It’s summer in the city and it. is. glorious!
There is no end of outdoor activities to enjoy and soak up all the sunshine. Here are five ways to spend a weekend around the river in Saskatoon.
1. Ride the Prairie Lily
Did you know a paddle steamer sternwheeler named the S.S City of Medicine Hat crashed into the Traffic Bridge and sunk in 1908? I didn’t either until I took a ride aboard the Prairie Lily riverboat and learned some interesting local history.
Even if it’s raining, a ride on the Prairie Lily is a great way to spend the day. The top deck of the boat is partially covered so you’ll be protected from both sun rays and raindrops -but still get a great view of the city. Keep an eye on the Delta Bessborough on the western riverbank if you’re a photographer. As you’re cruising past, there’s a seven-second window where the hotel is isolated from all other buildings for a picture-perfect shot.
2. Picnic in Rotary Park
It’s a classic way to spend the day – pack a blanket, picnic basket, frisbee and a good book and chill out in Rotary Park in the shade of the trees. Sneak under the Broadway Bridge near the painted rocks and you’ll find a hidden sandy beach that’s perfect to hang out on and watch all the jet skiers, paddlers and boats on the water. There are lots of little rocks around for skipping as well.
3. Take a Segway Tour
Ecoglide Adventures offers a different perspective on the Meewasin Valley Trails from walking, running or biking. They’re also ranked as the top tour to take in Saskatoon on Trip Advisor. The self-balancing ninebots are quite easy to ride. The guided tour is an hour long and there are numerous stops along the way to take photos and learn a little history.
4. Paddleboard, Kayak or Canoe the Chief Whitecap Waterway
Rent a paddleboard or take a guided tour from Escape Sports, borrow a canoe from the Saskatoon Canoe Club or rent a kayak from Eb’s Source for Adventure. Put in at one of several locations along the South Saskatchewan River. For a great way to spend the afternoon, start at the Poplar Bluffs canoe launch and make your way back into the city. It’s surprising how different Saskatoon looks from the water rather than from the riverbanks. Make sure to keep an eye on river flow before you go (< 250 m³/s is perfect if you’re a novice). Be prepared to wade through some shallows and avoid the sandbars as the water levels are low this year.
5. Check out the River Festivals
I always say summer doesn’t officially start until the Sasktel Jazzfest is on. But there are numerous festivals based around the river and the Meewasin Valley Trails every month of the season. If you love food, catch Taste of Saskatchewan, July 16 to 21. For the arts, take in a play with Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan from July 3 to August 16. Catch Lover Boy and Colin James playing at Rock the River, August 16 to 18. Hang out in Rotary Park for Ukranian Day in the Park (perogies and kubasa!) on August 24. Finish off the summer with a bang with the Nutrien Fireworks Festival August 30 and 31.
And if all else fails? Head out to enjoy the Meewasin Valley Trails on foot!
How do you like to spend your summer days around the river?