|Danielson/Douglas Provincial Parks|
This tour will take you through Danielson and Douglas Provincial Parks, located on the shores of Lake Diefenbaker. Both parks offer camping and recreational facilities, as well as Danielson Visitor's Centre, cafeteria at the north end of the lake, and the interpretive centre with programs and nature trails at the est edge of the lake. These are not however, the only attractions. Try the tour planned for Outlook, or tackle a longer more challenging route which makes the circuit of the two parks; but let us lead you through this park of Saskatchewan.
What an Outlook! (86km return)
And so the town was named; christened by a CPR Land Development representative who while standing on the east bank of the South Saskatchewan River exclaimed to his partner "what a wonderful outlook!". Outlook is 43km from Gardiner Dam which is in Daniels on Park. After visiting the park's Visitor Centre and traveling down the short road to the Coteau Power Station, try a self guided tour of the station itself. Don't forget to note the point of interest along the tunnel control towers which overlook the 140 miles of water. Then journey west along Hwy 44 for 7km until reaching Hwy 45. Both Hwy 44 and Hwy 45 are paved and smooth with no marked shoulder.
At the junction of Hwy 44 and Hwy 45 turn north along Hwy 45 and continue past Macrorie cycling along the slow rolling road. 10km out from Outlook you will dip through a tree lined ravine to emerge on the opposite bank, turn west at the junction onto Hwy 15. Hwy 15 is wide, paved and smooth. From the junction you are know 5km from Outlook but before attaining your goal you must descend and cross the valley of the South Saskatchewan River. Once in Outlook there are several places of dining or fast food services from which to choose a satisfying meal Follow Progress Avenue west as eventually it becomes a gravel road and drops sharply toward the valley bed and recreational facilities there. You may return to the park via the same route, or by heading east from Outlook on Hwy 15 and turning south after 18km onto Hwy 219. This road is paved with unmarked and somewhat rough shoulders. Follow Hwy 219 for 29km until you reach Hwy 44 where you turn west and head for the park.
Danielson/Douglas Cycle Circuit (170km return)
for those of you who are cycling enthusiasts, go for the 170km circuit. If you are less inclined you may just take a portion of this path. From Gardiner Dam head east on Hwy 44 for approximately 23 km until you reach the junction with Hwy 19. This road is a bit rough in spots but as you pass Loreburn the road condition improves. Another 13km brings you to the town of Elbow. Here you can browse in the museum and marvel at the sod house standing squatly across the main street. Pick up a map of the town and visit the sites that include Tufts Bay, the Mistusinne Cairn and the well protected cove which is the haven for a number of sailboats. From Elbow continue south on Hwy 19. The terrain is consistent and very open with few or no trees and only the odd major hill. Also throughout the circuit you may notice large wheels or spider like arms extending across the fielded horizon. These are irrigation systems so vital to the local farming.
From Elbow, Douglas Provincial Park and its various facilities are located 11km south on Hwy 19. About 5km from Douglas Provincial /Park there is a view point situated atop the more rolling terrain which overlooks the end of Lake Diefenbaker and the Qu'Appelle Dam. From here the road gradually descends and winds then sharply dips to the Qu'Appelle Valley. The climb up the other wall is a long steep slope. Don't fell bad if you have to stop for a rest before reaching the top. From the Qu'Appelle Valley continue south for approximately 20km until you reach the junction with Hwy 42. Turn west for 5km along a similar roadway until you reach the town of Central Butte. Here you may relax in the pool or try a relaxing game of golf possibly spending the night in the local campground.
To advance along our circuit, proceed along Hwy 42 west. The destination of this leg is Riverhurst, only 27 km away. Unfortunately the road deteriorates considerably along this section. It is paved but rough and patchy and the unmarked shoulder is half paved and half gravel. As you enter the picturesque lake side town of Riverhurst there is a museum which serves as a tourist information centre and holds a cenotaph to those who fought in World War 1. Leaving Riverhurst and cycling onward for 3km there are signs luring one to Palliser Regional Park, 5km off of Hwy 42. The access road is narrow and smoothly paved and leads you steeply down the valley to a quite beach, golf course, camping and picnic areas, fishing and boating haven and a large swimming pool. If you disregard the sign you will descent to the Riverhurst Ferry loading zone. The ferry leaves every hour, on the hour, 24 hours a day.
Upon crossing, you again climb out of the valley and head for your finishing point, Danielson Provincial Park, a scant 41km away. The highway on the west side of the ferry is much improved, allowing a ½ metre riding area that is unmarked, paved and smooth. A short 8km ride from the ferry is Hwy 373. This highway turns into Hwy 45 as you pass through the hamlet of Birsay. Upon dipping and rising through the valley one final time you emerge to the junction of Hwy 44 and Hwy 45. From there an easy 10 km ride east brings you back to Gardiner Dam.