More details released regarding reopening of national parks

Saskatchewan residents will be able to visit both Batoche National Historic Site and Prince Albert National Park when Parks Canada resumes some operations on June 1.

The federal government announced in mid May that as of June 1, some services at certain parks would open up, but details were vague.

Bulletins issued this week by Batoche National Historic Site and by Prince Albert National Park detail what visitors can expect as of June 1.

Generally, only places and activities where health and safety risks can be managed will be open. Guests are asked to be cautious and conservative, to obey travel restrictions, respect closures and follow the guidance of public health experts.

In Prince Albert National Park, the following will open:

  • Motorized access to all park roads, excluding Kingsmere road past the Hanging Heart Lakes turnoff
  • Park entrance gate kiosks for information only
  • The small beach washroom by the community hall
  • Most day-use trails and day-use areas and beaches, including outhouses
  • Non-motorized recreational use on Waskesiu Lake and River, Hanging Heart Lakes, Amiskowan, Shady Lake and Spruce River
  • Recreational boating on Waskesiu Lake and Hanging Heart Lakes
  • Fishing on Waskesiu Lake, the second and third hanging Heart Lakes and Shady Lake

Some services wills till remain closed:

  • The visitor’s centre and most washrooms and all shower facilities
  • The Waskesiu playground
  • All camping facilities, including backcountry camping
  • Some trails: Elk, Hunter’s Lake, Crean, Narrows Peninsula, Kingmere River and Grey Owl
  • Some day-use areas: Meridian, Paspiwin, South Gate, Sandy Lake and Namekus
  • Viewing towers at Height of Land and Spruce River Trail
  • All kitchen shelters
  • All fish shacks
  • Group tours and activities

As for Batoche, here’s what will open:

  • The main parking lot
  • Trails and paths
  • Outside visitor reception washroom
  • Cemetery
  • East Village parking
  • East Village day use area
  • East Village day use washroom
  • Outside church rectory washroom

In Batoche, some services will remain closed:

  • Visitor centre
  • Water fountain
  • Historic buildings (church, rectory, Caron home)
  • Visitor centre playground
  • Caron Home washroom
  • East Village playground
  • East Village parking lot washroom
  • Food concession

In all cases, guests are reminded to keep a physical distance of at least 2 metres between themselves and others and to leave no trace when visiting outdoor spaces.

Guests should beware of ticks and be extra cautious when engaging in activities to avoid injury or getting lost to minimize demands placed on emergency response and the health care system.

National parks and historic sites still require admission to be paid upon entry.