The Meewasin Valley is filled with trails and locations to explore. Some of them, such as Beaver Creek Conservation Area and Wanuskewin Heritage Park are incredibly well known, both in this region and internationally.
There are other sites that are not as well-known but still intriguing in their own way. That applies to places like the Saskatoon Natural Grasslands, 34 acres of native Saskatchewan grassland that remain in a surprisingly natural condition right beside the Forestry Farm.
Another hidden gem of the Meewasin Valley that only a small number of people have experienced is the Crocus Prairie. This ecologically sensitive site is marvelous year round but is incredibly stunning during the brief crocus bloom in the spring.
What makes the Crocus Prairie special
The name “Crocus Prairie” is considered to be somewhat informal, though a well-earned moniker at that. In the early spring, it comes to life with a spectacular bloom of crocuses. If this is something you’re interested in, don’t wait as crocuses don’t last very long.
Just remember to take a pic and not pick. This is an ecologically sensitive area. As such, it doesn’t take much to do damage to it. While it might be tempting to pick the crocuses, both you and the environment will be much better off if you simply take photos. Those pictures will last much longer than the flowers will.
Beyond that, the paths from the trailhead offer some marvelous views of the Meewasin Valley and the South Saskatchewan River. The Crocus Prairie is directly across the river from Meewasin Park, a more common destination for people who make regular use of the Meewasin Trail. It’s interesting to get such a unique perspective of the river’s west bank.
The Crocus Prairie side of the river is a lot less developed and closer to the Northeast Swale than the Meewasin Park side. This means that visitors to the Crocus Prairie have the opportunity to check out a much more diverse range of wildlife, which often includes deer, porcupine, and a variety of birds.
Finding the Crocus Prairie
Getting to the Crocus Prairie is a minor feat in and of itself. It’s not difficult but the stop can be easy to miss for first time visitors, particularly for anyone who is new to Saskatoon. But it’s definitely worth the trip, even if you have to double back to get there.
You’ll find the Crocus Prairie just north of the Regional Psychiatric Centre on Central Avenue. The parking lot off Central Avenue marks a trail head that meanders south along the top of the riverbank towards Sutherland Beach.
Just north of Crocus Prairie is Petturson’s Ravine. Restored after many years of pollution and abuse, this unique bog is now an environmental success story. And it’s important it remains that way. Petturson’s Ravine is on private property and cannot be accessed by the public.