More than Just Fossils in Southwest Saskatchewan
While tracking dinosaurs is interesting and entertaining, the Cypress Hills region of southwest Saskatchewan offers plenty of diversity for summer vacation plans.
Camping, golfing, hiking, fishing, biking, geocaching and horseback riding, can all be part of the adventures as you travel the Dinosaur Trails. The folks over at the Cypress Hills Destination Area Inc., the official tourism organization for the region, have put together a great website. Especially interesting are the various tours, including culinary, worth checking out. For more tours information go to: visitcypresshills.ca/tours.
Spend a day at the historic Reesor Ranch, which is near the boundary of Cypress Hills Inter-Provincial Park. Established in 1904 by W.D. Reesor, the operating guest ranch spans both sides of the Saskatchewan/Alberta border. Along with being an operating ranch, designated a Provincial Heritage Site, the operation offers ranch vacation packages, accommodation, meals and horseback riding. Visit reesorranch.com.
If you are camping in, or just passing through Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park check out the eco-adventures options. At Treeosix Adventure Park take a zip line ride through the forest canopy; climb up to a 32-foot high perch for a treetop drop, there’s a climbing wall, and a mini zip line for kids. Check out the website at: treeosix.com.
Visit the 13,000-acre Old Man On His Back Ranch, donated by a long-time ranching family to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Dedicated to preserving the native prairie grasslands and habitat of southern Saskatchewan, it is home to a wide range of wildlife species including the ferruginous hawk, swift fox, pronghorn antelope, mule and white-tailed deer. And you can still see herds of plains bison roaming free.
For a relaxing break visit the Grotto Gardens Country Market near Maple Creek. A family operated Saskatoon berry orchard, it provides value-added services including a bakery, coffee shop with home baked pies and a gift shop and a log barn as a focal point. You’ll be entertained during a stroll throug the gardens on Leo’s Goat Walk. You can even relax with goat yoga. Visit their website at: grottogardens.ca.
And for a step back in time, visit Parks Canada’s Fort Walsh National Historic Site, southwest of Maple Creek. There are many seasonal events and activities at Fort Walsh, along with daily attractions such as gun slingers, western wagon rides, games and plenty of western-style food.
You can learn much more about attractions and events in the Cypress Hills region by visiting the Cypress Hills Destination Area website at: visitcypresshills.ca.
By: Lee Hart