LeBreton Flats, Ottawa, ON | Plaines LeBreton, Ottawa (Ontario) by National Capital Commission (NCC) / Commission de la capitale nationale (CCN) via Flickr Creative Commons

Saskatchewan is home to two national parks and 31 provincial parks. Canada’s highest point between the Rockies and Labrador towers over Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, which straddles the border with Alberta in the southwest corner. History buffs may enjoy Regina’s RCMP Heritage Center, situated next to the training academy of Canada’s famous mounted police. The 1885 North West Rebellion sites, situated halfway between Prince Albert and Saskatoon, are also very popular attractions.

Prince Albert National Park

The older of Saskatchewan’s two national parks is the unofficial boundary between the southern prairie and northern forest. Canada’s only completely protected nesting colony of white pelicans resides near Lavallee Lake, while bison roam freely around the grassland in the park’s southwest corner. The site contains two campgrounds, 1,500 bodies of water, and a town called Waskesiu within the park’s boundaries. The log cabin where Grey Owl, one of the world’s most famous naturalists, lived during the 1930’s is also open to visitors. Address: Prince Albert National Park, Northern Prairies Field Unit, Waskesiu Lake Phone: +1-306-663-4522 Website: http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/sk/princealbert

Grasslands National Park

Many of North America’s last remaining unspoiled prairie grasses grow in this southwest Saskatchewan national park, which contains much of the province’s most beautiful landscapes. Black-tailed prairie dogs bark in their only Canadian natural habitat, which remains much as it did a century ago, and more than 12,000 ancient teepee rings are dotted throughout the area. Canada’s richest dinosaur fossil source is the park’s East Block Badlands. Guided tours are available on summer mornings, and the site is one of Saskatchewan’s most outstanding star-gazing spots due to its sparse light pollution and distance from all major cities. Address: Grasslands National Park of Canada, South Saskatchewan Field Unit Phone: +1-877-345-2257 Website: http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/sk/grasslands

Batoche National Historic Site

The small village of Batoche, halfway between Saskatoon and Prince Albert, was the location of the final battle of the controversial North West Rebellion of 1885. Between May and September, costumed characters dressed as late 19th century Métis (people of First Nations and of French descent) roam Louis Riel’s former Provisional Government headquarters. A traditional 19th century farmhouse, a church, a North West Mounted Police encampment, and an information center are this historic site’s main attractions. Address: Batoche National Historic Site, RR#1, P.O. Box 1040, Wakaw, SK S0K 4P0 Phone: +1-306-423-6227 Website: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/sk/batoche

RCMP Heritage Centre

Regina, Saskatchewan’s provincial capital, is home to both the training academy of the iconic Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the adjacent museum operated by the non-profit Mounted Police Heritage Centre organization. The museum’s main exhibit depicts how the RCMP was founded in 1873, how they established law and order in Canada’s rapidly-developing west, how they protected its isolated north, and the modern technology they use today. The museum also features a 27-minute RCMP multimedia presentation inside a 124 seat theater, as well as a gift shop with books, badges, Christmas decorations, glassware, clothing, stuffed animals, and even chess sets. Address: RCMP Heritage Centre, 5907 Dewdney Avenue, Regina, SK S4T 0P4 Phone: +1-306-522-7333 Website: http://www.rcmpheritagecentre.com

Wascana Centre

Saskatchewan’s provincial legislature stands in the middle of Canada’s fourth biggest urban park, which is larger than both Vancouver’s Stanley Park and New York City’s Central Park. Seattle architect Minoru Yamasaki, whose most famous design was the World Trade Center in NYC, also created this sprawling green space in the middle of the provincial capital. A fountain from London’s Trafalgar Square and Runnymede Meadow birch trees are located within Wascana Centre, which also includes a science center, an IMAX theater, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, the University of Regina campus, and two art galleries. Approximately 225 Canada Geese relax in the Wascana Waterfowl Park in the summer following their long journey back from their southern winter homes. Address: Wascana Centre, 2900 Wascana Street, Regina, SK S4S 2G8 Phone: +1-306-522-3661 Website: http://www.wascana.sk.ca/

Tunnels of Moose Jaw

The small Saskatchewan city of Moose Jaw was a notorious gangster hangout that attracted the likes of Al ‘Scarface’ Capone and played an important role in the bootlegging and rum-running business of the Prohibition era. These fascinating, yet largely unknown, stories from Moose Jaw’s history can be discovered during one of the historic walking tours through the underground tunnels. Another walking tour takes visitors through Canada’s early Chinese immigration period. Address: Tunnels of Moose Jaw, 18 Main Street North, Moose Jaw, SK S6H 3J6 Phone: +1-306-693-5261 Website: http://www.tunnelsofmoosejaw.com/

Temple Gardens Mineral Spa and Resort

The main attraction at this four-star luxury spa connected to Casino Moose Jaw is its therapeutic mineral hot pool, one the country’s largest. The pool’s geothermal waters come from ancient sea beds buried over 4,500 feet beneath the surface. The spa also contains one of the country’s only outdoor hot pools open 12 months a year, as well as mud wraps, massages, and a variety of other pampering treatments. Address: Temple Gardens Mineral Spa and Resort, 24 Fairford Street East, Moose Jaw, SK S6H 0C7 Phone: +1-306-694-5055 Website: http://www.templegardens.sk.ca/

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

Pine-crested highlands replace prairie wheat fields at Canada’s first interprovincial park, where southwest Saskatchewan meets southeast Alberta. Rare orchids blossom around the pine forests, situated at Canada’s highest point between Labrador and the Rocky Mountains. The park’s two main sections are the Centre Block and the West Block wilderness. The Centre Block has a beach, zipline canopy tours, hiking trails, and an observatory that ranks among Saskatchewan’s best places for star-gazing. The historic Fort Walsh National Historic Site, a former RCMP post and horse breeding site, is the major attraction in the West Block’s wilderness area. Address: Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, P.O. Box 850, Maple Creek No. 111, SK S0N 1N0 Phone: +1-306-662-5411 Website: http://www.cypresshills.com/

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