I spent four days camping at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park last week. My friend and I arrived around noon on Thursday and set up our site. We were in Elm Campground, my favorite as most sites are shady and a short walk to the beach.
We came prepared with our bikes to try out the trails in the area. That afternoon we tested our luck on the park roads. Heading west we toured Maple Vale, Shady Lane, and Trails End campgrounds. The hot afternoon sun and roads wore us out after only an hour. After a beer we hit the beach. The sand was fine and the water cool and refreshing. There was a bit of algae, but not enough to deter us.
The next morning we hit the bike trails. From Elm it was a short ride to Boat Launch trail and Rankins campsite. Originally we hoped to test out Joe’s Loop, but could not locate it. Instead we turned east on the park road to Lower Chalet, the trailhead for most paths. We began with Beaver Loop, an “easy” trail. It offered a great variety of undulating terrain through prairie and bush. The trail connects to Weeping Fee, similar to Beaver Loop. One part I did not appreciate were large partially exposed rocks on either sides of the trail. My pedals caught a couple during the ride. We walked our bikes up parts of trails. On the return we hit Rutledge trail, offering shade and beautiful scenery. The trails are well marked and enjoyable to ride. We plan on returning later this summer.
After the trails we cycled four kilometers east on a grid to see the bison range. To return to our site we took the paved park road, which climbs 80 metres over a couple kilometres. Needless to say we were unprepared and enjoyed the downhill portion!
On Saturday we set out at 9am to visit Nicolle Flats. The trail to the Nicolle homestead was challenging due to cut grass and rolling ground. Once at the homestead we rested and had a snack. Taking the flat Dyke trail from there completed the circuit of the Flats.
We were curious about the Terminator trail, but not brave enough to bike it. So on Saturday evening we hiked it beginning from the top of the hill. It starts out in a field then dips and winds though coulees and brush. We hiked about two kilometres before coming to a steep decline. It had rained that afternoon, so we didn’t risk it. It is a neat trail to hike, but be warned it is not maintained; there are roots, overgrowth, and logs on the paths. Furthermore there are mosquitoes and poison ivy so come prepared.
We had a great time camping that weekend. We biked about fifty-five kilometres on paved roads, grids, and trails. The hot hours we spent lounging at the beach. Calm evenings meant relaxing by the fire. We also observed some wildlife – thirteen-lined chipmunks, Richardson’s ground squirrels, garter snakes, mice, and deer.