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A Hike on the Nut Point Trail, Lac La Ronge Provincial Park, SK

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I didn’t know what to expect on my hike on the Nut Point Trail in Lac La Ronge Provincial Park, Saskatchewan.

Located just a few kilometers from the town of La Ronge, the trail follows a treed and rocky peninsula to its tip – jutting into Lac La Ronge.

The trail is 15 kilometers long one way. It’s best enjoyed as a backpacking trip. I tell you that from experience as I did hike 30 kilometers in one rather longish day. Although John and I spent an hour at the tip, it wasn’t nearly enough. Take my advice on this one and backpack in for a night or two. When you see how pretty the campsites look at the end of the blog, you’ll understand why.

"The Nut Point Trail starts off with a heavy duty staircase"

The Nut Point Trail starts off with a heavy duty staircase

The first half of the trail – the part that takes you to the Nut Portage – is in pretty decent shape. There are regular markers and much of the 7.5 kilometers of trail follows granite ridges through the Boreal forest.

Within a kilometer of the start of the trail, you pass through a section of forest that was burnt in the 1999 Mallard Fire. That fire took out century old black spruce trees – and the new growth is quite different.

"Nut Point Trail, La Ronge Provincial Park"

Long stretches of easy hiking on exposed granite ridges

"dizzy feeling inducing plants"

Looking at these plants makes me dizzy – and no they’re not out of focus

"There were occasional markers around"

There were occasional markers around

At about the five kilometer mark we got our first expansive views of Lac La Ronge, the fourth largest lake in Saskatchewan. It drains northeast into the Churchill River and makes its way eventually to empty into Hudson’s Bay.

Much of the lake is park and what is particularly lovely about it, apart from the Canadian Shield scenery, are the 1,305 islands in the lake, making it a paddling paradise as well.

"Our first view of Lac La Ronge from the trail"

Our first view of Lac La Ronge from the trail

When we reached the Nut Portage, we mistakenly thought the peninsula continued to narrow. But it did quite the opposite and ended up ballooning in width. So many times on the last part of the hike, we thought the end was in sight – just to be fooled again. At least if you’re canoeing, the short Nut Portage saves you 15 kilometers of paddling.

"View out to the lake at Nut Portage - the halfway point"

View out to the lake at Nut Portage – the halfway point

For the next few kilometers after the halfway point, the trail markedly deteriorated. It was disappointing to see as it wouldn’t take many days to get rid of the dead-fall and throw up a few more markers. This trail is very pretty and deserves to be kept in better shape.

The day before we hiked here, we had done a hike to Grey Owl’s Cabin in Prince Albert National Park. To say the bugs were a problem would be a major understatement so coming to the Nut Point Trail, I was worried that we would have another full day of bugs. But fortunately that wasn’t the case. For most of the day we kept a head-net on, but having said that, they really weren’t bad.

"wearing a head net on the Nut Point Trail"

We both wear head nets for most of the hike – though the bugs aren’t really that bad

"A lovely section of easy walking through reindeer moss"

A lovely section of easy walking through reindeer moss

"A not so fun section - poorly marked, muddy & buggy"

A not so fun section – poorly marked, muddy & buggy

"A tree eating sign"

A tree eating sign

The End of the Trail

When we reached the end of the trail after four hours of hiking we were both thrilled and blown away by the scene in front of us. Classic, almost Georgian Bay like scenery, with granite rock and windswept pines greeted us. It’s a gorgeous area to camp for a few nights. Views are expansive, the swimming is excellent – if still a little cold – and the feeling at least on a weekday was that we had the entire park to ourselves.

"Orange lichen covered rocks at the edge of Lac La Ronge"

Orange lichen covered rocks at the edge of Lac La Ronge

"Gorgeous Canadian Shield scenery at the tip of the trail"

Gorgeous Canadian Shield scenery at the tip of the trail

Beautiful campsite on the Nut Point Trail"

Not a soul around on a weekday

There are no fees for visiting or backcountry camping in Lac La Ronge Provincial Park. I highly recommend the trail, despite the need for some trail maintenance.

Have you ever hiked the Nut Point Trail or done a canoe trip through Lac La Ronge Provincial Park?

Leigh McAdam



Author Hike Bike Travel

Avid world traveler. Craves adventure - & the odd wildly epic day. Gardener. Reader. Wine lover. Next big project - a book on 100 Canadian outdoor adventures.

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Join the discussion 16 Comments

  • I planned on backpacking that one time, but changed my plans around due to weather and also parks-people telling me the trail hadn’t been cleared yet that spring. Went to Grasslands National Park instead and that was glorious. ;)

  • Jackie Smith says:

    For fear of sounding redundant, these are stunning photos. Again, I am happy you did the hike for me!

  • I came across your blog via Maple Leaf Country and am quickly finding myself looking forward to your posts! It’s amazing how much this area looks similar to Georgian Bay, as you said. Thanks for posting.

  • Mike says:

    No, I have never been but absolutely sign me up for the canoeing part of it! Though I don’t mean a high end exertion type of trip. I want to cruise slowly and stop at a few of those islands and check them out. Sorry, I’ve done my share of bugs outdoors in my lifetime. I’ve earned the right to not have to deal with them anymore LOL!!

  • I hate to see a good hiking trail go into disrepair. Perhaps this post will bring awareness to the need for a maintenance crew to go out there and get busy.

    • @Ted I couldn’t agree with you more. It would be a great job for some highschool or college age kids – and the sooner it’s put back into shape the more use it will likely get.

  • Freya says:

    I really need to get out there, so many great hikes. The view over the lake is amazing and yes the views from the campsite are just stunning

  • Shannon says:

    When living in La Ronge, I used to like running the first part of this trail with my two dogs after work and the berry picking season later in the summer is fantastic! You can find great swimming spots along the way and often never see another soul.

  • Russ Hodgins says:

    Your pictures bring back memories from the many runs done out to the point and back. I’m sorry to hear that the markings aren’t as good as they once were along the trail. Part of my life up in LaRonge was putting up the markers on that trail. A friend claimed I put up too many, saying I marked it in brale but somebody still got lost that summer anyway. I’m hoping it survived the fires this summer. Grasslands is awesome! I see you have been out on the Boreal Trail in Meadow Lake Provincial Park. It’s my next trip. Any advice?

    • @Russ The Boreal Trail still needed some work last summer with markings but maybe by now it’s been done. We had no bugs in late June but if it’s anything like Prince Albert NP you will need a bug jacket and head net. The swimming should be excellent. Enjoy the hike or backpack if that’s what you end up doing. There are some truly lovely sites.

  • Trail condition update: I live in La Ronge and I can tell you first hand that a group of local volunteers cleared the trail in the Fall 2015/Spring 2016 and it is now in tip-top shape!

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