Background: Little Red River Park
offers some very exciting riding in the Prince Albert area. Riders follow the
Nordic ski system consisting primarily of double track, with single track
tributaries, over gradual and rolling hills, through boreal forest and alongside
the Little Red River. There are also steeper sections to challenge any technical
rider. The soil is sand and clay based. All trails are very well marked with
"Level of Difficulty" classifications. The area offers well maintained picnic
areas and a lodge remains open for most of the year. The lodge offers a canteen,
washrooms and water. Little Red River Park offers excellent riding minutes from
the City of Prince Albert.
The Prince Albert area is also home to the
province's only national park. Prince Albert National Park is situated in the
transition zone between the northern boreal forest and the central aspen
parkland. It offers beautiful riding through forests of white spruce, black
spruce and jack pine, through aspen parkland, across prairie grasslands, over
rock out-croppings and alongside swift-flowing streams and crystal-clear lakes.
Wildlife abounds in the area including deer, moose, elk, black bear, and perhaps
the odd caribou.The park is alive with trail systems and fireroads which means
that riders will never have a dull moment. Park staff can direct you to the
bicycle trailheads and provide maps and trail classifications. All trails are
well marked and provide "Level of Difficulty" classifications. The premiere
mountain bike trail in the park is The Freight Trail, which runs approximately
27 kilometres through breathtaking landscapes and follows the route used by fur
traders as they transported their goods between Prince Albert and Waskesiu. Elk
Trail is slightly longer at 33 kilometres and the rolling hills and long grass
make it more challenging. Some of the grades on this trail, especially near
Hunters Lake, will likely force you to push your bicycle. Fish Lake Trail is a
pleasant 12 kilometre trail to the Fish Lake Campground that features gently
rolling hills, aspen forest and several small lakes. The Hunters Lake Trail is
similar to the Elk Trail and includes steep hills and exposed rock. The Westside
Boundary is 37.5 kilometres long from Cookson Road to Sturgeon Crossing Station,
and additional 24 kilometres from the station to the north end of the park. This
trail is a compacted gravel-based road with little overgrowth. It covers some of
the most interesting parts of the park, especially the Sturgeon River Valley and
the Fox and Rabbit Creek Basins. It provides the opportunity to stroll through
the fescue grassland meadows and perhaps catch a glimpse of the free-roaming
bison herd. Be careful in rainy weather because the first two kilometres can
become very muddy.
Difficulty: Beginner to Advanced
- Both Little Red River Park and Prince Albert National Park offer a wide range
of possible trail routes. This means that riders can take alternate routes if
any one section appears particularly difficult. Most of the trails are well
marked with "Level of Difficulty" classifications so riders should encounter no
surprises. Riders should pay particular attention to some of the steeper
sections and be careful around jagged rock out-croppings.
Directions: Little Red River
Park is located 3 kilometres east of the city of Prince Albert via Highway 55.
Prince Albert National Park is located 88 kilometres north of the city of Prince
Albert via Highway 2 and Highway 264.
What to Bring: Be sure to bring
your complete tool kit and extra inner tubes should any of the jagged rock
out-cropping cause flats. Bring adequate food supplies if you are planning a
full day ride. Black fly and mosquito repellent are also good ideas. Remember
that you are in bear country so equip your bicycles with bells. Both Little Red
River Park and Prince Albert National Park are well maintained and offer water
and picnic areas as well as good parking. Waskesiu, a small village nestled in
the national park, provides extensive services for visitors.