|Prince Albert National Park|
Whether you enjoy fishing, camping, hiking or cycling, Prince Albert National Park can cater to almost any whim. At present the park is studying proposals on how to make the park more accessible to cyclists. It is hoped that new cycle routes will be implemented.
The cyclists main advantage over motorists is that their quite and subtle means of transportation greatly increases the chance to see the parks varied fauna and enjoy the quite splendour and peace. This also means one may encounter bears not forewarned b y a car's engine, so be alert.
Visit the Park Office and obtain a good map of the park and also check on places you can stay during your visit. If you own a mountain bike there are areas available to you that are inaccessible to most others. Two trails, the Elk and Moose, were used f or hauling freight to La Ronge from Prince Albert. These trails combine the pleasures of backpacking with cycling and open up a new rugged world for the adventurer. Contact the Park Office for more information on bicycle accessible trails.
The Narrows Tour (50 km return)
We shall assume that Waskesiu would be a good starting place for most tourists. Our first tour starts on the beach in Waskesiu and goes along Lake View Drive to the south, following Hwy. 263 for 5 km., and then turning right where the road is sign posted for the Narrows Campground.
The Narrows Road is fairly hilly and rough in places, but the scenery more than makes up for it. There are many attractions along the 25 km. (One way) trip. These include a golf course, several nature trails and beaches. The latter include South Bat, Trippe's Beach, Paignton Beach and Tree Beard's Trail. At the end of the trip is the Narrows Campground where one can pitch a tent or enjoy a self guided walk through nature. The return journey is along the same route taken in.
Birch Bay Tour (68 km. return)
This tour also starts in Waskesiu town site. Proceed along Hwy. 264 north which leads towards Hanging Heart, and bypasses Beaver Glen Campground. The terrain is over gently rolling hills, but the highway is paved with a one metre shoulder. The road from Birch Bay to Kingsmere is a gravel road that is fairly rough but accessible when dry.
There are numerous points of interest on the route such as; Boundary Bog Nature Trail, Tea Pail Trail and Waskesiu River. Birch Bay is a good spot for a picnic and is a good base to Kingsmere or Hanging Heart Marina.
Weekend Tours (90 km. return)
There are two tours of greater length that you can take into the park. Both start along Hwy. 2 north from Prince Albert. The first route follows Hwy. 2 until it crosses Hwy. 264 where one turns left. Follow Hwy. 264 and it will take you into the town o f Waskasiu in Prince Albert. The tour covers about 77 km. Along Hwy. 2 and another 13 km. Along Hwy. 264.
The second follows Hwy 2. For 37 km. and then turns left along Hwy. 263 to Christopher Lake. About 2 km. Down the road, at the hamlet of Christopher Lake, there is a nice ice cream parlour next door to the Logan's Family Store. The road giving access to Christopher Lake is paved but has no shoulder. 6 km. further up Hwy. 263 is Emma Lake, which has 7 beaches, all accessed by Hwy. 263. Continue up Hwy. 263 to the south gate entrance to Prince Albert National Park. This road is smooth, scenic and generally not heavily traveled. It is the prefered route of most cyclists. Once in Prince Albert National Park there are many roads leading to lakes and points of interest which may entice the cyclist.
The above routes can be combined by those looking for a challenge. Hwy. 2, Hwy. 263, and Hwy. 264, are all paved roads in good condition. In peak hours they are heavily traveled, but on the whole provide safe and decent driving.