With every leaf beginning to change, fall is the perfect time for a simple Sask stroll
If you are looking for the perfect little hike this fall season, I think I found the right one for you! This hike takes place in Nicolle Flats Nature Area and is located just inside of the provincial park known as Buffalo Pound. This provincial park is located 20 minutes northeast of Moosejaw.
When you arrive at the provincial park, it is quite common that you must pay for a parking pass when driving past the welcome gates, so just be aware.
Now that you have gotten to the park and have been welcomed by the staff, let’s find this path, why don’t we? Finding this hiking path is quite easy. There are a few signs along the road that are brown and yellow with a stick person and a hiking pole; follow those along the road and you will find your way. This drive takes roughly 10 minutes, and along this drive you will for sure hit some bumps in the road – I mean, quite literally, bumps in the road. The road itself is not in the greatest condition, so just be aware of that as well. As you drive down the road, you may be lucky enough to glimpse some buffalo. You will know you have finished the drive once you come across a sign that states “Nicolle Flats Nature Area” with trees, buffalo, a teepee, and more on the top. It truly is a nice welcome, and a great landmark.
Let’s get onto the walking trail. There are quite a few different ways around this park, and each of them have a unique route and lookouts which makes it all worth it. The first one is known as the Marsh Board Walk (0.3 km). The unique thing about this walk is that it is a path made of a bridge! As you walk along the bridge you are surrounded by some plants that are decently tall, almost makes you feel like you are walking through a corn maze. Some plants growing along the marsh are known as willow, alkai cordgrass, common cattail, prairie bulrush, phragmites, hardstem bulrush, and narrow-leaved cattail. As you walk along the path, you can read all about the different types of plants along the path and educate yourself, which is an extra bonus. Once you come to the end of the trail, there are some benches to take a break, then you walk back along the same route.
The second path that you have the option of following takes you along the Bison View Interpretive Trail(1 km). This is where the bison wandered at some point in time. As you walk along in this crisp fall air you see so many bright colours, which makes it so enjoyable. You enjoy colours of different tones of yellow, green, red, and orange. As you walk along this trail, you come along to a few pit-stops, which help break up the walk and encourage walkers to take in the views. There is also a shack along the path that is left open for the public to enjoy if you choose to pack a light lunch or picnic.
If that is not enough, there are a few benches along the way. Some look out towards the water in the distance with the prairie valley in the background, another on top of a short hill where you get to sit on top and look at the beautiful trees in the valley. With all the different fall colours, it’s just breathtaking. You really must go enjoy it yourself to get the full effect! Along this path there are few trails to keep following if you choose. Based on the map that is provided, there are the Nicolle Flats Trail (3.7 km), Homestead (1.5 km), Dyke Trail (5.5 km), and Valley Interpretive Trail (2.1 km). If these hikes seem like the best idea for you, I have to say they are. There are many great hikes to partake in. Plus, the two that I described to you in detail are quite simple and seem to have good access for all levels.