Best running routes in Saskatoon

With winter in the rearview mirror, some great roads, paths and single-track trails that spent the last several months coated in snow and ice are now runnable.

This week, I asked Brainsport employees and former running teammates about their favourite routes to run in the city. Check them out below and email to get your favourite route added to the list.

Northeast Swale

Accessing the route: Parking is available on Central Avenue just north of Somers Road.
Distance: Flexible; do a lap of the swale or do several and also check out the trail system by the river.
Why I like it: I am a big fan of gravel paths because they are softer than pavement. I try to do as many of my runs as possible on gravel because it feels softer on my feet and legs. Most of the running routes in Saskatoon are pavement. If you are looking for a nice gravel route close to the river, you can start at the Central Ave. Northeast Swale parking lot (just north of Somers Road). From here you can cross Central Ave. and Fedoruk Road and do a gravel loop (~3km) on the swale. To make the run longer, you can also check out the paths that head towards the river on the west side of Central. This route also easily connects to loops in Evergreen and the Meewasin river trails via the Sutherland dog park.  Jaira Cross Child

Ravine Drive loop

Accessing the route: Start from residential neighbourhoods in Lawson Heights.
Distance: About 8km, but can be lengthened by adding more hill and stair repeats.
Why I like it: I usually do this run early in the morning; I love to see the early morning sunrise and it also ensures that I get my run in for the day. This is a combination of paved path, dirt and hills. I live 1.4 kms from the river trails so get my warm up walk and drills done before heading onto the lower dirt trails off Lenore Drive. The run brings me past the Meewasin playground and then onto either more dirt or paved trails along the river. When I get to Ravine Drive I do various stair drills on the 71 step stairs that are so conveniently built there and a few Ravine Drive hills before heading back along the new upper paved trails overlooking our beautiful city. Then, depending on time, I meander back home through streets and walkways. — Ali Bergeron


Accessing the route: Parking is available at the Meewasin Park parking lot at 2703 Spadina Crescent East.
Distance: 3.5km one way (can return the same way or take a slightly shorter option on paved paths)
Why I like it: My favourite running route in Saskatoon is the single-track trail along the river going north from the Meewasin Park parking lot. It’s called Slytherin. Back in my university years, I called it “The Meaning of Life Trail.” Slytherin turns into Riverbend, that now goes completely up to the Chief Mistawasis Bridge. However, the last 500m before the bridge is super rugged and usually wet with mud. — Harvey Weber

Northend route

Accessing the route: Parking is available on the west side of the river north of the Weir by the Railway Bridge.
Why I like it: This route is very exciting because it is a combination of dirt trail, asphalt path, gravel road and sidewalk. It is open year round and, depending on your level of comfort, can be challenging. If you are up for some hills, rocks, roots, uneven terrain and single track trail, this route is for you. Mentally, I can’t run in a straight line that’s why I do trail running. And the idea of a loop is important to me. If you park your car at Meewasin Park by the Railway Bridge you can get on the dirt trail going north until you cross the river at the Chief Mistawasis Bridge. Turn right at the South Grid Road and keep running all the way until the end – this road is gravel. At the end of that road, there are various trails, but if you want to keep going to Circle Drive Bridge stay on the most pronounced trail that is shared with the dog park. Once you arrive at the Circle Drive Bridge you can cross it there are a couple options. You can take the paved path back to your car or, what I normally do is go through G.D. Archibald Park, run the hill up, navigate through the neighbourhood and get a look of the river from the top of the hill at the River Height lookout. You can continue on the trail until you arrive back at Meewasin Park. There are times when there is nobody on the trail and you feel free. Sometimes people or dogs are not expecting you and there have been times when I have to step back because a dog is not handling the surprise very well. At all times practice caution and be safe. Enjoy your run!! — Daniel Vasconez

Sidney L. Buckwold Park loop

Accessing the route: Street parking is available on Degeer St.
Roughly 1.4km
Why I like it: My husband usually rolls his eyes at my choice of running routes because they tend to be so boring — but sometimes boring is the whole point. When I’m doing intervals or a long run I want to be somewhere I don’t need to think, worry about getting lost or having to stop for traffic. I also want somewhere to put a water bottle so I don’t need to carry water with me. The 1.4km crushed gravel loop at Roland Michener School ticks all those boxes and is flat. Early in the morning the path tends to not be too busy. For those who want more variety, it’s easy to run through the College Park East neighbourhood. Andrea Hill

Gordie Howe Bridge/ Diefenbaker stairs to Chief Whitecap Dog park and Riverside Golf & Country Club

Accessing the route: Start from the Diefenbaker Park southwest parking lot.
Distance: Roughly 14 km there and back
Why I like it: It’s all gravel paths, you run in trees, have some hills coming up and down the river valley. You have great views overlooking the river. You find yourself running along a pasture, passing some horses. Then making your way past Chief Whitecap Dog park, there is a nice path around the dog park so you don’t have to run with unleashed dogs. There is a wide gravel path that takes you back along the river and then all the way to Riverside Golf & Country Club where you can turn around. The whole run you are out of the city! — Rilla Johnson

Diefenbaker Park southwest parking lot to Saskatchewan Cres. W.

Accessing the route: Start from the Diefenbaker Park southwest parking lot.
Distance: About 3km one way
Why I like it: Run down to the Meewasin Valley trails from the parking lot and find a great little route to do half-mile to mile repeats. It has a gravel surface, which is nice for the joints! There are some rolling hills for an extra challenge. It can get muddy during the spring, so it is definitely a dry weather route. It’s less busy than other areas of the Meewasin, but busy enough that you feel safe running alone. Sometimes you hear beavers slapping their tails on the water or come across a deer staring at you from the grass. It’s a very pretty and peaceful spot! — Melissa Koroll