Saskatchewan may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about mountain biking, since the province is best known for its prairie landscape.
But past the wild grasslands and expansive fields of sunshine yellow canola, blue flax or golden wheat, there's a whole other world to explore.
In the southern part of the province the landscape is cut with snaking valleys, badlands and formations of rolling hills that can provide a great experience for families looking for a leisurely bike through beautiful terrain to experienced mountain bikers willing to test their skill on challenging routes with steep drops and sharp turns.
One great place to start is the highest point between the Rockies and Labrador â Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Located on an erosion plateau with some breathtaking views, the park provides trails that run through forests of lodgepole pine. To the east Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, which has played host for Canada Cup mountain biking competitions, also provides over 50km of great trails in the southern part of the province. The park is set in the scenic Qu'Appelle Valley and offers some double lane trails as well as winding single lane trails along the valley walls and coulees.
Heading north the landscape transitions into parkland, boreal forest and Precambrian Shield where you can find great biking trails at provincial parks and many of the nordic ski areas that double as hiking and biking trails during the warmer months. Meadow Lake Provincial Park and St. Cyr Hills in the north west of the province offer some terrific trails through boreal forest and parkland. They weave around some of the 11 lakes in the park system or on the hills in the St. Cyr Nordic ski trails. Further north east Lac La Ronge Provincial Park and the Don Allen Nordic Ski Area, offer trails for beginners to experts that wind through forests of aspen, birch, spruce and jack pine, and past muskeg, streams and onto rock outcroppings.
Although these are some of the more widely known mountain biking areas, you can find a list of other great trails and information on biking in Saskatchewan here: http://www.saskcycling.ca/mountain.html.