Grey Owl Trail, Manitoba
If you tread carefully along northern Manitoba’s Grey Owl Trail, you might be fortunate to spot white-tailed deer, beaver, foxes and maybe a moose or coyote. Deep in Riding Mountain National Park, this gentle trail takes hikers on a 17 km journey through sandy beaches, Jack pine forests and clusters of aspen, poplar and balsam trees. For six months in 1931, this untamed corner of the Canadian Shield was the home of Archie Belaney, a dedicated conservationist who became known as Grey Owl. Wandering along the path that bears his name, you’ll quickly understand why Grey Owl fought so hard to preserve the forests and fauna of this breathtaking area. The 5-hour hike concludes rather fittingly at the Beaver Lake cabin where Grey Owl lived and worked as the first naturalist of Canada’s park system.
Meewasin Valley Trail, Saskatchewan
Meewasin Valley sure lives up to its name. In Cree, Meewasin means ‘beautiful’, and this stunning area hugging the South Saskatchewan River offers picture-perfect autumn vistas. Ideal for urbanites craving a brush with nature, the Meewasin Valley Trail rambles through the city of Saskatoon. Along the 60 km path, hikers and leisurely walkers will encounter manicured parks, wild groves, expansive lookouts and historical landmarks. As fall’s hues of yellow, red and orange reshape the city’s landscape, the Meewasin Valley Trail brings nature’s beauty to Saskatoon’s doorstep.