|Qu'Appelle Valley Tours|
Echo Valley and Katepwa Provincial Parks are cradled in the warm sunshiny arms of the glacier etched Qu'Appelle Valley. Echo Valley Park is located along the shoreline of both Echo and Pasqua Lakes, with Katepwa Park situated along Katepwa Lake. Between these is Mission Lake and the historical town of Lebret.
The entire area is full of history and provides an interesting and beautiful tour along the hilly and winding lake edge roads. Relax and enjoy this sun soaked activity filled paradise. Each bend in the road will lead you to a new and exciting discovery.
Echo Valley - Motherwell Homestead Tour (88 km return)
This tour starts and finishes at Echo Valley Provincial Park and will lead you to he Motherwell Homestead Historic Park. Leave the park entrance and go north for 1 km. There take Hwy. 56 east towards Fort San which is about 7 km. away. This paved road is in good condition, but without marked shoulders and is slightly hilly and winding. Watch out for a stray dog or two.
Your first stop is at Fort San which used to be a tuberculosis sanitarium. It is now operated by the provincial government and is home to the Summer School of the Arts. Leaving Fort San, take Hwy. 56 east towards Fort Qu'Appelle. The road is curved and hilly and is narrow so watch out for cars. Go past the golf course, down the hill and straight into the town of Fort Qu'Appelle until you come to Hwy. 10. Take Hwy. 10 east towards Balcarres, after 1 km. you will approach a very steep hill out of the v alley. Good luck!
Keep going for 16 km until you have reached Balcarres. Balcarres is a pleasant town with many services. Upon leaving town, take Hwy 10 east for 8 km then turn onto Hwy 22 south to Abernethy 6km away. Abernethy has retail stores, but no hotels or camping facilities. From Abernethy, take the gravel road straight south for 3 km and you will reach Motherwell Historic Park.
W.R. Motherwell moved here from Ontario and worked for the cause of the western farmer by founding the Territorial Grain Growers Association, establishing the College of Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan, being Saskatchewan's Minister of Agriculture and by serving as the federal Minister of Agriculture. The exquisite fieldstone house on his homestead has been carefully restored and during the summer months is staffed by guides in period costumes. Motherwell's contribution to Canadian agriculture was large and his story is well told at this site. Retrace your steps to Echo Valley Provincial Park.
Echo-Katepwa Tour (90 km return)
To start this scenic route, take Hwy. 210 south from Echo valley to the flat prairie above. Hwy 210 is paved but is in a constant state of repair. The intersection with Hwy 10 is 12 km from the park. Turn east at the intersection and go along for 2km then turn south onto Hy 210 travelling 19 km into the historic town of Qu'Appelle.
Qu'Appelle has a variety of retail stores, recreational facilities and picnic/camping areas. The Town Hall/Fire Hall, located on Walsh Street, is typical of the solid, domineering structures built by the early citizens of the area. Qu'Appelles current appearance belies it's former importance. During the 1890's it was larger than Regina and was being touted as the logical site for a territorial capital. It was the terminus of one of the most important trails in the north-west and served as a major mustering station for troops that were sent off to fight the Riel Rebellion.
When leaving the town take Hwy 1 east for 14 km to Indian Head. As you come to Indian Head, the visitor information booth is on your left. Indian Head was an early centre for agricultural research. One of the country's first Dominion Experimental Farms was established in 1887, just we east of the town. Don't miss the tree nursery 2km east of town which was established in 1902 to provide trees for settlers for protection against the wind. Leave Indian Head by Hwy 56 north, from the west side of town. The highway travels over gently rolling prairie for 16 km. And then descends back down to the Qu'Appelle Valley. At last this is your pay back for that nasty hill you had to climb to get here!
Continue along Hwy 56 to Katepwa Provincial Park, in all about 26 km from Indian Head. Stop at the park for a swim, a snack or maybe just a few minutes under a shady tree. Lebret is 10 km from here and the town was founded by Catholic missionaries in 18 65. The beautiful stone church was built in 1924. Hwy 56 takes you into Fort Qu'Appelle - originally the site for the Hudson's Bay Company trading post. When leaving Fort Qu'Appelle take Broadway Street west. Broadway becomes B-Say-Tah road and 7km a way is the provincial Fish Culture Station. From the Fish Station it is 5km back to the park.