We can all agree that summers in Saskatchewan are fleeting. We yearn all winter for warmer weather and after we emerge from what feels like 10 months of dark and cold, we partake in an age-old Saskatchewan tradition -- filling up our weekends with as many trips, adventures, and activities as we can between Victoria Day Long Weekend and Labour Day. If you’re looking to try something (or somewhere) new this year, you’ve come to the right place. Nestled in the heart of the Qu’Appelle Valley, Crooked Lake is a must-visit destination in 2021. You’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in southeastern Saskatchewan with such a perfect combination of stunning views and family-friendly activities to partake in at one lake. And if you’re interested in making a weekend of it, be sure to book your campsite at Coyote Gulch. So, without further adieu, allow us to highlight some of the best Crooked Lake has to offer:
1. Find your serenity:
Crooked Lake is the perfect sized lake for water sports. It’s big enough that it’s almost never crowded on the lake. It’s also small enough that you can canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard virtually anywhere on the lake and the waves are almost never big enough to be a deterrent. So, bring your canoe, kayak or SUP (or rent one from Melville Beach Resort) and be prepared to spend the day exploring the scenic views and hidden gems on the lake!
2. Water Sports:
The lake is more than big enough to jet ski, wakeboard, water ski or tube freely but small enough that you can get to virtually any spot on the lake in under 10 minutes. Boat launches at Crooked Lake Provincial Park and Melville Beach make for easy water accessibility, too. Coyote Gulch has plenty of room for you to park your boat in the evening, too.
3. Fishing at Crooked Lake:
Crooked Lake is also known for its excellent fishing. The lake is full of a variety of tasty fish like walleye, perch and northern pike and the lake has a depth of up to 60 feet, so fish have plenty of room to grow. You may be surprised by the size of fish you reel in!
4. Hit the Links:
(photo courtesy of Last Oak Golf Course Facebook page)
Located mere minutes from the lake on Cowessess First Nations, Last Oak Golf Course is a scenic retreat for casual and avid golfers alike. Nestled right in the hills of the Qu’Appelle Valley, Last Oak offers beautiful views and a challenging 18-hole course. A licensed restaurant is open from 8 AM to 8 PM so you can enjoy a meal and a drink after your round. Follow Last Oak on Facebook.
5. Walk, run or hike:
Crooked Lake is any outdoorsy person’s dream. With ample hiking and biking trails located around the lake, including paths that cut up the steep hills of the Qu’Appelle Valley (steep for Saskatchewan anyways!). New adventures are always just around the corner at Crooked.
6. Soak up some sun:
Crooked Lake boasts a number of sandy public beaches, which means fun for the whole family. Safe swimming areas, plenty of space and lots of sun is a perfect recipe for a classic Saskatchewan summer afternoon.
7. Saskatoon berry picking:
Saskatoon berry bushes cover the hillside in the Qu’Appelle valley and in July and August the berries are ripe for the picking. So bring your best pail, a sun hat and plenty of water and you’ll have a bucketful of berries to take home!
8. Watch the sun set at Sunset:
Sunset Beach, located on the east side of the lake, is a prime spot to sit and watch the sun set (hence the name) on a perfect day.
9. Evening fire at Coyote Gulch:
Photo courtesy of Erin Crooks Photography (www.erincrooks.com)
To cap off your perfect day in paradise, settle in for a cozy fire in your private campsite at Coyote Gulch, which is nestled right in the Qu'Appelle Valley hills overlooking the lake.