Touring Saskatchewan’s Qu’Appelle Valley

If you’re like me, you’ve never heard of the Qu’Appelle Valley until you’ve been to Saskatchewan.  The valley runs west-east across southern Saskatchewan from Lake Diefenbaker to just across the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border, where the Qu’Appelle River joins the Assiniboine River.

We’ve been travelling west along the Trans-Canada highway, and the terrain has been relatively flat since we entered Manitoba.  Our home base for a few days was the Grenfell Recreational Park Campground.  Like most of the municipal campgrounds we have stayed at, it’s on the small side, quiet and has nice size lots.  We started our tour from there.

Back on the Trans-Canada, we headed west to Wolseley.  Our stop there was the 100-metre swinging bridge.  The original bridge was built in 1905, and the current bridge is the 5th iteration.  It’s amazingly well constructed, but I still only made it about halfway across.  These swinging bridges scare me!

The one access to the bridge is at the same location as the old Wolseley Courthouse, built in 1894.

We left Wolseley via the Trans-Canada and made Indian Head our next stop.  At the visitors’ centre, there is a giant statue of an Indian head.

Indian Head Statue

A quick stop at the Indian Head Bakery netted us a morning snack of apple fritters and some fresh buns to take back to the motorhome.

Just a few kilometres north of town on Hwy 56 is the historic Bell Barn.  This unique round barn has been restored and now serves as a museum to tell the story of the original farm.  Admission was $5.

Continuing along Hwy 56, we stopped at the viewpoint above Katepwa.  It’s a beautiful spot to see Lake Katepwa and the valley surrounding the Qu’Appelle River.

Our next stop was a quick one in Lebret to view the wooden chapel that sits on the hill above the town.  It’s high on the hill, and neither of us was inclined to make our way up there.  The Stations of the Cross lead to the chapel, which was built in 1929.  Directly down the hill from the chapel sits the fieldstone Sacred Heart Church which was constructed in 1925.

By the time we reached Fort Qu’Appelle, we were hungry and stopped at the Valley Bake and Coffee Shop.  It’s a busy, busy place and our server let us know it would be a 30-minute wait for our food.  And it was well worth the wait.  I had their excellent French toast with a side of sausage, and Al had the eggs with sausage.  I’m not sure what kind of sausage they were, but I would highly recommend them.

By the time we finished eating, a storm was blowing in, so we headed back to Grenfell.  Our route was Hwy 10 to Hwy 47.  We missed a turn from Hwy 10 onto Hwy 22, which would have shortened our route.  The winds were strong as we headed south on Hwy 47.  Several times I felt like my helmet was going to pull off my head, and my glasses were going as well.  The pictures below were taken from the back of the motorcycle.

If you’re in Saskatchewan, I recommend a tour through the Qu’Appelle Valley.

Safe travels.

Vanessa

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