Buffalo Pound Provincial Park
110 Ominica Street West, Moose Jaw
S6H 6V2 Saskatchewan
Information: (306) 694-3659 / 1-306-694-3229 (summer only)
 
Buffalo Pound Provincial Park is set in Nicolle Flats Nature Area and the Qu'Appelle Valley and is excellent place to experiencing nature and outdoor recreation. There is incredible scenery and unique opportunities to explore a wetland environment. Buffalo Pound is over 1930 hectares in size and is open year-round with outdoor activities available in all four seasons.  
Buffalo Pounds rolling prairie as seen from across Buffalo Pound Lake.
 
Location: Just to the northwest of Regina above Moose Jaw in the Southwest Region of Saskatchewan. From Regina take 1 west to the 301 a few kilometres before Moose Jaw. Head north on the 301 15-20 minutes until you reach the bend, the park is on the right. From Saskatoon take the 11 south to the 2 south then pick up the 202 east. It is only twenty minutes from Moose Jaw and less than an hour from Regina.

History: The park was established in 1963. The name "Buffalo Pound" refers to the method used by the indigenous peoples to captured the plains bison using the natural topography as corrals or buffalo pounds. While the plains bison numbered more than 60 million, by 1800 they were all but extinct due to the practices and policies of the new settlers.

 
A group of the parks plains bison
  Plains bison were reintroduced into the area in 1972. Viewing of the present herd is best done in the cooler times of the day. In 1940 Buffalo Pound Lake was created by developing a reservoir in the Qu'Appelle Valley.
 
Camping: Over 200 sites in 5 separate campgrounds in the park. Maple Vale has serviced and unserviced tent sites. Shady Lane has serviced sites. Elmview's sites are unserviced. The sites at Lakeside are unserviced and there are also sites available at Hilltop). Wheelchair access and group camping sites are available. **Tip on camping in Saskatchewan: ask for a shady site.  
A view of the prairie grasslands in the park
 
Hiking: Bison Trail, Valley Trail, Nicolle Flats Trail, Dyke Trail (the Dyke Trail is now part of the Trans Canada Trail system) and the Marsh Boardwalk (wheelchair accessible). The highlights of hiking in Buffalo Pound include viewing bison in their natural habitat along with the numerous bird-watching opportunities in the marsh trails. The topography of the Nicolle Flats and Qu'Appelle Valley provide a rolling landscape with plenty of marshland. If you head out early, the air is full of bird song, including the Mountain Bluebird, Western Meadowlark and Blue-winged Teal. Early in the day is also the best time to view the bison.
The Nicolle Homestead hiking area is of great interest to people looking into the pioneering history of this park.
 
The sun sets on Buffalo Pound Lake

Photo courtesy Saskatchewan Parks

  Canoeing & kayaking: The 35 km. long and 2 km. wide Buffalo Pound Lake provides a lovely opportunity to check out the Qu'Appelle Valley and surrounding area. Although there are some motorized watercraft in the area, it is unlikely to be a problem to a paddler.
 
Mountain biking: 32 km of semi-technical trails are available (Single Track 60%; Dirt Road 40%). These trails can be found in the area of White Track Ski Resort

Winter adventures: There are 10 km of snowshoe and cross country skiing trails for the winter outdoor enthusiast. You can find the trail heads at the Lower Chalet Group Camping Area. You can also downhill ski at White Track Ski Area; rentals are available. Ice fishing also another possiblity.

Literature: Pick up, Buffalo Pound: A Saskatchewan Provincial Park along with trail maps at the main gate

 
Flora and Fauna: The park is home to a variety of owls, marsh birds, water birds and migratory species. The mammals you'll find in the area include plains bison, coyotes, mule & white-tailed deer along with muskrats and beavers. A number of "prairie" plants can be found in the park, including the prickly pear cactus, prairie sage and the Saskatoon tree.  
Late summer is a beautiful time to visit the park with it's rich golden colours interspersed with sudden bursts of prairie flowers.

Other features: Buffalo Pound is a well-developed park and has two beaches and fishing (trout, pike, perch and walleye) opportunities. Other recreational opportunities include a heated outdoor swimming pool, mini golf, stocked trout pond, store and concession.

Warning: Wood ticks can be quite numerous in May and June. To deter wood ticks, wear long pants with socks pulled up over the pant legs. Avoid walking through tall grass and thoroughly check your body after an outdoor excursion. Also, check any pets you bring along with you.

 
Mountian Biking: Saskatchewan Cycling

Canoeing: Canoe Saskatchewan

Southwest Region Map from Saskatchewan Tourism

Regina - Regina Tourism - Chamber of Commerce

Weather - Moose Jaw

Official site Buffalo Pound Provincial Park and Maps from Saskatchewan Parks

Saskatchewan Tourism

Featured park article & photo's by Mady MacDonald (Mady's Bio)
 
All web site contents copyright 1995-2003 by White Cat Media

 

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