East Central Saskatchewan: a region of diversity

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Green Water Lake CampingGreen Water Lake Camping
Photo Courtesy of: Tourism Saskatchewan
Photographer: Douglas E. Walker

If variety is the spice of life, then Saskatchewan’s East Central Region serves up one tasty dish for visitors. From communities rich in culture to areas teeming with wildlife and parks that offer fun for all, the region has absolutely everything.

The perfect place to start is at the Western Development Museum (WDM) in Yorkton. Dedicated to the “Story of People,” the Yorkton WDM presents a fascinating look at cultural diversity.

Culture comes alive in Saskatchewan’s newest city, Humboldt, whose architecture reflects the old-country charm of Germany. Be sure to stop at the Willkommen Centre on Main Street for a German welcome and information on touring this unique city.

Discover French Heritage in Zenon Park or Icelandic ways in Wynyard and Foam Lake. Visit the world’s tallest Ukrainian lady and sample holopchi in Canora, see a Doukhobor heritage village at Veregin, or take part in a powwow at one of the region’s many First Nations communities.

Local and provincial history can be further explored in the region’s numerous museums. Take a moment to learn the stories of communities such as Saltcoats, Kamsack, LeRoy, Naicam, Watson, Porcupine Plain, Sturgis and Wakaw.

If nature and wildlife are more to your liking, the East Central Region is also the place to be. Wildcat Hill, a wilderness park in the Pasquia Hills, remains virtually untouched. Mixed-wood forests, marshes and rivers offer breathtaking views to hikers and campers wanting a backcountry challenge.

Another attraction is Last Mountain Lake, the oldest bird sanctuary in North America. A self-guided tour takes visitors to wetlands favoured by waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds. Meanwhile, the enormous Quill Lakes and their wetlands are so important to migrating shorebirds that they have been declared part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.

Other nature adventures can be found in the Wadena Wildlife Wetlands, the Duck Mountain Hills, the Foam Lake Marsh, the Ravine Ecological Preserve in Yorkton, or Tisdale’s Greville Jones Wildlife Sanctuary.

Campers and recreation lovers will find no shortage of spots to hike, tent or set up a trailer for a day, a weekend or a week. East Central is home to three provincial parks and one provincial historic park. Experience the pristine beauty of Greenwater Lake, the sandy beaches at Good Spirit or the unique setting of Duck Mountain near the Manitoba border. Travel back in time to the days of the fur trade at Touchwood Hills.

East Central is an ideal place to head with your tackle box, relax and fish the lakes starting at Tobin in the north and Last Mountain to the south.

Relaxation can also be found at Manitou Beach, home of Saskatchewan’s original mineral spa. Spend a weekend at the Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa or travel down the road to the new Manitou Mineral Bath House, offering private tub rooms. Both offering a host of other ways to be pampered.

You can dance the night away at Manitou Beach’s Danceland. Constructed in the 1920’s, this is one of Canada’s last remaining horsehair dance floors.

Yorkton, East Central’s largest city, offers many opportunities for fun and recreation. Try your luck at the Painted Hand Casino or work on your swing at one of the area’s four golf courses. Enjoy a high tea at the ZebraXing or the Unique Shops and Cappuccino tour.

A short drive from Yorkton is Melville. Home to an agri-park, an 18-hole golf course and a heritage museum. Melville was named after Charles Melville Hays, founder of the Grand Trunk Railway. Making Melville a natural place for a railway museum, featuring a restored steam engine, flat car and caboose.

Melfort, the city of Northern Lights offers year-round beauty of the aurora borealis. Along with attractions like the Northern Lights Palace – an arena with indoor wave pool and waterslide – or the Melfort and District Regional Park. Pleasant scenery can be found just a few minutes away along the Saskatchewan River, at Codette Lake or at Wapiti Regional Park.

If you enjoyed this article about East Central Saskatchewan, on Ya’Gotta, you may also like to view more of the adventure tourism destination in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan:

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