Take a walk on the wild side with this short, scenic journey in Lumsden

Just steps away from the small town of Lumsden, the Qu’Appelle Valley beckons. This region, characterized by the wide Qu’Appelle River, rolling hills and Saskatchewan’s iconic skies, emphasizes the striking geographical contrasts that define this province. The Great Trail in and around the town of Lumsden gives locals and visitors the opportunity to discover the wild beauty of the valley on a short walk, while leading the way to other Trail sections throughout the province – and Canada!

You’ll want to begin your journey at the start of the Trail just off Lion’s Park, right along the river. There is a small parking lot in the park for those travelling from outside of town.

One-day journey Toggle Arrow

Morning

Begin your day by walking up James Street to the local bakery, Fourth and James. It’s a locally owned business run with a lot of heart and some of the best baking you’ll ever have the pleasure of licking off of your fingers. Get a hot cup of coffee and whatever warm treat they’ve recently pulled from the ovens. If it’s a warm day, bask in the sun out on their patio and if it’s a cooler one, enjoy the cozy seating indoors. Once your sweet tooth has been satisfied and coffee has been consumed, head off to walk The Great Trail.

The Great Trail begins right at the bridge on James Street in town and meanders the high banks along the Qu’Appelle River. Since the high waters and risk of flooding in 2011, the banks have been built up a significant amount, allowing for a higher vantage point while walking. This section of the Trail is a well-kept gravel path and it’s a rare occurrence to see it without someone walking or biking along it. So, be prepared to wave your ‘hellos’ as you pass by other Trail users! As the Trail bends through the valley, it’s likely you’ll also catch a glimpse of wildlife who live through the Lumsden area. Deer, beavers and numerous species of birds are common sights out in Lumsden, so be sure keep an open eye and your camera at hand.

Afternoon

Without a doubt, the Lumsden section of the The Great Trail is best experienced at sunset. There is something undeniably magical that happens when the Saskatchewan sun starts to settle down within the valley walls, streaming through the ever-changing foliage and reflecting off the river water. Saskatchewan skies and sunsets are well-known for a reason, but viewing both from the valley is always worth the drive out to witness.

The terrain throughout this Trail section is perfect for a leisurely walk or bike ride. The Trail wraps around town and once you make your way down off the embankment and through a heavily wooded pathway, you have the option of turning west to head out on the old highway and continue the trail or east back into town.

If you’re interested in exploring more of what Lumsden has to offer, be sure to head back into town after your time on the Trail. If your walk has left you famished, stop by Lumsden’s newest restaurant, Free Bird. Their ever-changing menu is sure to please everyone in the group. Once you’ve sampled the daily specials, take a browse through the shops lining James Street. Walking down James Street you’ll find unique shops such as The Painted Parasol, Thr3e Clothing Connection, and Lumsden Florist etc., to name just a few. If you’re walking The Trail in the warmer months, finish off your day by joining the lineups for ice cream at either Scoops or Street Treats.

A brown dog sits on a trail surrounded by green grass

Ali Lauren, photographer and writer

“Being able to do photography and spend time on The Great Trail is a constant source of inspiration. I’ve taken my photography clients there for sessions, and even after many years of photographing that same area of the valley, its beauty has always been enough to stop both me and my clients in our tracks.”