In the heart of Southern Saskatchewan, Buffalo Pound Provincial Park is witnessing a remarkable revival of an ancient winter tradition: snowshoeing. As the frosty blanket of winter descends upon the park, the age-old practice of snowshoeing is being rekindled, offering a unique way to traverse the snowy landscape.
This resurgence is not just a nod to tradition but a testament to the enduring appeal of snowshoeing in the modern era. The park, with its picturesque setting and rich history, provides the perfect backdrop for this winter activity, drawing enthusiasts and novices alike to its snowy trails.
Snowshoeing, a practice believed to have originated between 4,000 to 6,000 years ago, possibly in Central Asia, has a storied history. It was born out of necessity, enabling early inhabitants to navigate deep snow during harsh winters. SaskParks has announced that winter snowshoeing has returned to Buffalo Pound Provincial Park starting Saturday, January 13, according to MooseJaw Today.
The design, inspired by animals like the snowshoe hare, was a brilliant adaptation to the challenges posed by thick snow. Snowshoeing tours take place on Saturdays following the start date, with one intake in the early afternoon followed by a second later in the day.
The Snowy Safari Snowshoe program is set to run from 1 – 2:30 p.m. In the program, participants strap on a pair of snowshoes and grab binoculars while a park interpreter leads a quest to find wildlife calling the park home. The program runs for 90 minutes and covers two kilometres at a moderate difficulty level.
Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, established in 1963 and named after the nearby Buffalo Pound Lake, is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. The park, located near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, is a natural gem, boasting a variety of landscapes from rolling hills to marshlands. In winter, the park transforms into a snowy wonderland, offering a range of activities including snowshoeing. The park’s diverse terrain provides the perfect setting for this activity, allowing visitors to explore its beauty in a serene, unhurried manner.
Modern snowshoeing stands at the crossroads of tradition and innovation. While traditional snowshoes were made of wood and rawhide, today’s snowshoes are crafted from lightweight materials like aluminum and synthetic fabrics. This evolution has made snowshoeing more accessible and enjoyable, allowing a broader range of people to participate. The modern snowshoe is a marvel of design, combining the wisdom of the past with the technology of the present, making it easier for everyone to explore the winter landscape.
At Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, the Snowy Safari Snowshoe program is a highlight, offering participants a chance to explore the park’s natural beauty while observing local wildlife. This program, led by experienced guides, is not just a physical journey but an educational one, providing insights into the park’s ecosystem.
Participants, equipped with snowshoes and binoculars, embark on a trek that is as enlightening as it is exhilarating, offering a unique way to experience the park’s winter landscape.
Another popular attraction is the Snowshoe Through the Past tour, which takes visitors on a historical journey around the Nicolle Homestead. This tour, led by knowledgeable interpreters, offers a glimpse into the lives of early settlers in the Qu’Appelle Valley.
As visitors walk through the snow-covered grounds of the homestead, they are transported back in time, gaining a deeper understanding of the region’s history. This tour is a perfect blend of physical activity and historical exploration, making it a unique and enriching experience.