Pasquia Regional Park
FTLComm - Carrot River - Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Saskatchewan is a big place and it is endowed with some really outstanding places, places that deserve to be shared and enjoyed by all. Through the history of the province parks have been established to preserve these special places. The most notable is the Prince Albert National Park then we have the whole family of it's thirty-four provincial parks, but of course there is more to this process of setting land aside. The provincial government has a simple description of the process of developing it's parks on a web site and this is well worth looking over.

While we all are somewhat familiar with these big parks distributed evening throughout the province are almost 100 regional parks. These parks are for the most part supported by local communities and local government but even though they receive some provincial funding what has made this network of parks outstanding is that volunteerism has played a major role in building, developing and maintaining these parks. A $40.00 sticker will get you into all of them for the season and we have discovered that in this part of the province the regional parks are better maintained and offer more than the provincial parks.

The tricky part is that though they are marked with highway signs and can be located on the provincial highway map they are listed by the name of the park in some places and in other places by the name of the community/communities they are nearby.
Tourist Saskatchewan makes a feeble stab on a web site to list them but the best online source is the Regional Parks Saskatchewan web site that has a downloadable map and a pretty useless guide book. You can pick up the guide book and map in paper form at any of the tourism booths you will find in most larger communities.

The surprising thing is that in each of the regional parks we have visited the descriptions of them is understated and we have found the quality of the campsites and the recreational opportunities in the parks much better than what the write up that can be found in the web sites and pamphlets.
Pasquia Regional Park is truly a gem of a place with dramatic lawns, forest and accessibility. The Tourism Saskatchewan web site on it has some details but the Regional Parks page is clearly the best. Most of the regional parks are promoted in their nearby community web pages but a few have their own page and that is the case with the Pasquia Park.

Perhaps the most important feature about the
Pasquia Park is how easy it is to access. It is not off on a country road or just a funding ploy to get money to run a golf course this park is clearly defined and right on the highway ten kilometres south of Carrot River on highway #23. Many of Saskatchewan regional parks focus on their golf course and it would appear that some only exist to support the course while others are water recreation parks and a few are just amazing beauty spots. Pasquia Regional Park did originally get its start as a golf course but it has grown and developed through its life to have a great hiking/cross country trail, a swimming pool, fabulous play ground and the added bonus of an archeological exploration site. Clearly, the surrounding communities make use of the park, is restaurant, picnic sites and pool for the events in their family and their lives.

Kevin McIntyre, frequent contributor to this web site grew up in the Carrot River area where he still makes his home and pointed this out to me when I sent him an e-mail that we were camping at the park.

When you go to the club house look at all the turf:  "Yes sir, all that dirt from here to the first tee to the 9th hole and back - that's good McIntyre Blow Sand trucked in, in 1966 I know the guy whose dad donated all that soil!".

There were likely 20 trucks, all donated labour, donated purple gas from
Cavanaugh's Esso and the cops looked the other way. (purple gas was a dyed non-taxed gasoline for agricultural use)

Hence the name.

Our really great campsite is in the
third picture with the motor home tucked in among the trees and the fifth picture shows me sending off the e-mail to Kevin on the iPad from the picnic table. Judy's pictures of the swimming pool, miniature golf and the trail down to the beaver pond and the group camping "island" give you a good feel for the place. But, we are not the only people who realise we have come across a really special place. There are a hundred electrified campsites and last Thursday afternoon there were on four available and we had to leave Sunday because our site was booked by someone coming in that afternoon.

Despite the significant population the park was quiet and had a low bug count even though it rained a lot during our stay. In the last picture you can see that there is more to enjoying ones self then nature. That was a mighty fine
chocolate fudge ice cream cone.