Saskatoon is the place to be during the summer. Taste of Saskatchewan, Sasktel Saskatchewan Jazz Fest, Nutrien Fringe Fest, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, Saskatoon Folkfest, and the Saskatoon Ex are just a few of the great festivals coming to YXE this year. But some of Saskatoon’s best fun isn’t at an organized event. The South Saskatchewan River gives Saskatoonians a free and convenient way to make memories during the warmer months. Here are 5 great beach ideas to add to your summer bucket list.
1. Explore the river in a canoe, kayak, or on paddleboard
Whether you join the Saskatoon Canoe Club or bring your own boat, paddling the South Saskatchewan is a must in the summer. For serious paddlers, the Chief Whitecap Waterway runs from Gardiner Dam to Saskatoon and provides more than 100 kilometers of river to explore. For those who prefer a more laid-back experience, you can find plenty of adventures closer to the city. Launch your craft at the Fred Heal Canoe Launch, park on a sandbar for lunch, and wrap up the trip by getting out of the river at Victoria Park.
2. Have a beach day
Just outside of Saskatoon city limits you can explore some beautiful beaches perfect for spreading out a towel and grabbing a tan, playing Spikeball, or tossing a frisbee. Whether it’s Paradise Beach on the west shore or Fred Heal on the east, the river offers numerous places to relax and recharge. Just remember to clean up after yourself and leave the beach as beautiful as you found it.
3. Take your dog to the beach
Did you think you were the only one who deserves a beach day? Our canine friends love the water just as much (and maybe more) than we do. Just outside of Saskatoon lies the community of Furdale and the Chief Whitecap off leash dog park. A parking area is available off Saskatchewan Crescent or you can hike from Diefenbaker Park to the beach via a Meewasin Valley Authority path. Once you get to the off leash area set your four-pawed friend free and relax. Equally suitable for humans, Chief Whitecap Park is one of Saskatoon’s best kept secrets.
4. Go for a bike or a hike along the river
Although this won’t actually put you into the river (unless you get lost), exploring the river valley by land is just as fun as using the water. The Meewasin Valley Authority has been working hard to not only conserve the river valley, but also make it more accessible by installing more than 80 kilometres of Meewasin Trail. Maps of the valley and the paths and trails that line it can easily be found online.
5. Float down the river
This final activity might require the least amount of energy out of all the items on this list. Grab an inner tube or inflatable raft, a PFD, and a paddle, and you have everything you need to kill an afternoon on the river. Depending on where you launch from and how fast the river is flowing you could be in the river for one hour or four. An easy first float is to launch from Diefenbaker Park and get out at Rotary Park. Here are a few pro tips. Make sure you have a lifejacket for everyone on board as well as a paddle for each craft. Tie all the floats together so you don’t get separated from your friends. Bring plenty of drinking water, sunscreen, and good summer music, and you’re set for a lazy afternoon on our beautiful river.
Once you finish this list, do it again! The great thing about the river is it isn’t going anywhere so you can enjoy it as many times as you want. The river is always changing, so every week could bring a different adventure. The river is one of Saskatoon’s most beautiful features and it is even more beautiful when you’re up close and personal with it.
Here are some links that may be helpful in planning your next river adventure:
Brodie Zuk and Tim Hollman are Saskatoon Real Estate Agents who are commited not only to buying and selling real estate but, also to the promotion of a healthy community-centered lifestyle. For more information on how Brodie and Tim can help match you and your family with your Saskatoon dream, give them a call at (306) 361-5393 or (306) 230- 1126.