Assiniboia to Willow Bunch Tour

Labour Day Weekend

Barbara is organizing  this tour for August 30 to September 1.  On Day 1 we will ride from Assiniboia to Willow Bunch stopping at St. Victor to see the petroglyphs. On Day 2 we return to Assiniboia a different way. We’ll have a SAG wagon and small trailer to provide support and carry our gear.

The trailer won’t be very big, so please don’t bring too much gear.  We’re asking each person riding on the tour to pay $20 toward the cost of renting the trailer and the gas for the vehicle pulling it.  We’ll collect cheques from everybody in Assiniboia.  So don’t forget to bring some cheque blanks.

A map of our tour is here:  MAP

Friday, August 30

Arrive in Assiniboia
To get to Assiniboia from Regina, drive west to Moose Jaw and then south on Highway 2 for 105 km.

Plan to arrive in Assiniboia early because there’s lots to see including the outstanding Shurniak Art Gallery. It will be open on Friday until 4:30 p.m., but not open on Sunday. There’s are many restaurant to choose from for supper.

Camping
We’ll be camping in the Assiniboia Regional Park which is part of the recreational complex by the swimming pool. To get there, follow Highway 2 through town, up the main street and turn left at the courthouse. Keep going about three or four blocks and you’ll see the swimming pool on your right.

The campground has 17 lovely sites, most with electricity and water. Fees are $35 per night. However you can’t reserve them. So it would be a good idea to get to the campground early. You could also have a friend set up your tent and register on your behalf. Or you could share a site with someone else. There’s no limit on the number of campers per site.

Saturday, August 31

We will leave the campground at 9 AM. We can leave our cars in the parking lot by the swimming pool.

  • From the campground, turn right and ride south on Highway 2 for 16 km.
  • Turn left off Highway 2 (east) at the sign to St. Victor. Ride 16 km on a narrow well paved road with no shoulders. Traffic is very light so that shouldn’t be a problem. The road is very scenic.

St. Victor
St. Victor is a lovely, quiet village with no services, except for an interpretive center.

Ride up to the petroglyphs on a gravel road for 2.5 km. We’ll be climbing most of the whole way and some parts are quite steep. But the view at the top is very much worth it.

Information about the petroglyphs is here.  David Munro of Friends of St. Victor Petroglyphs will be giving us a tour of the petroglyphs around noon on Saturday, August 31.  He’ll meet us at the interpretive centre in St. Victor.  He charges a fee of $5 per person, so make sure that you have cash to pay him.

After seeing the petroglyphs, we ride back down to St. Victors which should be quite thrilling.

From St. Victor we ride east on a gravel road for 18 km to Willow Bunch. There is some loose gravel, but mostly a good track for riding. It’s a low traffic road, and the scenery is quite wonderful.

Willow Bunch
Willow Bunch is a Francophone community of about 300 people. Services include:

  • A Fine Foods grocery store
  • A Liquor Board outlet
  • The Jolly Giant pub and restaurant.

There is an excellent museum located in the former convent school built by the Sisters of the Cross in 1914. The museum is open until 5 every day. Admission is charged.

The highlight of the museum is a display of photographs and personable longings of giant Edward Beaupre who grew to a height of 8‘3“. He died in St. Louis Missouri at age 23 while touring with the circus. His ashes are buried on the museum grounds.

Legare Regional Park
We will camp in the Jean Louis Legare Regional Park.

To get there turn left at the end of Main Street onto the highway 36. Ride about 1 km and turn right at the sign for the regional park. Then ride about 2.5 km, mostly uphill, to the park.

A map of the campground is here: MAP

You should reserve a campsite using their on-line system even if you aren’t sure you are coming on this tour. Fees are refundable . Here’s a link: https://jeanlouislegare.letscamp.ca/Booking

I have reserved site 27. It would be good to camp near each other in sites 21 to 28.

Other facts about the park:

  • Showers need a loony, so make sure you have a few.
  • Water is not potable. We’ll make sure that the SAG wagon has a some drinking water.
  • Saturday night supper and Sunday morning breakfast are available at the golf club house. Don’t expect gourmet dining.

Sunday, September 1

Leave the campground at 9:30 to ride back to Assiniboia, a total of 42 km.

From Willow Bunch ride north on Highway #36 for 13 kms to Highway 13. Turn left (west) on Highway 13 and ride 29 kms to Assiniboia.

And another excellent Labour Day Tour will be over.