Wakaw Hills Hike Nov. 6, 2016
The Wakaw Hills hike has a bit of history. It was the first in a series of new hikes that I began developing 9 years ago in areas closer to Saskatoon that the Nordic Club had not previously hiked in. This hike has gradually turned from a two-stage hike into a full single-stage hike centred mainly in a network of trails formerly used by the now defunct Pine Grove Snowmobile Club. It has been a challenging and fascinating exercise to fashion a circular hiking route out of a tangled web of now partially overgrown trails. Sort of like a corn maze, but on a more extensive scale!
The Wakaw hike takes place in the Minichinas Hills, a prominent glacial formation left by the retreating Wisconsin Ice Sheet, some 10,000 years ago. The other new hikes in the series which I’ve led in the same topographical formation are the Rock of Ages hike near Cudworth, and most recently, the Dana Hike occurring in what is popularly known as the Strawberry Hills. All these hikes will take you to places that are off the beaten track. They are not a walk in the park! A few precautionary notes are in order: specifically, watch where you’re walking and wear sturdy boots with good ankle support. As with most of the Nordic Club’s fall hikes, we share the area with hunters, so wearing bright colored clothing is advisable.
On the trail, there is a moderate amount of continuous elevation change, plus a few steep hills throughout the route, interspersed with relatively level sections. Most of the route is through aspen forest with the occasional open meadow or hill top view point. There are a few abandoned gravel pits that the trail traverses, and overall, lots of variety in trail-side scenery. With all the rainfall in the last few months, the vegetation is prolific and may obliterate the route in places. Many locations are only being tracked by deer, moose and elk!
The planned lunch stop will be at an abandoned pioneer farmhouse with mud & straw chinking/plaster over poplar logs – an interesting relic of by-gone days - located at the southwest extremity of the route. I estimate the total distance to be approx. 11 km. The hike will conclude with a ten minute drive to Wakaw to attend the fall supper at St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church on Main St. This is one of the best suppers on the fall supper circuit! For details check their site: http://www.sttheresawakaw.com/news/
This is the last hike scheduled for the fall hiking season. The forecast is looking semi-tropical for the first week in November, so jump on it while it lasts!
For more general info on hiking see the Nordic Club site http://www.saskatoonnordicski.ca/adult/ski-touring-hiking
* Note Change of Meeting place * We will assemble at 9:45 to register & carpool at the Saskatoon Field House at the SW corner of College Dr. & Preston Ave. (in the NE paved parking lot) in order to depart at 10 am.
Cliff Speer, Hike Leader