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Autumn at P.A. National Park offers revitalizing adventure

Visiting Prince Albert National Park in autumn ensures visitors have space to have an inspiring and rejuvenating adventure

We know that more than ever, people are looking to spend time outdoors close to home. Prince Albert National Park provides opportunities to do so.

Autumn is the special time of year when the weather begins to cool and the nights are noticeably longer. These shorter days and cooler temperatures trigger the breakdown of chlorophyll, the green photosynthetic pigment in leaves, allowing yellow and orange pigments to show through. The brilliance of fall color has been lingering in the park so it’s time to immerse yourself in nature while avoiding the crowds and absorb the autumn splendour.

Visiting Prince Albert National Park in autumn ensures visitors have space to have an inspiring and rejuvenating adventure. Visit the park and enjoy the top eight experiences this time of year.

• Explore the wilderness of the park with a hike or bike on a trail. Check out trails on Street View before your visit to get a feel for surrounding flora and trail difficulty and check the trail conditions before you head out.

• Enjoy a self-guided interpretive hike on Boundary Bog, Mud Creek and Treebeard Trails. Pick up a brochure at the trailhead and follow the numbers on the trail to learn more about its unique features.

• Bring canoe or kayak to paddle on the lake and experience the shimmering water, the sights and sounds of the lake, and the peaceful feeling of being on the water. Whether your adventure lasts the morning or is a multi-day trip, you are sure to return feeling inspired.

• Bring lawn chairs and picnic items to a day use area with fire pits or a kitchen shelter and enjoy a campfire surrounded by beautiful scenery.

• Enjoy a guided interpretive program until the end of September. The interpretation team is offering a stargazing program from 21:30 to 22:30 on Fridays and Saturdays for the remainder of the month.

• Enjoy shoulder season camping. Closing dates are weather dependent; for more information, please contact the visitor centre at 1-306-663-4522 or email

• Cast a line into the cool northern waters of Prince Albert National Park. Waskesiu Lake is open for fishing until March 31. Please contact the visitor centre at 1-306-663-4522 or email for more information about fishing in the park.

• Enjoy a night full of stars and a full moon this autumn. Moonless nights this autumn are Oct. 6 and Nov. 4 for the best stargazing. The remaining full moon this autumn is Oct. 20, when the moon’s face may be fullest and brightest.

The elk rut is on in Prince Albert National Park

From early fall to mid-October, mature elk breed, which is called the rutting season. Mature bulls gather cows and their calves into what is called a harem.

Elk bulls are impressive animals at this time of year. They rub their antlers on trees to remove the velvet and polish the ends for rut. Wallowing also leaves their scent on bushes so cows know they are nearby. Evidence of shredded bark can be seen around the park. Bulls also bugle, which is a distinctive sound, to let other bulls know they’re around. Many of these territorial rituals are posturing and done to avoid fighting by letting other bulls know they are there.

Though not as frequent as posturing, these territorial rituals can lead to fighting. For elk, a fight entails two bulls smashing antlers together. In some cases, the bulls will lock antlers and will push one another in displays of strength. This is to assert dominance over another bull and to keep guard over the bull’s “harem” of cow elk.

For information about the elk rut and visitor safety, please visit webpage or contact the Visitor Centre at 306-663-4522 or

Keeping the “wild” in wildlife

Prince Albert National Park is a great place to view wildlife in their natural habitat. With a vast range of recreational opportunities and camping experiences set in a wilderness full of elk, deer, fox, waterfowl and black bears, it is important to keep people and wildlife safe. Wildlife find their healthiest food in their natural environment and once they become accustomed to being fed by people, they stop looking for their natural foods and are no longer “wild.”

In national parks across Canada, it is illegal to feed wildlife. It is also important to reduce the chance of these animals getting into pet food, coolers, storage containers, barbecues and other items that have a strong smell. Visitors are encouraged to store items with an odour in vehicles, bear caches when in the backcountry or in bear-proof garbage and recycling containers provided throughout the park.

Do you fish on Kingsmere Lake? Share your thoughts on the declining trout population

Parks Canada takes its mandate to protect the health of the environment seriously. An agency-wide monitoring and reporting program, consisting of independent scientific measures that help assess the health of the ecosystem, is used to guide parks in making decisions or taking actions that support conservation.

According to present information, population assessment results over the last three years indicate a 45% decline in the lake trout population in Kingsmere Lake. More information is needed to determine the condition of the lake trout population.

With the public’s participation, together we will know more about the state of the fisheries and the health of the species. For more information on this engagement project, and to provide feedback or learn more about the topic, please contact us at: or visit Nature and Science on the park website.