Doghide Trails

FTLComm - Tisdale - Saturday, August 3, 2002

Every town has its favourite places, some unique and cherished element that distinguishes the community from all others and is a continuing delight.

Wandering gently from the South along the East side of the town of Tisdale is the Doghide Creek. In a dry year like this it is little more than an empty channel but each spring it moves the run off from the South to the North.

But from end to end of Tisdale the Doghide is

a haven on a flat prairie with the Riverside golf course on the East side and the town nestled up to it on the West.

Over the years a series of trails lead into the dense mixed forest of this little valley. Beginning in the North leaving Theresa Park and coming out beside the RCMP barracks then resuming two blocks South as a network of trails stem from a swinging bridge under the railway tressel and fan out in a maze.

These trails cross and recross the creek join and rejoin themselves and wander through lush undergrowth and towering trees.

Every walk through these trails will be unique, you will never see the same things as the trails are complex enough that you will invariably choose different routes each time and the light and season will guarantee a surprise of some kind every trip.

This year's Saskatoon crop is very mixed with small berries and a mix of maturity but what a snack as one travels along.

This bucket was being gathered by one group last night and they had found the mother purple as it were, as they found berries that were plump and rich.

The Saskatoon, chokecherry and gooseberries that grow along the trails are all natural and we even came upon a raspberry bush and two berries were there waiting for us to sample.

A quiet collection of folks strole through the maze of trails each day and evening some on bicycles others walking and one guy huffying and puffing along on his evening jog.

The Parks and Recreation department of the town keep the trails in excellent shape making modest additions to them each year and repair the many bridges that have to endure the ice of run off most springs.

Fine crushed and packed gravel makes for dry walking and riding even if there is a shower.

One of the most remarkable features of this series of trails is that they have so many entre and exit points into the rest of the town. All the way from #3 highway in the South to Theresa Park in the North there are points of access.

The trails lead to the Kinsman playground, the hardball diamonds, the

horse shoe pitch and even a trail runs to the Wildlife Federation's stocked fishin' pond.

Bridges and a board walk lead out to the wildlife observation gazebo build to comemorate the loss of Ashley Kristienson in the summer of 1994. This little island in what is essentially a wet land swamp offers a perfect place to watch the birds that make this area their home.

We have only showed you a tiny sample of these trails for if you haven't had a chance to go out and explore them then you will find your own special highlights.

The trails emerge into the open area just North of Highway #3 as you follow the crest above the creek with a row of rhubarb growing along the ridge.

Walking from the West side of town to the trails and touring some of them then home again takes about an hour and a half and is well over six kilometres of walking.