A big sledding culture

The region is loaded with many spectacular areas to ride and women give their take on favourite places to go

a group of people in snowsuits in the forest in winter around a campfire
The Twin Lakes Trailblazers in Nipawin enjoy the camaraderie of the club events. Kevin Verzonowski photo

Don’t tell Jolene Kindiak she drives like a girl because she’ll outrun and outgun you. Snowmobiling around Yorkton was a way of life for Kindiak and her friends while growing up.

“That’s what we would do after school— we would go sledding,” she said.

As soon as enough snow sprinkled the ground, the tight-knit group of friends would break out their machines and head out to the backcountry.

Kindiak rides a Yamaha Nytro XTX; you can catch her out on the trails and in the ditches, jumping her sled and having a good time with her friends. And the boys have learned not to give her any flak.

“I jump my snowmobile, I ride fast, but I get stuck too—just like the guys,” she said.

Hudson Bay is a winner

Once again, Hudson Bay has won the platinum award for Favourite Overall Snowmobiling Area in Saskatchewan, something that does not surprise Cassandra Boen, a sledder who has lived in the community for the last 11 years.  She has been snowmobiling since she was a toddler and has fond memories of  wiener roasts and spending time out on the trails with family and friends.

“It’s just what you do up here,” said Boen. “The trails, the scenery—it’s just an amazing place for sledding.”

The area gains its sled-friendly reputation from its miles of groomed trails, with the option to ride in fields, in deep powder,  through forests and over prairie hills.

Open riding in Kelvington

Kelvington is one small town that is big on snowmobiling. Jennifer Maleschuk was born and raised in the town and her earliest memories as a child involve sledding with her family and friends.

Maleschuk now lives in Wadena, a half-hour drive away, and still snowmobiles, making it a family affair with her husband and children. It’s not so much the power of the machines or the thrill of plowing through new trail that lures Maleschuk, it’s the camaraderie.

Kelvington is surrounded by terrain that attracts sledders looking for adventure. Riders can cruise around an extensive network of groomed trails or hit the open country where there are flat plains, graded hills, coulees and underbrush.

 “There are so many different rivers and lakes you can cross when you’re going through,” Maleschuk said, “which makes it quite scenic.”

The scoop on Nipawin

Sheila Pankratz has been riding trails around Nipawin for years and says the area is a prime snowmobiling destination that has some of the best conditions in the province. Pankratz knows what she’s talking about—she works at Season’s Edge Recreation in Nipawin and gets to test out all the demo sleds that come through their doors.

“It gives me a chance to try out the new machines and give feedback to the customer,” she said.

Riders will have all kinds of terrain thrown at them, from flat farm fields to hilly ravines and riverbeds.

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