course the ducks. The mallard family was mooching along the shore at the Hanging Lakes Marina and didn't want anything to do with me after they realized I didn't have anything to feed them. (It's illegal, anyway.)
Finally, the sunset over Waskesiu Lake. Prince Albert National Park is a great place to visit with a many things to see and do. I hope I get back soon.
I've been writing on and off for years and this is where my more serious pieces will be.