Unfortunately one of the casualties in the 17% reduction in Meewasin Programs and Services this fiscal year are the Meewasin Interpretive Canoe Tours. The twenty year program that saw novice paddlers learn about the river from the river counted more than 100 tours last summer. Thank you all for your participation and support. Meewasin had hoped to offer the canoe tours in the summer; all dependent on funding. The Meewasin canoes and accompanying equipment were used on a couple of occasions to support volunteer groups cleaning the river valley and Canada 150 celebrations on the South Saskatchewan and at Fort Carlton, Saskatchewan.
Meewasin Interpretive Canoe Tours provided an opportunity for participants to learn about the South Saskatchewan River from the river in Meewasin’s ten passenger voyageur clipper canoes. Tours departed from Beaver Creek Conservation Area paddling out onto the South Saskatchewan River for two to three hours allowing the paddlers to experience those of the early voyageurs. Adult groups usually paddled upriver to the Berry Barn, while youth groups canoed both in the creek and on the river, stopping on a sand bar for interpretive games. Paddles, lifejackets, canoe and safety training were provided by Meewasin National Lifeguard, Paddle Canada certified interpreters. Adult charters costed $250 per canoe. Non-profit groups accessed the program at no charge.
Participants in the Canoe Tour program contributed to the scientific testing of the water quality and by assisting in sampling that was used in a basin-wide study. This was exciting citizen science work, and a unique opportunity for canoeing participants.
Of interest is that the Whitecap Dakota First Nations south of Saskatoon will be eventually offering ecotourism programs once their new hotel is completed, and have been in consultation with Meewasin as to developing a Whitecap Dakota First Nations interpretive canoe tour program, ideal as their location is farther south on the South Saskatchewan River allowing for greater opportunity for the eco-tourist to cover greater distances while paddling with the river current.
Transportation to Beaver Creek Conservation Area
Beaver Creek Conservation Area Interpretive Centre is located 13 km south of Saskatoon on highway #219.
Canoe Tours run from May into the Fall and pre-registration is required. Meewasin canoe tours are now done for the 2016 season. Contact Meewasin in the spring of 2017 to find out if and when the canoe tours will resume.
Self-guided canoe maps from Gardiner Dam to the Forks, the confluence of the North and South Saskatchewan rivers.