If you like taking the road less travelled, wandering though Saskatchewan’s Thickwood Hills makes the ideal road trip. In our guidebook, Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives, we’ve outlined a number of routes through this scenic area. One of our favourites is Hwy 378 which runs from The Battlefords to Spiritwood, winding through gently rolling hills dotted with farms, wildlife-rich wetlands, and patches of aspen forest. The highway is mostly paved, though be prepared for plenty of rough spots along the way. Traffic is extremely light, making this the perfect route for a leisurely meander.
Begin at North Battleford
Starting from North Battleford, head north on Hwy #4 for about 8 km, then turn east on Hwy #378. To begin with, the highway passes through fairly level farm land, then shortly after it makes a sharp turn to the north, you begin winding through the hills. At one corner, signs points the way to Blue Mountain Adventure Park higher into the hills, which has accommodation and camping, and activities such as ziplines and wall climbing, and ski trails in winter.
The highway then passes through the tiny community of Whitkow situated in a picturesque valley. An onion-domed Ukrainian church, no longer in use, stands right beside the road, and there’s an old-style Saskatchewan Wheat Pool grain elevator.
To Rabbit Lake
Just north of Whitkow, the pavement turns east and 3 km farther it branches, with Hwy 378 running north to Rabbit Lake, while Hwy 324 heads east to Mayfair (also a scenic route if you want to wander farther afield).
The stretch of Hwy 378 between here and Rabbit Lake is one of the best parts of the drive; the highway climbs the edge of an escarpment, providing excellent views. You pass St. Michael’s Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church, which looks over the rolling landscape. This route is even more surprising travelling north to south, as the relatively level terrain south of Rabbit Lake suddenly opens into a wide valley with tremendous views to the west and south.
North of Rabbit Lake, Hwy #378 turns east, where there are access roads to Meeting Lake Regional Park. Meeting Lake is the largest lake in the area, and is especially popular for fishing. The highway then turns north towards Spiritwood, with more broad views across the countryside as the road descends the hills towards the town and Witchekan Lake just beyond.
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