My second camping trip of the summer was to Good Spirit Lake. This was my first time at the park since my childhood. The only memory I hold was the low water level in the lake. This is still the case today. The beach is a major attraction of the park. The expansive sand and shallow lake is inviting even to landlubbers like myself. We spent two afternoons cooling off in the water then relaxing on the beach. Despite its popularity, the beach never seemed overly crowded.
Another park attraction is the Dune Discovery Interpretive Trail. The path is about 4 – 5 kilometres return and starts just southeast of the beach. The “beach view” trail follows the south shoreline of the lake. The trail becomes more ambiguous once you have crossed the water control structure (spillway or sluice gates). The sign indicates that the Great Trail is to the right (east). To continue to the dunes, head left along the beach. There are a few red herrings on the right which we believed would lead to the dune lookout. While these make for great photo ops, I believe most are dead ends. To find the lookout follow the shoreline for about three or four hundred metres. On your right on a dune, you will see a sign for the lookout. Once up top you can follow the grated walkway to the top and circle back to the beach. Another misleading part of the trail is the “forest view” return path. This trail is in fact a gravel road which circles around private property just west of the water control structure. This road is also part of the Great Trail (better known as The Trans Canada Trail).
A third point of interest is the Trans Canada Trail. It runs from the park entry office to Sandy Beach (and beyond). There are 18 kilometres of paths. While the main trail is wide and gravel, some of the side trails are grassy and seldom traversed. Although predominantly used in the winter by skiers, it is a pleasant route to bike. I would love to snowshoe this path after a fresh snowfall. This trail is better marked probably because it is maintained by Trans Canada Trail and ski club volunteers rather than SaskParks.
Our campsite was on the outer loop of Balsam campground. It has a new service centre at the entrance and flush outhouses with sinks. There is also a pathway leading to the beach and north to other sections of the park. This makes it easy to explore the park by bike. The campground was very quiet although this may have been the consequence of a fire ban. I appreciated the limited streetlights in Balsam, making it easier to sleep. You could see so many stars at night too. Overall Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park is an excellent park to relax at and enjoy the slower pace of life. It is a short two-hour drive from the city.